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2007 Innovations Awards Program

APPLICATION
ID # (assigned by CSG): 07- S-44GACUSTOMERSERVICE

State: Georgia

Program Category: Government Operations, Administration


  1. Program Name

Faster, Friendlier, Easier Service to Georgians – The Governor's Customer Service Initiative




  1. Administering Agency

Administered by the Governor’s Office of Customer Service




  1. Contact (Name and Title)

Joseph Doyle, Director




  1. Address

The Governor’s Office of Customer Service

2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive

Suite 356 East Floyd Tower

Atlanta, Georgia 30334


  1. Telephone Number

404-656-1760




  1. FAX Number

404-463-8683




  1. E-mail Address


Joe.Doyle@oca.state.ga.us


  1. Web Site Address

At this time, the program is focused on state agencies and state employees. All Georgia government workers have access to a state intranet site, the "Team Georgia Connection." The site includes a special section devoted to "Customer Service." Here, employees can learn about the initiative, read news and successes, share their own success stories, and download communication and marketing materials.


To access this site as a "guest" user, go to http://team.georgia.gov. Please use the following login credentials:

  • E-mail address: success@ocs.ga.gov

  • Password: customer

Once you access the home page, click on the "Customer Service" tab at the top of the page to visit the "Customer Service" section.


**Screenshots from this web site are included in the appendix. Please see Exhibit 1.


  1. Please provide a two-sentence description of the program.

The Governor's Customer Service Initiative is a unique effort to engage all state of Georgia employees in improving service to citizens through a three-pronged strategy to become faster (speeding up services); friendlier (developing a customer-focused culture); and easier (adopting an enterprise approach to managing call centers). This program encompasses a statewide communications strategy; uniform customer and employee job satisfaction surveying; customer service focused pre-employment screening, orientation, training and performance measurement; and creation of a central point of access for state services by telephone and the internet.




  1. How long has this program been operational (month and year)? Note: the program must be between 9 months and 5 years old on April 2, 2007, to be considered.

The Governor’s Office of Customer Service (OCS) was established in January 2006 to implement this program.




  1. Why was the program created? What problem[s] or issue[s] was it designed to address?

Upon election in 2002, Governor Sonny Perdue set the goal for Georgia to become the best managed state in the nation. He established the Commission for a New Georgia to engage a public/private partnership in achieving that goal. Among the findings was the need to elevate the level of customer service Georgians experience when dealing with state government.


Faster, Friendlier, Easier Service to Georgians – The Governor's Customer Service Initiative is a response to some common negative perceptions about government:


  • Government is too slow; it takes too long to get anything done.

  • Employees often are not helpful.

  • Government is confusing; it is difficult to figure out who to contact for service.

And, because citizens tend to view all agencies collectively as “state government,” the program had to involve every state agency.


Supporting these general impressions is hard data, gathered in 2005, that the hold time in the state’s 27 call centers (handling about 10 million calls a year) ranged from a few seconds to 56 minutes; that about 1.5 million calls to the state were never answered; and that almost one million calls were sent to the wrong place.
The Governor’s Office of Customer Service (OCS) was created to guide all state agencies through a change process. Rather than doing it for them, the goal is to provide tools and techniques to empower agencies to create and sustain a long-term transformation in how state government serves Georgians.


  1. Describe the specific activities and operations of the program in chronological order.




Chronology

Events and Milestones


Calendar Year 2005

Initial research conducted by the Governor’s Customer Service Task Force. Gathered data about citizen contacts with government and developed a business plan for improving customer service. Involved a dozen agency heads and was staffed by loaned employees from eight state agencies and the University System.

July 2005

"Rapid Process Improvement" approach first tested in Department of Driver Services. Using principles from Lean and Six Sigma process methodologies, Rapid Process Improvement singles out a specific, fixable process to streamline and involves teams of frontline staff and managers.


  • Early success: Typical waits of 1 to 2 hours were virtually eliminated at Driver Services' Customer Service Centers, where citizens go to take driving tests, get licenses, etc. Average time to be served is now just over 6 minutes. Online services were also added, including license renewals, address changes, lost license replacements, and driver history reports.




October 2005

Customer Service Task Force findings and recommendations approved by the Governor and the Commission for a New Georgia.








January 2006

Executive Order creating the Governor's Office of Customer Service signed on January 25.
Governor Perdue convened a three-day Customer Service Summit, bringing together Commissioners of 42 executive branch agencies that employ more than 90% of the state government’s workforce.


