This weekend was both my 2nd wedding anniversary and my kid's 1st birthday. So kind of a big deal, eh?
My wife and I decided to honor the anniversaries by redeeming our Marriot points for a 1-night stay at a fancy Ritz Carlton on the beach. It was an awesome weekend and Ritz Carlton lived up to its well-known gold standard of customer service (which inspired the Apple store)
Here's 3 ideas from my stay on how to improve customer service at your agency:
1) Focus on Basics - The Ritz handled the most basic tasks - booking a room and checking out with ease. I wanted to use points to redeem for a stay and it was super easy on the site. And check out was the same - two clicks on my TV remote. Nothing complicated - just worked and was super quick and efficiency. For government, this is key. Can we make the services we provide done as simple, clear, and efficient as possible?
2) The Timely Token - On the second day of the stay, we were getting ready to go to the beach when an employee stopped us and asked us if we got our beach kit. We hadn't yet and the employee went and got a cool beach bucket with shovel. What a great idea - it had the element of surprise, perfect on timeliness, plus economical for the company (looks like they cost about $2 each). Think about your agency - what small token would go a long way in delighting your customer.
3) The Personal Message - You know after you stay at a hotel when you get that stock survey email and thanks for your stay. I always do a quick delete. This time I got a real email from a real manager with real language thanking us for our story. Who knows if it was automated but it looked and sounded real. And left us feeling valued. What if government spoke as a human with a real name and thanked you for a recent activity.
More GovLoop on Customer Service:
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(Attribution - Photo Creative Commons - Flickr werkman)