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Forum on Modernizing Government: Transforming Customer Service 2

Forum on Modernizing Government: Transforming Customer Service 2

Deputy Secretary Hayes:: Welcome, everybody.
My name is David Hayes. I’m the deputy secretary of the interior department.
And I’m co-chairing this session with Aneesh Chopra,
whom the president identified as the chief technology
officer for the nation. That’s pretty good.
For the nation. Aneesh Chopra.
Of course as somebody you know has had quite an interesting
history in private and public sectors and was recently,
was chief technology officer for the common wealth of Virginia.
I’m really looking forward to this session in particular,
and I want to thank all of you for being here. First let me identify a couple of the ringers
in the room besides you legitimate CEO types.
Bill COR is the deputy secretary at the Department of health and
human services. Ron Simms is the deputy secretary at housing
and urban development. Former executive of King County, in Washington
State. David Hallway is our union representative
here national associates.
>>(Inaudible).>>And we have behind us a number of the CIO’s
and technology officers from our agencies.
We are going to be listening in. I should mention the deputy secretaries at
the cabinet agencies, Bill, Ron and I, we are the chief
operating officers, the number two folks for our agencies.
So, we are very interested in learning what we can.
This is what we try to do every day, is improve our customer service and deal with
technology and it’s quite a ride.
So, we are really, really interested in getting your point of view.
Now just in terms of logistics, the plan is going to be to spend
most of the time just in open brain storming session
with you folks. You know we have a topic that I am particularly
interested in. I think — and I know that bill and Ron are
too — in terms of customer service and how technology can help,
or hinder, customer service.
And, just very quickly, interior department, you may not think of as a customer service
oriented department, but we have 400 million Americans
visiting our national parks and our public lands, every
year. We are with trust responsibilities for 2 million
American Indians. We have done a lousy job of tracking money
for them and have been in litigation with 300,000 class members
of individual Indians whose trust accounts we have not been
tracking well. Their customer were not serving well.
We have 40,000 Indians in our schools in the Department
of the Interior. And this is true for every department in the
federal government. It’s really quite remarkable how many customers
we have of different types that don’t immediately come
to mind. And if useful we can talk about that in the
hour or so we have got together.
But we are really here to learn from you all because we know
that all of us I think certainly appointed officials have been
in the private sector. So we come to the government knowing we can
learn from the private sector and we know we WAN learn from
you. The plan is to Aneesh is going to talk about
the homework assignment a little bit and give a sense of
kind of collectively where you guys came out on these questions.
Then we are going to get into that assignment and talk about
the issues you thought that were most important in terms of pry
priority advertising that assignment. What we want to do is come out of this with
a report out to the larger group we don’t want at that long litany
of sort of checklist or laundry list of things.
You want a couple of really good ideas to come out of this.
And Gary actually is going to help us, Gary Kelly,
going to be a bit of a scribe check and get through
that with us. So let me ask Aneesh to talk about homework
a little bit. Aneesha: Well, thank you very much, David.
Let me begin with just one more housekeeping item.
We are being broadcast live as well, that is why you see the cameras behind us,
those are meant for us to be accessible to those who could
not be with us in person. Also a thank you for those of you who completed
an assignment for those of us from the federal agencies
who may not know, there each of our CEO guests was kind enough
to complete the homework assignment that actually asked them
to prioritize as to the nature how we transform
customer service. What are the most important levels to pull
to generate the greatest returns.
We are having aggregated the date that came in to
that first question. I’ll be demonstrating the results momentarily.
What we will then do is have a conversation about the two
biggest themes that emerge. Thankfully a summary of our homework assignment
suggestions we have relative consensus on the two most
important themes. Without much further ado, for give me for
the graphic intrusion, I’m going ask if I can present
this to you. This is the graphic that describes the factors
that you all rated as being important for improving
customer service. Overwhelmingly establishing a culture of customer
service ranged at the top of the list.
Shortly thereafter, one that’s been near and dear it my part,
how do you actually capture a deep understanding of the
customer’s needs. This given what David described as the somewhat
of the complexity of the nature of defining the customer
in the public sector allows us to spend a few more
minutes there as a wonderful area for thoughtful innocence by
the way not at the top.
I thought was incisive to look at the notion of game changing
technologies ranging (inaudible). I think that was an interesting teaching point.
I think as the president said it’s not about the adoption of
the particular noun — a particular technology type,
but it’s how you all build the culture service and develop a
way through your understanding of the customer’s needs to
achieve the results. So with this, David, I’ll turn it back on
to you if there are not any specific questions, and then we can
get on with the program.
Speaker: So let’s talk about this notion of a customer
(inaudible) service culture.
We would just like to hear from you. Why is it that that — it was at the top of
your list, what do you mean by that and how do you operationalize
that, just to open it up.
I would love to hear some of your thoughts.>>Craig.
You already have a lot of people in your areas, there’s someone literally, ranger Craig, different
human, but, they are ready to start working together,
to tell you how things can be improved. Things to hear from management that they are
going to get some back up in this.
There’s the recently started veterans affairs, innovation initiative.
That’s beginning to come up with some process results,
both better serving veterans and also stream lining processes.
(inaudible) at that doesn’t need to be done waste time
and money, let’s not do it.
So the deal is that the culture is already constantly there.
The ideas that get together there’s a number of agencies
using tools which allow people to (inaudible)
stuff, and then the prioritize it, the next step is to let the people
know that you’re serious about it, because you have a social media message delivered,
throughout your agencies and then outside. Frankly, there’s already a twitter discussion
of this going on, I suspect one of the guides it already
using the hash tag guide imposed early on and something is happening
now and people aren’t paying attention.
We need to make a lot of noise about this and — the people
are ready to go. Speaker: So, your mentioning Craig, that we
have in our own workforces folks ready to tell us how to have
a more customer centric culture.
So how do we tap into — you’re saying perhaps we — let me ask
you all from your business experience, how do you best tap into that, how do you
learn from your own employees, what you can do as leaders of your
company, to reinforce this you know — the customer
first kind of philosophy.
Jeff, do you have any thoughts? Speaker: It’s interesting when I answered
the question, I put culture as the first.