February 2006

Call Center Solutions Team formed with representatives from the state’s 27 call centers. The group works together to establish common goals and objectives, review industry standards, and recommend call center performance standards in technology, processes, and metrics for state call centers.


March 2006

Customer Service "Champions" appointed within executive agencies. The Champion's role is to develop an agency-specific Customer Service Improvement Plan for State Fiscal Year 2007 (July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007). These strategic plans focus on programs with high external customer contact.
Monthly Customer Service newsletter launched to promote the program, agency successes, individual successes, and best practices.
**Sample newsletters are included in the appendix. Please see Exhibit 2.


April 2006

Call Center Improvement approach piloted at Department of Driver Services. Analyzed and made recommendations about systems, technology, and training.


  • Early success: The Call Center Improvement team empowered call center frontline staff and supervisors by directly involving them in making recommendations about every aspect of call center customer service.


University Champions named. The University System of Georgia – with 35 campuses and 44,000 employees – expanded its participation in the initiative by designating Champions and creating individual Customer Service Improvement Plans at each campus.


May 2006

Attributes of customer service identified. Agency Customer Service Champions agreed upon statewide, common commitments to human interaction events with customers. All employees are committed to being: Courteous, Helpful, Accessible, Responsive, and Knowledgeable.


Key Performance Indicators established in state call centers. These standards will be measured and reported monthly. Goals reflecting industry standards for governmental agencies were set for Georgia.





June 2006

Agency Customer Service Improvement Plans signed by Commissioners and delivered to Governor Perdue’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
Qualified vendors selected for pre-employment screening tool for use in hiring individuals with aptitude for customer service.


July 2006

Formal statewide "kick-off" event hosted. Governor Perdue reconvened all agency heads and leadership teams, in addition to selected customer-facing employees. This event was webcast to all employees through the state’s intranet.
Implementation phase branded as “Team Georgia. Ready To Serve.” This message was communicated to all employees on more than 250 banners and 4,000 posters on display throughout the state.
**Sample promotional materials are included in the appendix. Please see Exhibit 3.


August-September 2006

Local "kick-off" meetings conducted in state agencies. Champions present Customer Service Initiative to employees to generate excitement and participation.


October 2006

Four "standards of service" adopted by all state agencies to guide employee behavior for a consistent customer experience:

  • GREET your customers promptly and courteously.

  • LISTEN and verify your understanding of the customer’s needs.

  • HELP customers with your answers and actions.

  • HONOR your commitments in a timely manner.


**Sample promotional materials are included in the appendix. Please see Exhibit 3.
"Rapid Process Improvement" approach applied in the Office of Child Support Services, one of the largest programs within the Department of Human Resources, in partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology's Enterprise Innovation Institute.


  • Early success: Child Support managers and frontline staff identified and recommended a solution to reduce parents' wait times for preparing child support orders for court from more than four months to same-day service. The Office is also piloting solutions to reduce the time to locate and validate addresses for non-custodial parents and to prevent/reduce late payments through an "early intervention" strategy.


Governor's video message e-mailed to all state employees. This was part of a strategy to communicate directly to state employees. The e-mail came from Governor Perdue, directing employees to a video message about the Customer Service Initiative, with a link to the state intranet customer service section.


  • Early success: 42% of employees opened the e-mail and 33% clicked through to view the video. These percentages are notably higher than average for e-mail communication campaigns.




November 2006

Second Call Center Improvement study launched at Division of Family & Children Services, another major program of the Department of Human Resources. Objectives are to observe the current call center environment and identify options for improvement in process, environment, and technology.


  • Early success: Changing the focus from an "office" environment to a "call center" environment resulted in significant service improvements for customers of the Division of Family & Children Services. Within six months: hold times decreased by 87%; the number of calls answered increased from 60% to 90%; and 87,000+ more clients were served on average.


Customer Satisfaction Survey tool and process piloted among four agencies. Tool provides common questions and shared metrics for gauging service quality and customer satisfaction. Project conducted in partnership with research faculty at Georgia State University.


December 2006

Employee Job Satisfaction Survey tested by employees of five agencies. The goal is a statewide measure of job satisfaction across programs and regions.











