Over eighteen million Americans are employed in public sector jobs with federal, state, city and county organizations, and they affect the lives of every person in the nation. They deliver or support public services such as law enforcement, social security, health care, parks and recreation, planning, mail delivery, licensing and related social and business services.
Vast numbers of these employees occupy frontline positions, in direct contact with the public. These frontline service providers have the power to create an image—good or bad—of public agencies and the people who work for them. Increasingly, citizen contact with public organizations leads to the perception that agencies are too big, impersonal, and bureaucratic. "They are not responsive to my needs—they don't work." Moreover, increasing numbers of taxpayers, who as customers bear the cost of government, complain they are not receiving value for their tax dollars, and that government costs too much.
Recent moves to reinvent or restructure government are fueled by these perceptions. Elected, appointed and career officials are responding by trying to make government agencies smaller, more efficient and more effective in the manner in which they deliver their services.
Recent experiences have shown that before agencies reorganize, downsize or otherwise attempt to streamline their organizations, they would be well served by examining both the nature and the delivery of their public service.
The public sector (as with the private sector) is widely judged on the perceptions created by its frontline interactions with the public—its customers. To succeed, the public sector must become 'world class' at frontline service.
Riveting an organization's attention on its customers, their values and judgments about what works and doesn't work puts successful organizations in position to be rewarded by their customers. More customer-based value and satisfaction directly relates to public support—the real 'bottom line.'
A reputation for excellence in satisfying customers enables an organization to improve overall mission accomplishment. Products and training for organizations wanting to improve their customer service performance programs are available from OQA.
Frontline Service presents a strategy and skills framework for use by the employees who deal face-to-face with both external and internal customers. This will help employees make the most of day-to-day situations, including recovering from potentially damaging situations and actively contributing to the mission of your organization, its reputation and ability to compete for public support.
Service Leadership is designed for leaders, managers, supervisors, team leaders or anyone who is responsible for others in delivering superior service. This program will challenge mindsets about yourself, your co-workers, your organization, your customers and the way you do business. Outcomes will be new ideas, and positive strategies for achieving and sustaining world-class public sector service.
Organizational Quality Associates has developed these two powerful solutions to the overwhelming problem of quality of customer service in the public sector. OQA can present, customize, or build on these programs for the individual needs of client organizations.
We have brought to bear our years of diverse public service experience and our management and leadership skills in developing effective solutions to the issue of customer service.