I had two companies in mind, one is southwest. I think southwest is taking a harder to differentiated
service and differentiated through customer,
I think the companies as I understand it has been built
with that philosophy. Also the Walt Disney Company I worked at for
a number of years. I think parent of what you need to do is create
an environment where employees are comfortable to tell you
what they think. I mean we started some companies you do it
anonymously, some non-anonymously, but the fact you’re
asking and making it safer for them, potentially critical observations
for you has always been the start to than the agenda
needs it be to help make that happen.
Speaker: There maybe some language here. I don’t know that it’s employee or customer,
it’s just people helping people. Let’s just get down to the baseline here because
that’s what it is. I think there is a time — the time has come
through tools of many sorts and through an enormous amount
of online activity. People are ready to help people.
So as long as you –>>Wendy –>>You set that up give
them the tool they will.>>Wendy, this is very helpful.
In the homework assignment many of you, keep in mind enough to report tactics or idea
you employed to bring that concept home.
One of them Wendy was your notion of the customer service exact.
Would you be kind as to share a little bit about that experience
and how that relate? Speaker: It’s a very simple you know set of
principles that the company that I lead gets satisfaction established
to put forward to their consumers and their companies
that use the service to say, look, when you’re helping
each other, here’s the protocol that you might want to
use online. You want to be open.
You want to be transparent. You WAN to be patient, very simple principles
of helping each other.
And that pack really became the foundation for those people who
wanted to engage in our service. And they use it you know when one is getting
upset or concerned. They are trying to — you said say remember
this is the principle we are operating under.
So it’s a very simple set of principles, it’s online.
You know people have to sign up for it. They don’t have to but they can sign up for
when they are in the network.
It’s very straightforward. Called company customer pack.
You go on to the side when you’re setting up a community
for product or service. You read it and it’s part of the way the protocol
for communication online.>>It sounds like it’s translatable to all
relationships actually and the company as well.
>>It started as an internal doctrine, so to speak.
>>Well, I think what is most important is the customer
service, starts from the top. That leadership truly believes that customer
satisfaction (low audio).
Enterprise is founded on that basis. We understand that a completely
satisfying customer is twice as likely to (inaudible)
back return. Customer is just satisfied.
Or even a little bit more than satisfied. So we measure only completely satisfied customers.
I think then you have to understand what your customer’s
needs are and build the plan around your service, what your customer want, have the enterprise
bring in and three years ago we purchased national and
Alamo, Enterprise (low audio), and they are three
distinct customer bases. And even would like a different type of service.
First you have what you have to understand about that service is
provide that service. And I think as important as anything is you
have to be able to measure that customer service.
You have to make people accountable for that customer service.
So, enter for an example, enterprise 6,000 locations around the United States.
We measure every single location, every month that
(inaudible) valid customer service number.
And each branch is given, for each location is given a
(inaudible) to the agency in the entire country and where
they stand compared to every other operation.
We promote only those who are above the corporate average and
their customer service (inaudible).
So the hardest part is living and dying, that is —
(inaudible), that is once we set out that expectation
that you have to be above corporate average in your
customer service (inaudible)
then you have to (inaudible)
there are times when we have high level positions for (low
audio) gain — you may be one point off because of the company
(low audio) we instinctively would promote you before to that
position, but we stick by the standards, we live by the standard.
We truly believe (low audio) customer satisfaction is the
most important part of the company, because we know that’s the most important
thing to our (inaudible).
Speaker: May I ask a question? I’m sorry.
How did you make the decision to go from when enterprise was
first established, you made a decision (inaudible)
then you made another decision which I find fascinating which is people affect their
home. Was that a part of your customer service surveys,
or how did you find out that that feature was important.
Speaker: It was actually an innovation by an employee.
We were very decentralized, we gave a lot of the common need to
local education and branch managers, and this particular branch manager decided to
do that on his own. Many, many, years ago, 25 years ago
(inaudible). We promote from within.
We (inaudible)
performance and (low audio) motivated (low audio)
people needed to get to the location in order to run
(inaudible). Speaker: You can see whether that — university
applied for just (low audio) –>>We might probably do that
back then. When we were small and — it just kind of
grows. And we discovered that it work and worked
very well. And now it’s a foundation of what we do.
>>One of the issues if I can do, that we face is how do you establish the level
of customer service that you want, and then how do you
develop adaptation (low audio) as your customer’s move from
— what they want or how you detect, where do you find what that
looks like, feels like and how do you ask that question?
Speaker: Well, two ways. We do the surveys every month.
And we have an outside company do the surveys. It’s very simple.
Two questions (inaudible)
over the phone. That would be three questions and if there
is a problem we have somebody contact you would be the third
question. If there is a problem we always follow-up.
The local branch will follow-up and make sure that
customer is satisfied. So we also then keep a log of what those complaints
are and obviously change what our customer are telling
us. On return, we particularly hand held, returning,
never go back into the office. On the hand help, there is software that allows
them to go in and log if, any problem whatsoever,
go in and log in right there on return and that — at the end of
the day, you look at all of the things, try to make me unhappy,
but then at the end of the day, every single day those branches
take a look at what those trends look like. Are there any trends?
Did we satisfy every customer or do we need it to do some more
follow-up and make sure we do something different. Speaker: Can I ask others to comment on this
point. Because which is ways to get input from customers.
Because this is a special challenge for the federal
government, and we have our national park service for
example, wants to gets feedback, and does but we have all sorts
of requirements about what we can ask of citizens. We have got paperwork reduction.
They have this whole process at OMB for social survey
requirements, everything has to be done through a bureaucracy.
I want some ammunition from you guys, that would help us say we have got — there
are good ways, quick ways to get, get customer feedback.
You’ve given some good ideas. I would just like some more ideas.
I want to come back to what Craig said and Wendy also
inferred on this too. I think a lot of the customer satisfaction
culture is something that you don’t necessarily just
have to get from the customers.
You can get a break from your internal workforce which is a
huge, huge deal for us because we tend at the very large
workforces and maybe orientation. You want to say something, Craig, go ahead?