January 2007

Phase I of data collection for knowledge base completed. Process of validating the data extends over the next several months. The knowledge base is an encyclopedia of all state services linked to telephone numbers and includes key words and frequently asked questions. The knowledge base is to become the core of a General Information Call Center, which will provide access to services through a single telephone number and a single web site.
First comparison data for the state’s 27 call centers available for a full calendar year. Progress is seen in key performance indicators for “speed to answer” and “calls not answered.”


  • Early success: State call centers reduced their average speed to answer from 4 minutes, 42 seconds, to 1 minute, 39 seconds, after implementing new industry best practices from January to December 2006. Average calls not answered reduced from 17% to 11%.


**A "dashboard" view of call center improvement results is included in the appendix. Please see Exhibit 4.


February 2007

Call Center Improvement and Process Improvement efforts launched in the Taxpayer Services Unit of the Department of Revenue. Call Center Improvement Team and Process Improvement Team work jointly to improve service.


March 2007

Agency Customer Service Champions group expanded in a second phase to reach some of the employees working in agencies headed by elected officials, other than the Governor.


  • Early success: Five agencies—two headed by elected officials—accept the Governor's invitation to join the Customer Service Initiative.




April 2007

Procurement to be completed for a statewide outsourced, Multi-Channel Contact Center (MCCC) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for all call handling within the state of Georgia. The advantages of this solution include reduced costs-per-call, increased efficiency, and increased quality assurance in the state’s call centers. It also offers an opportunity to consolidate technology across agencies, making centralized information and uniform data collection possible.
Call Center Improvement and Process Improvement Teams to swap divisions within the Department of Human Resources, so that the Office of Child Support Services and the Division of Family & Children Services have an opportunity to apply both approaches within their programs. Each program has also participated in the Customer Satisfaction Survey process.
Training in the use of Customer Satisfaction and Employee Job Satisfaction scores to be conducted for the agencies participating in piloting of the survey tools.


May 2007

Customer Service Training modules to be launched. “The Art of Exceptional Customer Service” is a common customer service training series available to all agencies for employee training. It was developed with the Department of Technical and Adult Education and piloted in April. "Train-the-trainer" program will also be conducted within each agency, many of which have their own training staff and programs.





  1. Why is the program a new and creative approach or method?

The Governor's Customer Service Initiative encompasses all state services and fosters a culture change throughout state government. The initiative sets a new direction and system-wide expectations for employees of the executive branch. Agencies have never before been expected to view themselves as a single entity: “Team Georgia.” The unified approach is evident in: a) focus on the customer’s point of view; b) consistent performance measures; c) standard messages to employees; and d) the centralized point of contact for all state services whether by phone, fax, email, or the internet.


Uniting state agencies as one "Team Georgia"

  • Direct and continuous personal involvement of Governor Sonny Perdue

Team Georgia engages agencies with 110,000 employees and 750 different services. Participation includes 47 state agencies and 35 campuses of the University System of Georgia. The Office of Customer Service serves as a resource; provides tools and techniques; and sets statewide goals that agencies meet in their own ways. This is monitored through the annual Customer Service Improvement Plans that each agency submits to the Governor. Each plan begins by looking at services from the citizen’s point of view.


Agency and employee involvement: thinking globally, acting locally

  • Strong “buy-in” from both agency heads and frontline employees

The point of synergy for this program is the Agency Customer Service Champion, who is appointed by the agency head and is responsible for developing and implementing an annual Customer Service Improvement Plan. These plans are built on a uniform template and share common elements. The expectations for service are identical, whether a program involves education and human services or law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Large agencies with regional locations and small single-function offices share the same goals, values, and commitments to customers. The Champions meet regularly and work in teams to help create tools and approaches all can use.


Statewide communications and training: presenting "the big picture"

  • Unified communications effort to reach all employees, no matter their job title or agency responsibility

Employees comprise a single group sharing the goal of having the best customer service of any state in the nation. A section of the Team Georgia Connection, the state’s intranet, is dedicated to customer service and a monthly newsletter focuses on recognizing customer service success. In addition, the Governor has sent two e-mails with videotaped messages directly to all state employees. The Office of Customer Service has designed and distributed collateral materials, including banners, posters, table tents, and coasters, to support various messages,.


Customer and employee satisfaction surveys: a common measure for success

  • Common customer expectations measured across programs based on common values and metrics

These performance expectations are to be reflected in a statewide dashboard to monitor state services. The single unified Team Georgia approach is reflected in the direct participation by representatives of a variety of agencies with the Office of Customer Service in the development, review and testing of tools before they are offered statewide. These tools include the Pre-employment Screening for Customer Service employees; the Georgia Service Quality Index (customer satisfaction survey); the employee job satisfaction survey; and the 6-module customer service training program.


