I recently interviewed Janice Quintana, director of the CharMeck311 Customer Service Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. One concept she brought up during our discussion was the idea of core competencies for local government. She contends that customer service is fast becoming a core competency for local governments. In much the same way as local governments are expected to provide critical services such as budgeting, public safety, or road and street maintenance, she believes that a quality customer service experience should be expected from local government.
In other words, local governments should have the ability and responsibility to provide a welcoming, friendly, and responsive experience for each and every customer no matter how that customer connects with the local government. While service delivery will always be the primary responsibility of local governments, this core competency concept recognizes that service delivery without customer service isn’t enough anymore. Our citizens expect more.
The challenge for local governments is how to define and deliver a quality customer service experience. What does it take for our customers to walk away sastified from any interaction with our organization? It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of money or staff time to develop a customer service program, but it does require some thought and planning.
So tell me – what are you doing to promote a positive customer service experience for your citizens?