Are You Customer Service Driven?-An Overview

A large part of the pervasiveness that is reflected in government or the public sector involves the area of code enforcement regulation or the regulatory environment. All aspects of public sector operations and functions affect the lives of citizens, homeowners, and business owners, however, functions that include the enforcement of regulations, such as rules, laws, and ordinances present one of the greatest possibilities for receiving resistance and hostility from the public. Although, from the onset, this hostility may be due to a direct resentment towards being regulated by the government, there is often a component of misunderstanding, lack of knowledge of purpose or support of certain regulations. It is also evident that managing the quality of any code enforcement or regulatory function is detrimental as citizens often perceive that regulations seem to steadily increase while there is no clear endpoint in sight. Without the proper facilitation, education, and continuous improvement of the enforcement of regulations, apprehension on the part of the community is quite common, especially when regulating areas that are perceived as private.Do you want to learn more? Visit this post.

Whether it is a law for swimming pools that require additional safety barriers and warning devices for child safety or an ordinance that controls a landlords use of a single-family rental property, these types of regulations add, on top of personal responsibility, a legal responsibility with possible penalties ranging from embarrassment, humiliation to civil monetary fines and even in some rare cases, criminal or some other type of loss. For those of us whose jobs it is to ensure safety, health and general welfare of the public, laws are successfully adopted and followed, we need citizen cooperation and voter confidence to ensure that necessary laws are successfully adopted and purposefully supported.

One way to garner support is through increasing the public confidence in the enforcement of regulations by consistently improving the performance of code enforcement programs. Whenever there is a focus placed upon improving the performance of a public sector agency, quality and customer service are two of the main attributes sought towards achieving this goal. Given that code enforcement agencies are often inadequately staffed to handle the expectations of citizens and often lack the tools to sufficiently respond to concerns and increasing demands, it is essential to seek ways to improve the quality of the code enforcement unit in order to reduce the occurrences of poor enforcement activities. Customer satisfaction should be the primary goal and ultimate measurement of the quality of a service. Too much emphasis placed on employees focusing on their individual productivity or performance appraisal, while contributing to the team by default, will not have as much impact as employees who are mission-driven, quality-focused, results-oriented and customer-responsive. An employee who has a higher productivity rate who performs inconsequential inspections, will not be as effective as an employee who takes on more cases that are seen as significant and meaningful to the community.

While productivity is an important and fundamental measure that is used to judge the performance of a program, emphasis and efforts need to be placed on the effectiveness of your program in meeting the needs of the public and all those who require and value the service. The following points will help in improving the quality and customer service of your program if integrated properly into your program:Utilize meaningful surveys to gather concerns of the public and areas where more attention is needed. Empower employees to be responsive to the needs of the public and not overlook communication that is received from citizens. Communicate with staff to solicit concerns that they have received from the public to refocus attention where necessary. Hold workshops with administration, your legal counsel, community members and politicians either together or separately to provide updates on survey results and activities that are performed by staff on a regular basis.

Develop and emphasize the mission of your program and provide each employee with clear objectives and personal goals for themselves in order to achieve the programs mission. Re-emphasize that employees are public servants and that we all do work for the citizenry and educate staff on the political system in your jurisdiction and how the main government functions are intertwined.Make process improvement and job knowledge a part of the individual performance evaluation process so that continuous process improvement and ongoing education and in-depth ordinance knowledge is expected from staff and supported by management. Promote a team approach towards addressing issues, open and honest communication, and stress the teams’ success while reducing cliques or lack of harmony between staff. Provide leadership integrated with other management styles so you do not have just one without the other. Finally, implore that employees at all levels be respectful of each other and the public and reiterate often what this means.

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