Rapid Process Improvement: quick results customers can see

  • Processes that directly impact citizen services selected for the improvement process

Government has frequently attempted to apply business process and tools to its service environment—with limited success. This program is different because the approach to streamlining processes has adapted Lean management practices to public services. Applying an industrial “rapid process improvement” (guided by engineers from the Georgia Institute of Technology) has allowed programs with complex or lengthy processes to empower teams of employees and managers who focus on separate processes that can show significant improvement in a short amount of time – weeks, not years.

Process Improvement Teams and Call Center Improvement Teams are testing working jointly in the same program.
866-411-PEACH: one number to reach Georgia government


  • Creation of a General Information Center or Contact Center, which will improve citizen access whether by telephone, fax, email or via the internet

The existing Directory Assistance operation for the state of Georgia will be transformed into a central point of access for state government services, with a single toll free telephone number (866-411-PEACH) when it becomes operational in January 2008. This is the place to go for citizens who do not know how to reach a service. A special feature is the “warm transfer,” which ensures that people talk to people. This is critical because research has shown that 47% of Georgia citizens prefer to access government services by telephone. (Peach State Poll, conducted by University of Georgia, August 2005-March 2006)


Technology will bring this operation up to the standards for private call centers. This technology will be made available to all state agencies to provide more modern, less costly, more scalable and compatible solutions to replace the current array of diverse systems used throughout the state. Such common telephone technology permits eventual consolidation of the state’s call centers, assistance to each other during peak seasons, and disaster recovery options. It will also allow the state to expand its work-away program.
Public self-service: user-friendly access to state "KnowledgeBase"

  • Development of first-ever database or encyclopedia of state services

The "KnowledgeBase" supports the General Information Center or Contact Center. After validation and testing, it will ultimately be available online to the public for self-service. As a single site, it will not require a citizen to visit several different agency sites or even know what agency or department offers a particular service in order to access it.


Work-away program: technology supports virtual call center

The technology for a statewide outsourced, Multi-Channel Contact Center (MCCC) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for all call handling will support remote workers, expanding employment opportunities. Already, DHR’s Office of Child Support Services has offered a work-away program for its 70 call center employees. Implemented in April 2006 with a few agents, the call center now has over 87% of its agents working from home.




  1. What were the program’s start-up costs? (Provide details about specific purchases for this program, staffing needs and other financial expenditures, as well as existing materials, technology and staff already in place.)

The start-up budget for FY06 was $ 1.1 million.


The director, deputy director and communications director of the Office of Customer Service were loaned by other agencies, as were four other staff members. A customer service expert from private industry, the Georgia Power Company, was on loan for the first year. Two call center experts from private industry were hired, and the services of a financial analyst, a data analyst and a systems analyst were gained through contract as was administrative support. Agencies support their own customer service champions.

Space was provided by another agency; computer equipment was purchased for the staff.




  1. What are the program’s annual operational costs?

The Office of Customer Service budget for FY07 is $ 3 million.



  • to speed up processes $ 190,000

  • tools and support to create the culture 790,000

  • to improve call handling on an enterprise-wide basis 2,020,000




  1. How is the program funded?

The program is funded through annual appropriation by the Georgia General Assembly.




  1. Did this program require the passage of legislation, executive order or regulations? If YES, please indicate the citation number.

Yes. The Governor’s Office of Customer Service was created by Executive Order number 01 25 06 01 issued on January 25, 2006.




  1. What equipment, technology and software are used to operate and administer this program?


State employee intranet:

All Georgia government workers have access to a state intranet site, the "Team Georgia Connection." The site includes a special section devoted to "Customer Service." Here, employees can learn about the initiative, read news and successes, share their own success stories, and download communication and marketing materials.


General Information Center infrastructure:

This technology includes:

Multi-Channel Contact Center (MCCC)


  • ACD, Web Chat, E-mail, Recorded Monitoring, Random Announcement, Interactive Voice Response,  Automated Attendant, Remote Work, and Administrative Tools

Contact Relationship Management (CRM)



  • Request Tracking, Historical Reporting, Analytical Reporting,  Knowledge Base, Identify First Call Resolution, Workflow Management, Efficient Work Processes, and Scripting Tools

Knowledge Base:



  • Oracle database accessed via the Contact Relationship Management (CRM) Tool




  1. To the best of your knowledge, did this program originate in your state? If YES, please indicate the innovator's name, present address, telephone number and e-mail address.