Speaker: Aside from wanting to make the joke with — the senses that
I want to — that deal is that there are some federal
regulations, some rules that are in the way of people being,
doing the job, providing customer service. Fortunately, you have people who have been
already working for at least a year on identifying those and working
on getting rid of them.
They are centered around the Federal Web Managers Council,
and they are probably listening to this right now or at least —
see you guys should be doing more — but the idea is that
they have already identified a number of these which I don’t
frankly understand. You do have those folks —
Speaker: Sure. The deals — I think I need to connect them
to a dated ledger as part of the effort to make some real trouble.
But you do have the people who identified it.
You need more folks to get behind that. Beyond that you need — to get behind some
of the agency efforts which are already doing what we are
talking about. There’s one at the FCC.
There’s one at the state also I know about. Speaker: But tell us from your experiences
— Speaker: Just one thing, we have got a technology
that we provide to many of our customers called HOSE to it we
do a lot of our service based work over the phone and when the interaction
ends we offer of that customer ability to go into
the technology and basically take an automated survey.
So it’s anonymous from the standpoint they are note talking
to a person, but they are providing you know answers to
the question they are all being done using the technology.
And then of course you then get that — you get that data,
you’re able to analyze that data in you know almost in real time.
So, it’s a tool that you know many of our customers
are taking advantage of. So you just take advantage of when you’ve
got that person, just completed the service experience and
say okay now get an immediate real time read on how did you
it. Speaker: Right.
Article 1 has a process that may mirror some the work that the
agencies do in that we research the ability of patents.
So we are looking at improving the efficiency of how
that’s done. And, the way that we get customer feedback
is remove the company from the system.
Our employees are able to interact directly with our
customers and get information. And so, in the same way, outside the context
of the difficulty about rules, to empower your internal staff
of to be able to communicate with customers directly as opposed
to going through a system or firewall may help to improve
efficiency. One way to do that is open up the dialogue
of your customer in an open manner and let them provide feedback
to your internal people.
Speaker: Yeah I would just offer a similar thought F all of us are
cultures and all of us have a culture of customer service.
I think there needs to be depth, in each aspect that is considered.
For example, and this was Ron’s question. You have to define what you want in terms
of customer service. And I think in order to do that, you need
to know what if you are and what you stand for.
And what your capable of. Then you need to find some technique to really
know your customer. And that was one of the items on the list.
At southwest we have close to 100 million boardings a year.
Of those there’s probably 40 million unique persons or less.
And I think it is helpful to collect feedback. A lot of feedback, and over a long period
of time. I think you’ll understand patterns and you’ll
know, no what your customer want.
And it’s humbling at times in fact to find that no I really
think I understand, only to find that it’s the exact opposite
when you go to the effort to truly collect feedback.
Get unsolicited feedback from our employees and our customers.
We do formal surveys after flights. It sounds similar to what you’re describing,
enterprise. We do face-to-face customer forums just like
this with real people in different locations at different
times of the year, constantly.
So we might do a dozen a year and after a while,
you’ll see a pattern. And so, I don’t know the kind of thing that
you just go out and have one little research effort and say okay,
now I’m done and check it off the box. It is a continuous thing and then I agree
with what Pam said, you find a way to measure that.
So you make the change, you measure it, make sure that your customers like what you
think. But our employees, they are a primary litmus
test. And they will tell us, because it’s an inmate
customer experience for us, where they know,
instantly whether our customers like something or not.
But then you also have as you know, there are
(inaudible) savers and you have to know when to listen
and when to ignore. And any thing, any time anything is new,
we have experience that you’re going to have some flack,
and give to 90 days or six months, and then come back and reevaluate.
And so, it’s just a continuous effort and focus I think
on customer service. But you have to decide, and for us, we want
to be a low fare, but also offer great customer service.
So how do you interpret that? And I think each agency has its
(inaudible), so we interpret them by saying well,
it’s more important for us to be on time, and have employees as opposed to offering
what I would describe as maybe like
(inaudible) we have no first class.
So, the def and the definition of who you are and what you
inspire what to be I think is critically important before you
can go and set off, say well, let’s go and deploy.
This technology or this technique and the only other
thing I was going to mention just as an overall comment is —
I don’t think that that was necessarily the way you all are
driving this, but it was nice to see that the game changing
technology was last on the list, a neighbor — most of the
gadgets exist, so it’s not like you have to go out
and invent something. I think it’s more of the human aspect of all
of this. We have a saying which is we want one version
of the truth. So five years ago, you all are customers,
not necessarily at southwest, but you all fly,
we would have a fare database, repeated across our systems,
I’ll bet you a dozen times. So we would have a reservation system that
you would call, make a reservation.
We have a fare database that would feed that. Then you would go to the airport,
and you might in the old days buy a particular. We would have a fare database that would drive
that particular. This is one version of the truth.
So I think that one of the things that I was wondering for
the government is as you define your customer, how many interactions do you have for that
customer. Is it one customer?
Or do you have the same person repeated 42 times across the
federal government? So, that’s where we have had a tremendous
success, I think is minimizing the single version of
the truth so that you don’t have to try to keep things in sync.
But as we all know it’s a long-term prospect to get the
foundation in place to be able to get this to
subscribe to vision. So I think the strategy and the depth of what
you want to be has to come first.
Speaker: If I can just pick up on what you’re saying, Gary.
I think that there’s a lot that happens up front in analyzing
who your market is and what they are doing. And one of the things I agree, both of what
you were saying Cheryl and you Gary in having that direct
experience, which is (inaudible)
you can learn from that’s important. But I also feel like at a place at Facebook,
I was one of the co-founder of Facebook. It has over 350 million users now.
And Facebook’s challenge is not only serving those user’s needs
whenever they have issues and problems, but also anticipating what they will need
in the future. And while I definitely agreed that a lot of
that, you know one-on-one interaction can be important,
I think that one thing that has sorts of been hidden underneath
a lot of these different topics is the importance of
simple metrics and data. And understanding when someone comes to your
website, if the vast majority of users are going straight
to their in box or if their eyes are going to a certain
part of the page, or if they are interacting with their other
— with their acquaintances or colleagues in a certain way,
and you build out your system, not necessarily award that
behavior, but simply make it easier. So I think there’s a lot that companies and
also federal government can learn just by understanding
what people want. So if you, you know — if the people who are
coming to the State Department website, are looking how
to find out how to get a passport, that’s not one click away
from State.Gov, that’s a problem.
