This is National Customer Service Week, and I hope you (yes, you!) take a few minutes to think about what you’ve done to help your customers lately. Did you do a great job answering that email? Super! Did you suggest an improvement to the website that made it easier for customers to find a top task? Great! Did you go out of your way to direct that phone caller to someone who could give her a real answer? Spot on!
What’s that you say? You really haven’t done anything for your customers lately? Well, then..start now. Here are 3 things you can do, this week, to celebrate our dedication to giving our customers the best possible service.
Read and think. A lot of us have been thinking hard about customer service. Do some reading, see where you agree and disagree, and think about how you could apply some of these ideas. Here are 5 of my blog pieces that might spark some thoughts:
- 5 Principles of Customer Service
- Creating A Culture of Customer Service
- Courage to Do What We Know We Need to Do
- Set Your Compass on Service
- No One’s Gonna Make You Do the Right Thing
More places to look:
- Wendi Brick is a real thought leader in government customer service. Check out her latest newsletter (and read her book: The Science of Service).
- Gerry McGovern is an international expert on digital communications. He has some great posts (and while you’re there, sign up for his free weekly newsletter).
- Howto.gov (the digital government compendium) has a great section on Customer Experience
- Check out the customer service blogs and reports on GovLoop – they’re really highlighting customer service this week.
Discuss. Gather your team or some of your colleagues and talk about what makes great customer service. Then brainstorm ways you could improve service at your agency. Or join an online discussion on GovLoop (Wendi has one there, too).
Be a customer. Go to a government website (not your own!) and try to complete a task. See how they’re doing it, and look for ideas you could replicate. If you have a bad experience, why? Are you doing similar things at your agency? Maybe you should fix them. There’s nothing like being a customer to understand what customers want.
You don’t have to be a manager to create change. Every single person at every single agency has opportunities – and responsibilities – to improve the way we serve our customers.
So, what about it? What have you done for your customers lately?