Yes. The Governor’s Office is unaware of any state undertaking an initiative of this scope, involving not just technology, but also people and processes.



Innovator: Governor Sonny Perdue

Georgia State Capitol

Atlanta, Georgia 30334


  1. Are you aware of similar programs in other states? If YES, which ones and how does this program differ?

No. We are not aware of similar programs in other states.




  1. Has the program been fully implemented? If NO, what actions remain to be taken?

The long-range goal of the Governor's Customer Service Initiative is to institutionalize all of the activities launched to date so that continuously improving customer service becomes the way we do business in Georgia.


Because much of the initial work has involved validating approaches through pilot efforts in agencies and because comparable baseline data did not always exist across programs, full implementation will be accomplished over a multi-year time frame. Each major initiative—call center improvement, rapid process improvement, customer and employee satisfaction surveying, and customer service training—will be expanded until it encompasses the entire state.

The schedule below shows both short and long-term actions.


Action: Rapid Process Improvement (Faster)


Target Dates

Process Improvement Team to work in four key state organizations each year to speed up service delivery. This will continue for at least the next four years.

Fiscal Year 2008

Long-term


Measurement and reporting on process time for the state’s key programs to continue.


Continuous

Action: Change in Customer Service Culture (Friendlier)





Agencies to submit Customer Service Improvement Plans for FY08.


June 2007

New Employee Orientation program to set expectations for customer service by newly hired state employees.


December 2007

Use of customer satisfaction survey tool and process (Georgia Service Quality Index) to expand to all agencies.
Report to be developed of overall customer satisfaction scores statewide.



May 2008

Use of employee job satisfaction survey tool and process to expand to all agencies.
Statewide report card to be developed for agencies to report employee satisfaction scores.


May 2008

“The Art of Exceptional Customer Service” training program to begin statewide implementation.
State to continue employee focus on the five core attributes for excellent customer service (courteous, helpful, accessible, responsive, and knowledgeable).



July 2007
Continuous

Employee performance management guides to be developed based on the attributes for excellent customer service.


December 2008

Employee performance management system to be implemented in all agencies for periodic evaluations of employees.


Continuous

Action: Telephone Call Handling (Easier)





Call Center Improvement Team to work in four key state organizations to recommend systems for technology and training. This will continue for at least the next four years.


Fiscal Year 08

Long-term

Work toward goal for all call handling operations to perform to industry standards for service and cost.


Continuous

New call handling systems and technology to be installed in four major state call centers. This technology will be available to all other agencies and supports a remote worker program.


May 2007

Key Performance Indicator Report to continue monthly, with addition of data for cost-per-call.


June 2007

Database of state services linked to telephone numbers to open to state agencies.

State’s knowledge base to be available online to the public.




June 2007

January 2008

General Information Call Center, a central point of contact for access to state government services, to undergo "soft launch." This will involve testing the “warm transfer” of calls to pilot agencies.


July 2007

General Information Call Center to be fully operational. Technology permits a seamless remote worker program.
Marketing campaign for the General Information Call Center to begin.


December 2007



  1. Briefly evaluate (pro and con) the program’s effectiveness in addressing the defined problem[s] or issue[s]. Provide tangible examples.


PROS:
The response by agency heads and state employees has been overwhelmingly positive. The OCS staff is receiving more requests for technical assistance by the Call Center Improvement and Continuous Improvement Teams than can be met. Agency Customer Service Champions are cooperating across agencies and programs; for example, they are exchanging ideas for training and sharing speakers. Agency Improvement Plans for the first year have been implemented.
**The Atlanta Journal-Constitution featured a favorable opinion-editorial article about the Governor's Customer Service Initiative. Please see exhibit 4.

Below are a few examples of results from the Governor's Customer Service Initiative.
Faster – Improvement in the state’s 27 call centers:


IMPROVING OUR 27 CALL CENTERS


Measure


January 2006

December 2006

Industry Standard

Speed to answer (min:sec)


4:42

1:39

0:37

Calls not answered


17%

11%

7.5%




  • Time on hold reduced 65%, saving constituents 3 minutes per call

  • Abandonment rates down; 500,000 more constituent calls answered

  • Accomplished with the same staff and same money







  • The Call Center Solutions Team has brought together managers who had never met before, much less shared experience and expertise. In partnership with the state’s human resources agency, a new series of job descriptions for customer service representatives was developed. The series provides a career track and is available for use in all agency call centers.