I think there’s a lot you can learn in those metrics before
you ever get to the point where you’re actually having
one-on-one conversation, so that you can decrease hopefully the
wrong number of conversations you have to have.
Speaker: That’s a really important point, Chris.
You know, just finding out how our websites are being used,
and not that we have the best websites, we have nothing like Facebook, that’s for
sure, but we do have a lot of hits, and try to sort
of diagnosing, trying to figure out where people are going,
or trying to go. Craig?
>>(Low audio) Facebook is on Twitter, the idea is that it gives your employees some
training. This is something I do on a daily basis.
I’m a customer service rep. I love to see you.
And let’s go to where people are and talk to them.
Either in person or virtually. You do need to get them some training for
things like making sure they don’t say the wrong thing.
At least not frequently. Eventually someone is going to say the wrong
thing. But it’s infrequent that you can tolerate
it. People go out, say the right thing and do
it visibly, and it is working.
And I see it literally every day. Speaker: You know one thing I haven’t heard
yet, you know we have been talking about also,
the customer service culture. I think what is so important is that it hasn’t
been touched on is recruiting.
I think everyone here will tell you that you know my experience
when I go to Enterprise you have a smiling face,
someone excited to greet you to say, welcome to Enterprise,
how can I help you today? They are recruited for that purpose.
You’ve got to have to the right people in the right position.
So all of your customer interfacing personnel have the right attributes.
And so when we look at, as we have grown as an organization,
we are known for outstanding customer service, response time or speed of delivery.
And so when folks know our company for those attributes,
well, how does that happen? Because we recruited those individuals that
had those attributes. Of course, they are then integrated into the
organization well and you train them into all of your ways,
but recruiting process is also very key. There could be also the evaluation looking
at those keys, those critical roles in which they are
heavily in customer service roles.
Are those the right people? Of course we have back office people that
are fantastic in those roles.
We say often, that person wouldn’t be the best person to
have in front of the customer. But we have other people that are fantastic
in front of customers, but we recruit for those skill
sets and then of course we continue that with training and
inexperiences. And –>>If I may, Dan, in your homework,
you had a very kind way of thinking about how your
employees are perceived or think of themselves on customer
service. Speaker: I think picking up on — we do higher,
we changed about ten years ago from hiring people who were good
at unloading trucks to hiring people that had the right
attitude; and we teach them how to unload trucks.
That wasn’t too hard. And the attitude is really important.
And part of what we do is preach all of the time that without the
customer you know we are all unemployed. So, you know when you think about that every
day — it’s pretty impacting.
Speaker: Thank you. One thing I’m curious to know, from the rest
of the group, I feel like, you know, these are talking about
really different companies here, Enterprise provides services
and cars; Facebook is just a website; and you all are
in a lot of different places.
I feel like one of the things that I’ve noticed is we can talk
about having a culture of customer service and a
lot of the different skills. I’m curious to know what some of the skills
are there that you look for.
But at the end of the day I feel like it really just comes
down to listening. Because if you listen well, whether it’s someone
working at Trader Joe’s or enterprise or wherever,
then you’re able to understand where the customer is coming
from, why they are having a problem, maybe why they
are not having a problem. Actually respond in a way that is substantive.
I know at a place like Facebook, even though it’s very different
because we don’t you know see our customers face-to-face,
like trader Joe’s, like employees do, but from the very start it’s as much about
listening to what users want and what users don’t want as it
is about anything else.
And just about a year ago, Facebook changes in terms of
service, and users were upset because they thought that
Facebook was claiming to own all of their data.
And you know, Facebook responded by listening to
what they prefer. I mean we have completely changed the terms
of service. Let the users vote on it.
And they chose their own rules for their website, which was unprecedented at the time.
But it gets back to this key, fundamental value of listening.
I guess I’m just curious to know if that’s something that a
couple of people have put into the center to — if that’s
something that happens across the board. Speaker: We have a listening process that
sounds very much like what Southwest has.
It’s a process that works with our customer service people
and some hard data. And it’s also a listing that we asked all
employees to do. It gets fed in, and it’s about a two hour,
every other Friday meeting. Speaker; It’s huge, yeah.
Speaker: And we make decisions and change kind of on the
fly based on that. You know, all of the way from a product to
be brought it or a location (inaudible).
Speaker: Perhaps, listening is like a second line of defense.
The first thing we do is put ourselves in the shoes of our
customers, and just very aggressively try and defend that
experience for them and anticipate the problems that
they are going to run into. So one of the tactics that we have used is
to — I work for a company called Groupon Discounts, gift certificates,
those kinds of things. You say what are the things new people expect
to hate about this industry?
And we look at those as opportunities to define ourselves as leaders in customer experience.
So people expect the experience to have some kind of a catch so
we take any kind of terms and put them front and center so
that people see them before they buy. Like people expect to buy the thing an then
get stuck out to try.
It doesn’t work. So we put a phone number on our coupon.
So people can call and actually talk to a person.
So we can be terrible in 80 different ways which is the fact
we do those two things. It puts us on a
(inaudible) start with our customers.
>>(inaudible) challenge or we have two discrete offset
customers and we are enabling their interaction so customer 1
is a restaurant, the small business owner. We have about 11,000 of those.
And you know, we typically get information from that customer
largely through our field force. Half of our customer works on the field they
interact with these people daily.
So that’s one set of customers. The other, the consumers use the website and
that becomes much more quantitative and behavioral.
We typically will go from — on that side you start by doing
very qualitative things like asking your web team and focus
groups of customers what they think about specific issues.
You define the questions set and then you go do quantitative of
the ultimate is behavioral. We recently bought one of Sean news products
called test and target where you can literally make slight
changes in the website and watch how different people
interact with different levels of success through your flows.
