Research Request: Customer Service Standards

PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS | May 7, 2019

As part of your membership benefits, the Alliance staff provide research services for local government member submitted requests. Topics can range from pressing issues to emerging trends. This benefit is made possible through our partnership with Arizona State University Marvins Andrews Fellowship

Request Prompt:

“Private and public sector models for customer service standards (including metrics and facility amenities” 

Summary of Findings: 

Although there is a number of resources available for setting standards and best practices, it appears that often the most effective metrics are those influenced by your community (stakeholder, citizens, staff). In doing so, greater ownership will be achieved and drive to get results.  

Comparable Programs, Case Studies  

Public Sector  

Norfolk County, VA 

 

The City of Escondido, CA 

  • The program encourages employees to accept personal responsibility for the customer's satisfaction, for treating the customer as an individual with personal needs and a unique situation. The value and effectiveness of the program is based on its consistent implementation and support, with opportunities for regular feedback, recognition and additional training as needed.  

  • Read the document here: https://intranet.escondido.org/Data/Sites/8/media/pdfs/CustomerService.pdf 

The Institute of Customer Service envisions an organization which delivers good customer service as “…honest, gives good value for money, has a high reputation, meets deadlines, has quality products and services, has easy to understand processes, responds to criticism, encourages complaints and handles them well, and demonstrates that it is passionate about customers.” 

If interested in approaching insights from the UK, a source has The Government Digital Service’s approach for digital relations of customer service. Offers practical guidance for structuring a project and developing bidding documents.   

Private Sector 

Clearpoint Strategy: 

McKinsey: 

  • “Our work has taught us that the most successful programs of the most successful practitioners have six hallmarks (Exhibit 5). These can be adopted to make significant strides toward a best-in-class customer or citizen experience.” 

For more information, visit: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-sector/our-insights/improving-the-customer-experience-to-achieve-government-agency-goals  

Trader Joe’s: 

Amazon: 

“I would define Amazon by our big ideas, which are customer centricity, putting the customer at the center of everything we do, [and] invention. We like to pioneer, we like to explore, we like to go down dark alleys and see what's on the other side.” 

How can you leverage values of Amazon’s customer service strategy to improve your organizations customer service delivery? 

  • Start everything with a core commitment to the customer. 

  • Build a corporate culture that knows how to listen. 

  • Give your users the power of DIY service 

  • Nurture a community of fellow customer support. 

  • Make personal interactions an easy option. 

  • Help your buyer stay connected – wherever they are, whenever they want. 

  • Foster relationships between customers and brands. 

Crossover Example – Oracle: 

In March 2012, Oracle produced the white paper “Eight Steps to Great Customer Experiences for Government Agencies”, creating a modern model to refer during development.  

  • In terms of metrics, they offer “Tangible Benefits for Tangible Improvements” on page 14 

 

  

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