Friendlier – Standards of service


  • Four "customer service standards" for all Georgia state employees are being imbedded in agencies. A recent telephone survey to Customer Service Champions in each agency confirmed that nearly all agencies (at least 75% - all that responded) have successfully implemented the customer service standards in their internal communication and training programs, starting with the first standard, "GREET your customer promptly and courteously." Agencies are either implementing standard "greeting scripts" or educating staff about general guidelines for prompt and courteous greetings.




  • Customer satisfaction surveys are measuring the quality of customer experiences and levels of satisfaction. Piloted in four different programs, the result is a customer satisfaction score that has been validated by research faculty at Georgia State University. Baseline data have been collected; by next year, improvements to citizens' experiences will be measured against that data.




  • Employees are being recognized for excellent customer service. A number of agencies have revised their employee recognition and reward programs to focus on customer service. A statewide employee recognition program is now in development.


Easier – Improvement in processes:


  • Department of Driver Services Customer Service Centers:




    • Average time to be served now just over six minutes; typical waits of 1 to 2 hours virtually eliminated.

    • More services available online.




  • Office of Child Support Services, Department of Human Resources:




    • Same-day service goal to prepare orders for court or settlement: Before rapid process improvement efforts, the in-house "order establishment" process took an average of 71 days to complete. A key change is to train agents on the entire process, rather than segments, so that one agent can take an application from start to finish.

    • Locating non-custodial parents more quickly using technology: The new process for locating non-custodial parents will focus on "validation," a simpler online check that the given address exists, instead of "verification," which involves waiting for the Post Office to send written address verification. In the first two weeks of piloting this process, cases delayed for parent location decreased by an average of 10 per day.

    • Early intervention, effective enforcement: Improved processes are expected to reduce child support enforcement actions by two-thirds, from 90 days to 30 days. A simple, key change is to call non-custodial parents instead of mailing letters to them. An "early intervention" process and Fatherhood Program help non-custodial parents understand expectations, find skills training and employment, and prepare to make payments on time.

These successes can be duplicated throughout state programs and call centers.


CONS:
There is no doubt that all of these approaches will ultimately be effective throughout state government services; however, this is an evolution and will require sustained long-term commitment. The process for procuring the call center systems, for example, has taken one year instead of the anticipated five months. A true culture change in employee attitude will take consistent effort; and the annual state budget cycle sometimes precludes quick adjustments in agency priorities. Nevertheless, tangible results will continue to accrue.


  1. How has the program grown and/or changed since its inception?

The program’s goals and strategic direction have not changed from the path set in January 2006.



The program has, however, grown. It has evolved from a loaned staff to a full-time professional team. As a “start-up” organization, the Office of Customer Service has had the ability to recruit and hire professionals with skill sets specific to the needs of the program.
A recent realization is the need for an intensive communication effort focused on employees who handle the state’s telephone calls before the General Information Center or 866-411-PEACH service is established. An internal communications plan is being developed prior to the launch of this service.
24. What limitations or obstacles might other states expect to encounter if they attempt to adopt this program?
The Governor's Customer Service Initiative should be regarded as a long-term and continuous effort. According to Governor Perdue, improving customer service must be “viewed as a journey, not an event.”


  • States interested in implementing this initiative should be prepared to emphasize the fact that this is not merely a “feel good” program, but involves substantive strategies and tactics. The tendency of some who have been through other “improvement” programs to sit back and wait must be redirected by a strong positioning event and high-impact communications throughout.



  • Maintaining the strong support and leadership from the Governor, his/her key advisors and senior management is vital. This must continue despite potential future changes in administration. This program must be positioned to survive a transition.



  • Success also depends on recognition that state government comprises widely varying programs, customers, and types of employees. Implementation requires some flexibility in execution to meet the needs of vastly different organizations and styles of management.




  • Frontline employees must be motivated, and middle managers must be fully engaged. Leaders of such an initiative should be prepared to counter the arguments that it cannot be done without bigger budgets or salary increases.




  • A critical issue is the sustainability of the initial enthusiasm for this project. This underscores the importance of continuing to show results in the call centers and in agency processes, and to keep the Customer Service Champions energized until these values are institutionalized and a permanent part of the culture of state government.






Faster, Friendlier, Easier Service to Georgians – The Governor's Customer Service Initiative



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