So, 5 percent of the people will see a new implementation,
we just changed our search result page. 5 percent of the people will see a new implementation
and we were able to quantify how many successfully completed
their behavior existing implementation versus new,
read the data, you know, put more sampling through and then
ended up being comfortable.
The change was added and then the change — that whole process
started with qualitative questions with the consumers and ended up just being massive
behavioral. Speaker: Interesting.
Speaker: Yes, Wendy. Speaker: There’s also some lever points.
An issue started the conversation with this. I think consumers and as people trying to
work with each other in many ways, public and private ways,
the levers are significant right now. They are coupled, they are significant.
I think should be design principles for us in
any kind of business. One is social media.
I mean people are talking publically period. They are online and they are talking, gives
us an ability to listen in a way we have never been
able to listen before. I come from a very traditional software background,
enterprise software, lots of processes, CRM, there were steps galore.
We had devices and databases. And it was very complex and very expensive.
And I’ve been immersed into this world of social media,
meets crowd sourcing, meets customer relationship. It is fascinating to me how those lever points
cannot just reduce the cost of service and support, but
completely enhance really time customer feedback. Without very sophisticated tools.
It’s amazing. If you go to Nike, you see customers
in a community talking about their use of this Nike running
device. And it’s the feedback would cost in my world
where I came from, millions of dollars to get that feedback.
And this is being gathered right now on the spot for a very small
amount of money and then the company can decide how they cure
rate that content what they want to do with it.
But I think we as a government, we need to look at ways to
design principles fast, easy, social, take advantage of the fact that there’s so
many people online talking anyway inside feedback, inside many
different networks as well as on your own website.
So we have got (inaudible)
pour and it doesn’t take a very — honestly doesn’t take a
lot of sophisticated technology to do it. That’s what is good to see
(inaudible) last one.
It takes leadership as we have heard about and just making sure
we make ourselves available throughout the experience that
people that are going to parks, want to have. And they are going to go online to look for
these things. You know, I go online to look for where I’m
supposed to go from the hotel here.
I don’t like stop and ask people. And my team has taught me not to print out
stuff because — (inaudible).
Laugh. Speaker: Wendy, these last several comments
has been a terrific shift into this second category which is how
do you truly understand the customer’s need.
I really hope we could spend some time here capturing some
tactics, because frankly, this is a very practical question for
us in the public sector. How do we understand what the person who needs
public service is truly needs.
What are the tools tactics, ideas, maybe it’s a methodology of philosophy.
What are the ways your firms have done that example?
Is it spot project driven? Is it more systemic, following a community
as you described. Your homework has been rich with ideas that
we can surface, but I’m curious if you would be kind enough
to help think through that question.
What is it that we can learn from you tactically this capture
customer behavior, applicant behavior for public services
might be a better way of describing it. How we iterate the way you talked about testing
and revising your website.
Gary, you actually kind of went there first when we were in the
culture question. Would you be kind enough to say a word about
this? Speaker: I would be happy to.
I agree with all of the comments that you all the are making.
We use all of those techniques as well. And we have got a terrific blog, you know
so we get just, what you said, sometimes we’ll actually pose
the question you know, we’ll get a long stream of feedback
with often remarkably accurate.
In other words if you use that technique to listen.
Versus doing something that you thought might be a little bit
more scientific, it is interesting to me how often it
comes back almost exactly the same. But I always like to do a couple of different
views. Because I’m a little suspicious whether you
got a biased universe.
But, what we have done is we have typically started with I
think what we have all done, as you get a group of people
together and use to them the problem and you see what kind of
solutions are offered up. We do that with customers.
One-on-one and we, always — I love Pam’s example.
I think most things that we have done at Southwest to innovate
here over the last decade have been some employees’ idea.
It’s always hard to finds who had the original idea to do
whatever it was, but we always involve our employees.
And most times we are successful when we implement change.
Sometimes you know it’s — they feel it’s more of a cram down,
but I refer that much less, because we think that we’ll be
much more successful in delivering our service, if we get them on board.
But we do take our time with that and we take change we have
tried to move of deliberately and that’s sometimes invites a
lot of criticism. I mean there’s a lot of pressure on wall street
to produce right now.
And we are trying to build a company which doesn’t
happen in a quarter. So we do go through things in a deliberate
fashion which I think is very important back to you just have to
know who you are and what you want to be, otherwise you can
be a decade down the road and it’s all screwed up.
I think that avoiding that is very important. Speaker: Okay, can I ask a follow-up, Gary
with a very practical question?
You’ve got a very large organization. And some other companies here do.
Many of you don’t have that many employees, but for those who do,
we have 70,000 employees in the Department of the interior.
We want to get our employee input, but I think there’s certainly some history
at our Department of asking employees and then what happens
to that. You know, how do you do it in a way that you
don’t reinforce the wrong view which is they are just going through
the motions. They don’t really care.
You know, they are he have overwhelmed by the input.
Nothing ever happens. Is it smarter to do a more bite sized approach,
a targeted approach then sort of a blanket Q I mean — I’m just
curious f, you have any guidance to suggest there.
Speaker: Twelve years at Southwest airlines, I tried it all,
and we have 35,000 employees. And so inevitably we’ll hit the home run where
if there’s an overwhelming positive customer response,
our employees are going to like it. If it’s note quite that easy to judge, if
it moves people’s cheese, then we are going to get a lot of
feedback. So we have had successes and we have had failures
there. You can’t poll 35,000 people and many things
can’t be submitted to a vote.
So I’m very sympathetic to that. And I’m a student.
So I don’t know that we have all the answers there.
We do the best we can to invite participation. Then we do the best we can to explain why
we are doing things. And there is a very heavy investment in leadership.
So just about every change initiative that’s under way at
Southwest airlines, I am personally involved with.
And to try to delegate that and I’ve seen that in the past,
it just doesn’t work. Because as soon as there’s flack internally,
the leader says forget it. And I’m sure that’s happened to everybody
in the room. So, all the more reason that you just have
to have a strategy that you — you’re going to see through —
and there are going to be mistakes and you have to be big enough
to admit the mistakes, say you know what, you’re right,
and — but I think part of the listening in other words is
saying sometimes you have to say no, no. We are not going to do it that way.
