Public Service is Customer Service

by Erica Roberts on December 4, 2013 · 3 comments

Editor’s note: The Labor Department’s Customer Service Program Office was created in November 2012.  We asked the program manager, who has been in that position since July 2013, to introduce herself and share a little bit about customer service within the department.

A poster with the text: public service is customer serviceThis week, the Department of Labor celebrates Customer Service Week. As the relatively new program manager for the department’s Customer Service Program Office, I’m inspired by the department’s vision to ensure a culture and practice of customer service, which is consistent with government-wide efforts to fulfill President Obama’s 2011 executive order on improving customer service. Every day, my colleagues and I work to serve the public – our customers – because we believe in the mission of the Labor Department. For us, public service is customer service.

I am motivated daily by the awesome accounts of excellent customer service provided by Labor Department employees. I’ve personally witnessed many in action, from Wage and Hour Division investigators going the extra mile to ensure workers received back wages they are owed, to hardworking support staff making every effort to respond to correspondence in a timely fashion, to the analysts and IT teams plugging away behind the scenes to implement and troubleshoot new technologies that will make it easier for the public to find the resources they need.

And while I understand that we are not always able to satisfy our customers’ expectations – whether due to laws, regulations or policies – I am encouraged by the efforts I see within the department to dig deeper and ensure that we give all of our customers the service and experience they deserve. As we move closer to our “no wrong door” vision – in which customers receive the information they need regardless of their preferred communication channel – I am confident that we will continue to deliver on our mission.

Customer Service Week is an opportunity to celebrate our successes, but also to renew our commitment to improving our service. Over the next several months, my office will reach out to Labor Department employees, the public and other stakeholders to collect feedback, identify opportunities for improvement and highlight success stories. I look forward to helping guide our customer service efforts and work with employees to ensure that we provide accurate, courteous, effective and efficient service.

Erica Roberts is the program manager of the department’s Customer Service Program Office.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steve Gallison December 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Customer Services Everyday is something we should all strive for in delivering services to the citizens of America. The highest calling a person can have is to serve the needs of our fellow man.

Each day and each decision I make in my professional life is based on how well does this decision serve to enhance the customers lives that I serve. As a member of the workforce development profession I am acutely aware of the needs of those we serve who are in the need of employment and assistance bridging this very painful time frame so that those I serve can live a somewhat satisfying life during a period of difficult transition where they are struggling. My job and heart’s goal is to be a resource to them and “care” about their needs.
During this week I urge each and every member of government to think and reflect about how important it is to serve our fellow Americans. Make sure our minds and hearts are directed to caring and helping those we serve. We are blessed to be called to the highest profession of providing services to our fellow Americans. God Bless America!

2 Robi Hilliard Herron December 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I want to applaud Erica Roberts’ efforts to make a difference in the lives of those her departments serve, and those in the department themselves. Imagine what this state would be like if every department in the State of Georgia, including all elected and appointed pubic officials, adopted a vision for: “Public Service is Customer Service in Georgia – No Wrong Door for 2014?”

Whether we deal with the public or each other, we must strive to treat EVERYONE with RESPECT, PATIENCE, and ATTENTION TO DETAIL, endeavoring to provide them with the information they need. Even if their concern is not resolved, consistently providing ACCURATE INFORMATION in a RESPECTFUL manner EMPOWERS the hearer – consequently an EMPOWERED GEORGIA!

3 Ozols March 5, 2014 at 4:00 am

Not enough attention is paid to the fact that in order to have great customer service, you must have great management that is willing to coach and develop people. A happy, well-trained staff will always beat out a demoralized staff when it comes to giving great customer service.

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