One of the industries where we do a lot of our work is local government. These CSS clients are not necessarily selling a product or having the number of competitors that a lot of our private industry clients and our sports clients face. But they need to deliver a great customer experience. They need to excel at customer service. They need to have core values that everybody can live.
The core values of a local government entity can often tie-in really nicely with any type of business. Think about these example core values and how they can apply to your organization:
Trustworthy. Can your customers trust what you’re saying? Have the expectations you’ve set in the past been met by reality? Or have the promises of sales not been able to be delivered by operations and customer service? Make sure your operations can deliver on what is promised.
Clear. Sometimes confusion can lead to complaints. Because where there’s confusion, customers and employees can more easily do something wrong or miss a step. Where there is lack of clarity, sometimes two people can have very different expectations. Are your communications clear – simple, specific, repeated, and documented?
Timely. This is a nebulous word when it comes to customer service. What one person thinks is timely may not be the same as another. So, it’s important to define timely expectations for the customer, or ask what their definition of timeliness is, and – if unrealistic – redefine that to a reasonable expectation.
Open. Since local governments are typically funded by tax dollars and fees, transparency and openness are an expectation. So, when you think about your business, is there information that is hidden from the customer because of fear of the reaction or how it might affect their decision? Has that hiding of information – or at least not sharing of information – ever come back to bite the company in the end? Make sure we’re open up front, so the customer doesn’t get the unnecessary surprise on the back end.
Learn a few lessons from our local government clients. Make sure your customer service is trustworthy, clear, timely, and open.