We are going to do it this way and here’s why which takes a lot
of efforts and a time and a lot of energy. Speaker: If I may –>>(low audio) customer
service, 50, 000 customer.
50,000 people sending a paycheck every week. And what they are looking for from us is communication
about what is going on in the world that affect
their lives. What are we doing to protect the contracts.
And then that’s the broad base. But those individuals that are stressed, they
have a manager that is taking some sort of personnel action
against them, being fired or suspended, they
need somebody from the union to communicate with them.
So we aren’t really communicators. And the challenge for labor unions is to figure
out a way to keep our client base happy.
So we are in the same business as a lot of you folks.
Now to answer the second question, how do you get public employees to buy into
a process where they wanted to be innovative and what have you.
you’ve been president of Southwest for 24 years.
And the federal employees have had how many chiefs in the last
24 four years and every four to eight years you have somebody
come in and say and input we are the second, third,
fourth and fifth coming of Christ and we are. Speaker: We are going to change the way things
and your input is important.
We know you work hard and they take away your benefits
and what have you. It’s very difficult for new administration
to come in and have anybody believe where there’s, you’re
trying to solve the work.
You don’t have the stability a long-term history of actually
listening and rewarding the employees. What the president did the last week or week
before where they had this project, how do we save money, and
the president brought in one of my members from the Colorado VA
hospital, had an idea of letting the people that are
leaving the VA take their medicines with them. It seems like a very simple thing.
All of these meds come on strips and somebody gets checked and
they give them a strip and they were leaving and they were
throwing the medicine away only to get it from the pharmacy and
charge the VA anyway. But the president did a great job in highlighting
his type with at that person.
So I think the messages that to be that the people are important
and it has to be consistent. He — you can’t just do that you know once
a year or once every two years.
It’s got to be every three or four months bringing somebody in
saying this is something that one of your fellow federal
workers has done that saves us money and spent some time
walking around the White House are the president. It has a very positive impact upon my members
of the VA that this person was quite that of grand Rapids,
Grand Junction Colorado and going to the White House
to talk about (inaudible)
renovation. The other thing, a lot of our members work
in very stressful situations.
And literally are overworked. Everybody talks about the registries and motor
vehicles, where you get your license or register your
car, and a new governor comes in.
And the first thing they do is lay off ten percent
of the their help. Well, the same number of customer of customer,
and we all know whether it’s trader Joe’s or somebody in the
checkout line or national, how many people can you process an
hour and then the clients of the registry or trader Joe’s,
national gets frustrated by having to, management has to
give the employees the tools, that means other employees, also
to actually fulfill the function you want them to fulfill.
The last thing as far as interacting on the web,
or on voicemail, at the end of day there has to be a way to
talk to a person because not everybody is as techs savvy as
somebody on facebook. My kids make me look like you know — I say
something in Chattanooga, and my kids saying to me exactly
what I said in Chattanooga and they are looking at Massachusetts.
So — I mean you need a person at the end of the day to make
your customers happy which makes it easier for your employees.
>>(low audio). Speaker: Because we tend to be an anonymous
face to a lot of America.
Speaker: Ron?>>(low audio) looking at some of the corporations
— familiar with, you manage to marry the interest your
employees with the customer.
I’m really fascinated about how you did that. Is it part the
(inaudible) the review, recruitment,
I mean the approach for you marry that customer’s interest
with the employees that you have. Speaker: I can answer that one.
I think it’s really important first of all that you do higher
the right person is a customer (low audio) but then they have
to be motivated to provide that service every single day,
day in and day out. Because sometimes you feel like you know your
type the person normally would be — you have to be able to
measure how well they are doing it and you have to hold them accountable
and you have to hold them accountable in a way that’s
important to that person.
For us that’s promotion, that all of our — thousands of
employees, they all care about customer satisfaction, because somehow they are tied back to that
number that they get every month.
That’s how well your operation (inaudible)
customer satisfaction. Within a local branch they will measure themselves,
offices on your own to give them the (inaudible)
accountable but also give them the economy and the ability
to change thing inducement of things on the run and try some
the things — some of of our local operations because they,
are now motivated to do better every single day will gather
their employees every morning and say, how do you think all of you did yesterday
in customer service and they hold a vote.
They vote for the one that didn’t do the best and then they
talk about why. Just things that they have noticed.
So they have — you have no measure and then you have to
hold them accountable. Speaker: Say that last piece again.
Speaker: You have to measure — Speaker: No no no you brought it in on vote.
Vote –>>Who sits around the table –>> The employees of
that office. Speaker: In that office?
>>Yes. that was — this was something that our employees
came up with that spread throughout O our other offices,
but every morning they talk about customer service,
you know how do you think customer service was yesterday,
how do you think each one of all of you did? And is there anything you could have done
better and then they will vote.
And they vote the best and the worst. Speaker: They will vote you off the island,
I guess. (Talking over one another).
Speaker: May I ask a question about transitions? Many you are describing best practices that’s
why many of you are sitting around this table and advising.
But have any of you had to inherent an area where it was
sort of not best practice and yet to shift it to best practice
in orienting towards customer service. I’m curious in you have any insight throughout
the change, how you went from a culture that perhaps may
not have been as focused on this issue and it started to shift
because tactically, several of these measures were
introduced. Is there any one that has any of that experience
or would wish to comment on that subject?
Speaker: I have the negative experience of working with some
very large corporations which talked about how much they
wanted (inaudible) and didn’t follow through. What people hope they think they are seeing
in the current administration is that people will suggest
and management will follow through.
The think it was the sable word check check the woman from the
— somewhere in the midwest, the idea is not only did the VA
follow through, but that she went to the White House to get a
handshake from the president. So the follow through is the big part.
If people see recognition follow through, then they will do more.
And then do more recognition and follow through and that is the
way to change the culture. It is a human thing.
But just think about it phone fall through — but just
think about us all, when you make a change about some
customer service you do or don’t get. Let’s say through the phone company,
if what you say gets some results, then you’re happy.
