The above video is a clip from our upcoming episode of The Philly311 Show featuring PhillyRising’s East Division Coordinator, Joandelis Marquez. PhillyRising is a program within the Philadelphia City government that targets neighborhoods plagued by chronic crime and quality of life concerns, and establishes partnerships with community members to address thoseissues. Joandelis and I had a great time discussing the innovative community engagement strategies she uses to connect with and serve her “customers.”
Community engagement is customer service–it’s just more targeted and personal. Often times, it’s more effective too. Some organizations view community engagement efforts as optional or philanthropic extensions of customer service. In actuality, community engagement should be mandatory because of the level of service these efforts provide. Through community engagement efforts, your organization is able to provide the most personal customer care possible. You’re also able to engage your customers by building human relationships.
Building personal relationships goes farther than you think. Not only do they humanize your organization or brand (making it easier to connect with customers) but they also lend valuable insight into your customer’s wants and needs. While surveys and customer data can be effective representations of of customer sentiment, through community engagement efforts you can literally hear what your customers are saying. Often in a more natural setting than a phone or self-service customer satisfaction survey, customers are able to voice their honest feedback in their own way, in person, on their own turf. Even if your community engagement efforts are small, this valuable feedback could benefit all of your customers.
How are you engaging the community?
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