Good customer service from Georgia state employees

Good customer service from Georgia state employees



Looks like the state employees and Governor Perdue of Georgia have made a
big difference in customer service. This story isn't getting out, and it
should, it's really impressive. I'll try to tell their story.

Several years ago, like in many companies, they found that many employees
were cynical, beat down by the system and didn't seem to care (because no
one cared about their opinion or what they were doing). I hear now that
Georgia state employees are very engaged, and PROUD of what they're

What they've learned and accomplished are a really big deal, so here's
what's worked for them, and might work for any large organization, from their perspective:

– one VISION & and a BOLD GOAL: all agencies have committed to providing
the Best service of any state. We're all aligned around three
strategies which are understood by all employees:

– speeding up service delivery (without spending money)
– simplifying access to employees and programs (professional
management of call centers – and soon, web sites) and
– creating a culture where employees are consistently: Helpful,
Courteous, Accessible, Responsive and Knowledgeable
– we call this being Faster.Friendlier.Easier. It starts with all
employees being on the same page.

– we do not find fault or look to place blame. We're merely focused on
driving improvements. This is very important to creating an atmosphere
of TRUST and Team work.

– we measure and "keep score" reporting on where we stand. This is done
in two areas: customer service satisfaction and employee job
satisfaction. We have strong improvements (statistically valid) in both

– we guide and partner with 165 change agents in our 70 executive branch
agencies: 50 customer service (CS) champions, 32 call center manager
and people responsible for process improvement (RPI) and folks who's job
is to implement our customer service training program. This is a very
powerful "grass roots" network that's Accountable for results.

– we speed up processes using the principles of Lean Management with Rapid
Process Improvements (RPI). This mirrors the way Toyota runs their
business. Our office does not "fix" agency problems. We train agency
employees to do this themselves. We require that their solutions do not
cost money. The results, some of which I've attached have been
dramatic. We're asking our own employees (not consultants) what's
broken. Manangement sets down any ground rules and then supports
employees making Immediate changes (not waiting for some "review
process"). Employees know what needs to be done. Historically, their
opinion was never solicited or if asked, not acted on. Therefore, many
government employees have "given up" trying to go the extra mile, since
no one (in management) cared. This culture results in, what I call, a
"risk averse" workforce ….. innovation is not appreciated and
sometimes punished.

If you want to hear more, contact Joe Doyle,




Craig, thanks for your consistent championing of this cause. Nothing can change the cynical attitude of so many who "hate government" than to have a good experience every time they have to deal with a government agency, especially if they know that the service they receive is being provided in the most efficient manner possible.

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