If you don’t think you’re going to get any results at all you
never are even going to try. And right now, the idea is to for citizens,
like us, challenge you with you know to get some results
on things, we are actually seeing results now, the press
didn’t governing, it but that’s a separate problem.
Which one we may be working on. But the deal is just listen to us and then
deliver, and that will go far.
And by us I mean both citizens but also the people
who work for you. Speaker: I think — I mean you want to start
small, you wants to pick something that you really
know you can make progress on quickly and then over communicate,
you know back out to the organization. I mean Gary made the point all about leadership.
But it’s constantly communicating how you’re doing,
so that you start to create some momentum in change in the
culture so then pick the next item and pick the next one.
But then go at a pace that allows you to make sure that you
can be making meaningful progress against the things that
you’re picking and then you know start to generate some momentum
over a period of time. Speaker: I agree with that completely.
One thing that works really well is transparency, I mean you mentioned people getting cynical.
You’re asking me again my opinion, you know, what happens to it.
We found that when you ask the opinion you have to get the
answers of what it is, including all of the bad news.
So I mean, typically when you ask things, answers range from we do this pretty well
to we need improvement in it.
So, I mean we typically will show the employees exactly how
they consider their experience at the company and then said
okay, here, you know, these couple where you got to live
with for eight years. But these were committed to try to address
accountable, next year we are doing the survey again, same
question. We are committing to improving that, you know
the results. That sharing of the bad news as well good
is one way to start you know transparently start to get some trust
in the system. Absolutely.
Speaker: I don’t know if this is exactly on your point, but,
you mentioned this earlier so I thought I would WEAVE this in
real quick because I did want to mention self service which —
it’s just a way of (inaudible)
for many of you. But I think for the government, we have along
way to go. So — but, Southwest is — actually I haven’t
been president for 24 years, so thank you.
I’ve been at Southwest for 24 years — [Laughter] >>We are
the most unionized airline by the way. So people unionized (ck).
[Laughter]>>Would you represent me? [Laughter]>>I’m the lowest paying guy.
Speaker: The company was founded on simplicity and speed and
ease and no hassle. That’s 1971.
So, by the 80’s when I got up there, you had to stand in multiple lines to ultimately
get on a Southwest flight.
And I was in investor relations saying — I had people telling
me no you’re not, you’re not easy to get — so that was kind
after wake up call for me personally, so we have gone through I think a transformation
that fits what you were describing.
However, the (inaudible)
customer service was there. It’s just the execution got worse and worse
and worse. So that’s one of the things that we —
Speaker: How do you measure how did you get —
Speaker: I agree there were metrics that were pretty easy.
But it was a simple as, beginning decade for those of
you who flew on us, you stood in line at the gate to surrender
your ticket and exchange it for plastic boarding pass,
so for many people it was the third line they stood in before
they actually got on the airplane. You talk about a waste of time.
That’s not easy. That’s a hassle.
And raises the anxiety. So, there is — we have hired for the right
attitude. We want to please our customers so we tried
to streamline the entire process.
As you all know now that’s all a distant memory. But only a decade ago.
But it’s this notion that you mentioned of self service.
So most people, it’s make it easy for me, I think Andrew mentioned this early,
put yourself in the shoes the customer. We all know they went things to be easy.
It needs to be simple. Therefore it needs to be intuitive,
and there have been tremendous advancements so that you can go
and have social media or make your own booking or
whatever it might be. And so, do the extent that the government
could do the same thing and provide that self service,
I think our society would prefer that. It would certainly be more efficient for government.
So if you go back to 1995, we were one-third the
size we are today. We have almost 8,000 reservation agents and
they were doing 60 percent of the bookings on Southwest airlines.
Today, we are quadrupled in size and probably have 2,000
reservation agents. Speaker: Lower costs.
Speaker: 85 percent of our customers don’t want to call to
make the simple booking. They want to go on line.
It’s easy. But we an easy product.
We have a well understood brand. We have an easy website to use.
It meets people’s needs. So that — that was part of our let’s get
back to your routes about making it simple for our customers and
that’s one that you know we feel like it’s been a success.
Speaker: Self-serve shouldn’t have a bad name. Speaker: Exactly.
Speaker: It should be a better experience —
Speaker: It should be a better — with all of the tools
available and with culture of transparency and openness.
Speaker: But if you do want to talk to a person, you want
to make that available. IF you call our center we’ll answer the phone.
I did have the last — (talking over one another) if you try to
call the phone company there’s nobody to talk to.
Speaker: People are used to that. As long as they have the tools to do it with.
Right? Speaker: And if they feel they can get help
from each other or from the employee of the agency or the company they
are interacting with.
Speaker: One thing just real quickly, I would like to go back to sort
of proceduralize all of the customer service internally.
I feel like there has been an he have of evolution of technology
to a point where you can put in one centralized location,
whether it’s available. Just internally to employees or whether it’s
available to everyone else.
What are the biggest problems that you’re working on?
What’s your plan to address them? And then solicit feedback from people inside
your company. I think technically speaking this is a simple
dashboard which keeps you people up to date about what are
the strategic priorities of the company, what the projects
are, to replace them and get opportunity to get
feedback. It sounds almost overly simple, but just having
one place where people can go and peruse and learn and speak
at any time. And, not necessarily public face-to-face way
but in a way that is comfortable.
They can do it from there computer at work or from home.
I think it can be really, really, awful for processing.
Good ideas and help the employees feel like they are
part of the process, because it actually does make them
parent of the process. That’s been the case of just about every place
that I’ve been a part of.
The more that — that information can be consolidated and easy to use the more efficient the customer
service can be. Speaker: During transition time it’s a wonderful
opportunity for your employees with a company to reach out to your
customers in the sense of using your customer as a virtual
workforce. We have heard about crowd sourcing.
To not only provide feedback on the services you provide,
but to provide feedback on how to make your services
more efficient. In effect how to build the business model
that will best serve them.
And so –>>How do you do that? Speaker: Well, article 1, has a multi-customer
platform. We do research for our clients.
Companies are interested in research. And we tap that research from a virtual workforce.
We crowd source it. So our internal work is made more efficient
by one set of customer which is our crowd sourcing partners.
