Providing the highest level of customer service is paramount for any industry. For the federal government – whether it’s the I.R.S or the Department of Veterans Affairs – a diverse audience of citizens, military personnel and other government employees make the requirements of good customer service more complex than in other businesses.
A new bipartisan bill, introduced July 30 by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), calls for federal agencies to develop specific standards for customer service. The Government Customer Service Act would establish what Senator Warner calls a “SWAT team,” driven by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which would temporarily assist agencies that fail to meet customer service standards.
In addition, each agency would appoint a “service improvement officer,” who would be responsible for the ongoing monitoring of customer service progress. This executive would also develop a comprehensive, annual report on overall services.
“Some agencies are already doing a great job of monitoring customer satisfaction, but this new legislation would pressure other agencies to step up their customer service efforts,” said Lisa Dezzutti, President and CEO of Market Connections, Inc.
Just as Senator Warner pointed out how “what gets measured, gets done,” this new legislation reinforces the need for customer satisfaction research whereby civilians and other agency customers can provide tangible feedback for agencies to improve performance.
“It is critical for agencies to take any performance research data and actually apply it to help with overall effectiveness,” added Dezzutti. “With more measurement and accountability being called for in this new legislation, agencies will need to have the right insights and apply them properly to see positive change. In addition, the ‘service improvement officer’ will be a welcomed role for citizens and constituents — one person dedicated to improving service will make a tremendous difference.”
Read the full FedConnects post here.