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I’m John Tschohl.
I’d like to talk about the service strategy for local government. I happen to live in Bloomington, Minnesota. I think it’s probably one of the most customer service driven cities in the world. If you want to improve the customer experience, if you want to build a brand, you want to create a city where you don’t have complaints, where you’ve got speed, where you treat everybody like a king or a queen, that’s what I call the customer experience.
I’ll just give you a quick example. This has happened only yesterday. I had a water bill that was totally, in my opinion, way too high. I called the city and they wanted me to do a water meeting inside the house which I did. I did and they said, “We’re going to send somebody out. He can meet you there at 2:15.” He came out to the house, he went through all the different things. He said, “You got some water flowing in some of the toilets.” He adjusted one of them. The person buying my house said he’ll handle the other 3. This guy was a 10. I got a picture of this guy, his name is Brent. I’m totally turned on. This is what I call a great customer experience. They’ve got speed. They go out of their way to take care of the customer.
In your local government, we got to get everybody to understand that they’re business is customer service. You have customers. I don’t call them tax payers. Tax payer’s a sterile word. These are customers, okay. There’s several elements in terms of how do we drive this customer experience. Number 1, what can we change to make it easier for people to do business with your local government? Number 2, how do we create speed? How do we do everything faster, quicker than we’ve ever done it before? 3, how do we make empowered decision?
That could be another example with the city of Bloomington. In April they always have this pick up where they take all of your trash. You put everything out in front of your house and they have trucks that come by and pick it up. I had this gigantic pile of wood from this new house I bought, and I mean it was really big. They didn’t pick it up. I called the city and they said, “Well, you didn’t have it bundled,” and they said some other stuff. “However, we’re going to go out and we’re going to pick it up.” They just went out and picked it up with the city. Didn’t even use the other company. Everything has got great customer service.
We have to educate and train everybody so they understand the element of customer service, so that doesn’t matter who it is that you’re talking to, they understand their single job is to deliver a great customer experience. If you can do that with your local government, you can eliminate customer complaints dramatically. You can significantly improve the customer experience, and you can build a local government that tends to be customer driven.