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Working with Citizens: Delivering Great Service to Residents and Customers Prepared and Presented By Alan Vandehaar Iowa State University Extension & Outreach.

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Presentation on theme: "Working with Citizens: Delivering Great Service to Residents and Customers Prepared and Presented By Alan Vandehaar Iowa State University Extension & Outreach."— Presentation transcript:

1 Working with Citizens: Delivering Great Service to Residents and Customers Prepared and Presented By Alan Vandehaar Iowa State University Extension & Outreach July 16,

2 Topics for Today Customer Service - Customer Satisfaction What are the barriers to good service? What is our attitude? The office attitude? What does the customer want? Dealing with difficult people – behaviors Difficult situations in city government Working toward customer satisfaction Building a service culture

3 Who are our customers? Important to recognize all our customers: Internal – _______________ External – _____________________________ – ______________________________

4 Unique aspect of customer service in local government Contrasting private businesses and local governments, in delivering customer service How are citizens going to their city hall for service, different from a consumer going to a private business?

5 Unique aspects… If I don’t like the products/service I get at my city hall, what choice do I have? Where else can I go for my water supply? Citizens may be seen as ‘owners’ of the city, with vested interest, can’t go elsewhere for city services Citizens may have an ‘entitlement’ view that city staff ‘work for them’.

6 W hat would people say about the service provided by your city office (city hall)?

7 Service & Satisfaction: defined Customer Service – provision of service to customers before, during, after a purchase; Designed to enhance ________ __________ Customer Satisfaction – measure of how well a product or service meets a customer’s ____________; the __________ that service has met the customer’s expectations

8 W hat are the barriers to providing excellent customer service?

9 Barriers to Excellent Service a short list 1.Service not identified as a ______, no explicit policy that good service is important 2.No regular discussion by staff on ____ service situations, training, goals, etc. 3.___________, unmotivated staff 4.Not __________ to the customer 5.City may not view itself as needing to give good service, unlike a private business

10 Payoff from Excellent Service For customers: - Get what they ______ -Achieve customer ____________, expectations met

11 Payoff from Excellent Service For you, your staff at city hall: -Satisfaction that customers served well -More pride, value in your work; enjoy work more -Feel appreciated by customers/citizens -Creates a more desirable work environment -Should recognize and reward those who give great service

12 Payoff from Excellent Service For you, your staff at city hall: -Satisfaction that customers served well -More pride, value in your work; enjoy work more -Feel appreciated by customers/citizens -Creates a more desirable work environment -Should recognize and reward those who give great service

13 Payoff from Excellent Service For the city (city hall): -Creates better work environment -Creates a enviable reputation, respect and more professional environment -Make it a more desirable place to work -Is cost effective with less mistakes

14 Dealing with Citizens/Customers What are customers’ expectations? When you, as a customer, have a problem with government or a business, what do you want them to do? What are your expectations?

15 Service What would the customer like from you? - To _______ to them -________ their questions -_______ their problem (as quickly as possible)

16 Customer Service Standards: Specific, Measureable, Reasonable What are your office customer service standards? List: How do you measure your customer service standards? (to know if we are improving over time) – measurements:

17 Service Standards Basic service expectations: 1._____ Smile or Frown 2.Have ______________ in view 3.G_____ the customer, ask ‘how can I _____ you’ in a helpful tone of voice 4.Everyone answers phone with your adopted ____________ 5.Apologize if you made a ________

18 Example of a Service Standard Standards Covering All Customer Interactions “Customers have a right to expect...” Courtesy, respect, honesty and professionalism. That the staff person will listen to their request/question, ask for clarification if necessary, and provide complete, knowledgeable, accurate, precise information regarding their inquiry. The staff person will make a reasonable effort to provide information about the City and, as appropriate, other outside agencies related to their department’s/division’s function.

19 For great service environment, two key factors are essential: 1.People, trained, with good _______and skills who ______ to work with other_______ 2.Procedures (policies) on how to ________customer service questions, issues, known by staff and _________and discussed by staff from time to time

20 What you can do to build a great service environment 1. Give each customer your full attention 2. Take their issue seriously. Customer service is not about you – it’s about the customer 3. Your work is important, you should take pride in doing a good job. You are helping people solve problems. 4. Your sincere attitude (empathy) will make the customer feel you are helping them.

21 Why do customers get upset 1.I_____________ 2.N________ attitudes 3.Not l_________ 4.R_________ 5.Didn’t ______ _______ as promised

22 How can we address the reasons customers get upset? 1.Train staff on importance of customer service 2.Better communication among staff on customer service information, goals 3.Utilize technology 4.All staff go through orientation and training on customer service 5.Better communication, coordination in your department and between departments

23 6. Clear communication to the public/customers on which departments do what in city gov. and clear signage in city buildings to find depts. 7. Good customer service is recognized and rewarded on regular basis, e.g. monthly, quarterly.

24 Difficult Customer Behaviors WHAT do we do with --- Know-it-alls Complainers People who can’t make a decision Those who run over you to get to someone else Explosive, dominating personalities Saboteurs

25 Strategies to Deal with Difficult Behaviors Strategies: 1.Stay calm (don’t take it personally) 2.Let customer vent 3.Show empathy (recognize other’s feelings) 4.Restate the problem 5.Work to find agreement, and a solution, on the issue

26 Words to avoid in dealing with difficult customer behavior I _____ do that; we _____ do that It’s our policy No, I don’t You should have Why didn’t _____ I _____ know ______ have to

27 Words to use in dealing with difficult customer behavior Here’s what we can do I understand why you I can see why Can I will find out The best option, I think

28 Resolving Problems 1.Acknowledge the problem 2.Apologize, “I’m sorry this happened” 3.Work on a solution 4.Tell customer – “ This is what I am doing to fix the problem”. 5.Follow up with customer (as promised)

29 Difficult Situations Customer calls and is loudly upset at you over water and sewer rates Customer calls and is upset because they received a different answer from someone else Customer has waited in line for 20 minutes, then it is discovered they don’t have correct information with them and will need to come back Negative-attitude people you work with

30 Consequences of problems not resolved When people have a good service experience how many people will they tell about it? When people have a bad service experience how many people will they tell about it? Reputation of you, the staff, the city

31 What customers want… F eel appreciated as a customer and respected as a person = Customer Satisfaction

32 What can you do to build customer satisfaction? Three key elements: -___________ with customer -Build/maintain their _____________ -__________ to them

33 Empathize with customer Let customer know you listened and understand their issue/situation You can empathize with their emotion You can empathize without agreeing

34 Build/maintain self-esteem Demonstrate interest Treat them with respect Use customers name Don’t waste their time – work effeciently Be friendly and courteous Thank them

35 Listening If we listen, demonstrates we are interested in their issue/problem First step in resolving their problem

36 Your office service ‘team’ All staff need to buy-in to providing good customer service. Must be office wide priority. Everyone needs to get on board Communicate expectations for good service Why is a good team member essential for the office to provide good service?

37 Characteristics of a great team Positive attitude Like people Commitment to providing good service Knowledge of work and city Knowledge of bigger picture

38 Keep it fresh How to keep service a top priority every day? -Regular review of customer service issues, topics, etc. Same issues come up again? -Training programs on new service techniques -Consider recognition, awards for great service

39 W hat would you like people to say about the service they get at your city hall?

40 Superior Service Culture Superior service is a priority throughout the city – from city council through all staff. Policies and procedures developed and followed on why and how to deliver good service Regular training on service and follow up on service standards


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