National Customer Service week is October 1-5. Every year, the first week in October National Customer Service Week is celebrated. Since 1992, Customer Service Week has been nationally recognized. President Obama's Executive Order 13571: Streamlining Customer Service and Improving Customer Service has encouraged agencies to explore new ways to improve how customer service is delivered. There have been a lot of great outcomes and initiatives that have come out of the mandate. You can take a look at all the signature initiatives on GovLoop, and one of my favorites, the Department of Veteran Affairs Blue Button Initiative.
Recently the House passed HR 538, H.R. 538, The Government Customer Service Improvement Act. The Social Security Administration provides a great overview how they will be impacted, and will dive into this topic deeper next week for other agencies and across government:
- Would require OMB to establish performance measures and standards that ensure agencies provide high-quality customer service and improved service delivery.
- Would require each Federal agency to collect customer information regarding the quality of customer services provided by the agency and include this information in its annual performance report.
- Would require each Federal agency to designate a customer relations representative for the agency. The representative would be responsible for implementing the OMB customer service standards. It would also require that the agency head issue guidelines to implement the standards and publish customer service contact information. The agency would be required to post the guidelines and contact information on its public website.
- Would require that compliance with customer service standards be included in Federal employee performance appraisals.
Agencies are faced with dozens of questions as to how to provide customer service - who are the key customers we are trying to reach? Who are the core internal and external actors? How do we serve all our customer and align to our mission? How do we measure the effectiveness of a customer service initiative? Over the course of the week, GovLoop will be exploring those challenging questions. We're also looking to you, next week is the perfect time to write a blog post, read up on some GovLoop customer service resources, share a customer success story, answer a forum question, and really take part in the GovLoop community.
We'll be doing our part as well, with a series of blog posts, forum discussions, and highlighting stories in our daily newsletter. Our hope is that we spark conversation about how to delivery, report, and measure customer service in government, enabling you to improve customer service at your agency. To give you a primer for Customer Service Week, here are some great resources for you related to customer service:
Customer service is a core function of government. With government customers having heightened expectations of the level of service government should provide, now is the time for government to identify ways to improve how they deliver customer service. Improving customer service in government does not come without significant challenges. Throughout the Re-Imagining Government Customer Service Research Report, we identify challenges and provide strategies to help you improve your customer service initiatives. We encourage you to view the report, reflect on how customer service operates in your agency, and then share your lessons learned, your best practices and help us work to improve customer service in government. This report is just a start. We want to hear from you and your experiences, together, we can help each other to re-imagine customer service in government.
This post was part of GovLoop’s rollout for the Re-Imagining Customer Service in Government Research Report. Allison Primack writes on GovLoop, “So you take customer service satisfaction surveys, and other data as a metric of your performance, but what do you do with this data after you obtain it? This research revealed that agencies face challenges in using customer service data. Finding a way to ask the right questions in order to make decisions for a wide range of customers is quite the challenge. However, from the research, there are some strategies you can adopt in order to streamline this process, and make it easier to utilize this data in a meaningful way." This post will talk through the strategies and how to use customer service data.
This post comes from GovLoop Founder and President, Steve Ressler, from one of our Customer Service events. Steve highlights the conversation, and gives us 22 ideas how government can improve customer service.
We have a lot of great resources on GovLoop, and the links above should be a great start to provide you with some of our resources. here are a few more customer service resources:
- Excelling With Government Customer Service
- How To Create Great Government Customer Service
- Agency Customer Service Plans
- The GovLoop Excelling with Customer Service Guide
- How Do You Identify Your Customers?
- Culture and Customer Service
- Technology and Customer Service
- Best Practices for Customer Service
Is Your Agency Celebrating Customer Service Week?