Would Poor Customer Service Make You Run for Office?

The article Livingston County registrar of deeds faces ‘rude’ challenge notes how a Michigan resident decided to run in an election for the Register of Deeds for Livingston County because – as part of the reason – the customer service in the department is terrible. Staff are “definitely rude,” according to the candidate.

It’s interesting to read the article because – in order to get votes – this individual is attacking the very people she would be leading. It’s also interesting that the incumbent defends herself by talking about all the process improvements she made without addressing any efforts she made to ensure that the staff themselves are customer service-oriented (i.e., to ensure they’re NOT rude).

If I tried to run for office or (for private sector companies) take over every organization that provided poor customer service, I’d be taking over a whole lot of businesses. So I’m not suggesting that what this one resident is doing is a path that must be taken, but here’s what I am suggesting.

The two candidates – in total – are correct. Customer service is about employee attitudes, processes, systems, and communications. Improving customer service is about addressing those items, but it’s also about other things.

It’s about helping the customer to help themselves. It’s about trying to determine why you get repetitive questions and determining how to reduce those questions through improved customer education. It’s about learning why you get complaints, determining root causes, and not getting those same complaints again.

Learn a little lesson from this Michigan election. Customer service is important; it could cause the incumbent their job. It could propel an outsider into a new position.

So if it’s so important, know how to manage the demand for customer service, and get into continuous improvement mode.

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

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