As part of the City of Philadelphia’s Customer Service Officers Program, the City’s Senior Customer Service Officers and myself, Chief Customer Service Officer, held a performance management outcomes session with Managing Director Rich Negrin, his Senior team and Department Heads to present and highlight the progress of their customer service plans.
Remarkably, this meeting was scheduled for October 9, the middle of Customer Service Week, a national celebration designated by the federal government in 1992. What better way to celebrate than to honor the City’s CSO’s and their Department Heads to explore their customer service vision for the future?
After formal introductions, the CSO’s shared their department’s customer service mission statement and vision statements which were crafted in the beginning of the program. One of my favorite vision statements came from the Office of Fleet Management. It read:
“At the Office of Fleet Management, our vision is to deliver top quality service to our customers on time, every time.”
As part of the program, CSO’s conducted focus groups for both internal and external customers before crafting their customer service plans. We discussed this feedback next. As part of this session, CSO’s were able to have candid conversations with Commissioners and leadership within the Managing Director’s Office. Driven by real customer feedback, everyone at the table was able to provide details a department’s strengths and brainstorm on opportunities for improvement.
Next on the meeting’s agenda was to discuss areas of focus and customer service metrics. This was really the bread and butter of the meeting. As customer service plans often encompass a wide variety of initiatives, implementation can be difficult in terms of long-term sustainability. That’s why I worked with the CSO’s to identify one realistic but impactful area of focus for the first year of their plans. Once year one had passed (and the area of focus had seen progress) CSO’s could move on to a second area of focus to ensure the improvements to their department’s customer service would stick around for a long time. While identifying their area of focus, CSO’s also identified their customer service metrics by which their department’s performance would be measured on a regular basis. These metrics would ultimately drive the customer service plans forward.
At the end of the one-hour meeting, I was proud of the CSO’s and the progress they made over the past several months under the training program that I created for the team.
It was also a perfect way to celebrate Customer Service Week—by discussing the tangible plans our City has to improve its service delivery. I’ll keep you in the loop as these plans unfold!
Rosetta Carrington Lue is the Chief Customer Service Officer and Senior Advisor to the City of Philadelphia’s Managing Director. Follow Rosetta on Twitter @Rosettalue or visit her blog at www.rosettacarringtonlue.com