So we directly treat their work as the most efficient way
for us to produce our company’s work product. And maybe to add something a little innovative.
We in incentivize our worth virtual workforce, monetarily and through other recognition incentives.
A way to apply this to the government can be to give
recognition, very formal recognition structure to the
agency’s employees. And then here’s a really interesting notion,
if the virtual workforce application to customers yields
operating costs reduction. Is there a potential to pass that back to
customers or the taxpayor?
That’s a really interesting notion. Speaker: There’s a model in a company called
Bluelithium. Is that applied to the social media platform?
Bluelithium. Speaker: Bluelithium..
Speaker: Man we are getting really creative on the name.
It provides a platform that let’s a company’s customer’s
answer the customer support questions on their website.
So you go to the and you have a product issues on Dell products.
The first line of response rights now are Dellfy that
thetics who are not paid by the company they are just enabled,
they care about Dell, they are project champion’s, they are paid primarily in recognition,
that’s the guy who answers the real hard questions. It’s a volunteer effort and what the companies
have found, the CEO’s, better service, faster delivered
and clearly different economics.
You have a volunteer workforce answering on your behalf.
And with great passion, because they are doing it because
they are volunteer. But it sounds goofy but it’s being used buy
a ton of technology hardwares.
Speaker: And you transform your — one of your customer citizens
into stakeholders. As stakeholders they are more invested and
they have more patience than for transform mitory process.
Speaker: A lot of sites will use just regular old discussion board to
get people to help out each other We do it in a
very important way. What we do is very simple.
If you look at some of the — well, especially when it comes to TV, the hardware
programs, get discussion board, discussion board for
those like AVA forms. And you’ll see people helping each other out
in that. The challenge is having people excited about
government. Speaker: The other question –>>Well, I
just wanted to comment. Speaker: I think the fact that the culture
of customer service rated so highly speaks largely to the fact
that it’s kind of as simple as that.
Like there’s not a lot of contention among this group
about what you do. It’s — in a lot of sense it’s really straightforward.
But customer service was not something that was hard for us
to figure out (inaudible) the right thing to do.
So I would like to better understand what very
specifically are the problems that you guys are running into
that you just — just can’t overcome. Speaker: Do you have a week?
Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: I got to go see my orthodontist and
(inaudible) so I can get my occurs service because my
wires are detached. So I have to excuse myself.
I want my wires reattached. So —
(inaudible) this would be a great opportunity bill if
you would like to try as the lead of one of our
largest agencies that touches probably more Americans than almost
any other. I don’t know what the latest statistics are,
but pretty big. I don’t know if you would like to share a
word or two about Andrew’s request –>>Thank you.
Speaker: Thank you all of you (low audio) personally because it’s
extremely healthy just to hear the conversation and
to try to apply it. Our department is really more like a holding
company. We have ten operating divisions the national
institutes of health, biomedical research.
Two of those customers possibly researchers. Food and drug Administration which is regulating
companies. So its customers are entirely different kind
of context. Indian health service providing care to people
some we are sort of all over the place.
One of the challenges that you know that we’ll face as managers
is it’s going to be different. You know, the customer culture will be different
in each of those places.
And so, a lot of what we do too is you know we are doing things
for people as opposed to trying to sell them something.
So it’s very different mentality. And I tell you it’s just going to take some
thinking about how to apply a lot of these ideas.
I think they are applicable though in many ways.
I think one of the things that I have really taken out of here is
that we need to do a much better job of talking to our own
employees, or getting their ideas about how we
can improve things. We have got our chief technology officer,
information officer here and they both lead a really
interesting process inside the department asking people how we
can use technology to improve outcomes. How we can use information technology to better
serve people and be more efficient.
I’m just trying to get ideas about how we can innovate
the way we do our work. But I think it’s — maybe it’s just me, but
Todd and Mike, you all, Ed, if you want, it’s you know it’s a
different thinking process then it sounds like you all
go through, because we are not really selling anything
to anybody. But, we clearly are trying to accomplish something
with the people that we are working with.
And so just give some thought to — David I would love to hear
your thoughts about this too, because it’s —
Well, you know, I think it’s a profoundly important question
because all of you — have let me say one thing.
What value do you get out of good customer service?
What is in it for you to get good customer service,
do you think? Speaker: Well, bringing you know, improving
health care, improving health outcomes.
identifying you know, providing H1N1 vaccines. That’s been something that’s — not something
we do every day, but there’s customer feedback.
We get customer feedback. We get it any number of ways, you know Congress
will give us customer feedback on behalf of you know Q
and Mr. and Mrs. Q public, if we are not providing good services.
Everyone is paying taxes every year. There’s a lot of money that’s going out of
everyone’s paycheck. And folks have a right to and expect to have
value for that and where they interface for the government,
whether it be Indian health service or HUD or interior or
whatever, or the passport office, you know their window on how their taxes are
being spent. But I you knee I think that we need to spend
more time identifying our customers and the expectations
that we should have with them, they should have of us and
that’s appropriate. And I think to some extent this
(inaudible) technology discussion, we have a bunch of
CIO’s here. We have a huge budget, enough to tell this
guy the federal government how much we spend on technology
and we don’t spend a lot of it.
Speaker: $76 billion. And what I hear from you all is and you showed
it in your homework, right, the technology thing is at
the bottom, not because it’s the least important,
but it is the — it’s the tactic, if you will to implement the strategy that
you have developed up here.
So, I think a lot of the federal government has not developed the
strategy up here, so we are all about spending money on
cool things, you know. And buying new computer systems and — but
without a clear sense of what we are looking to get out of that
technology. Speaker: Can I ask a question?
Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: So, the money for technology are
the individual budgets of the agencies in.
Speaker: Yes. Speaker: And all of the employees are in the
individual agencies? Speaker: Yes.
Speaker: You might be the head of technology, but you might note have anybody working for
you. Speaker: That’s actually the truth.
Speaker: And because the Department of the interior wants to do
something, that’s contrary to HHS, I mean what we have just done in Massachusetts
is taken all of the IT people and put them in one department.
So they worked for the head of IT, so you can have a common mission so we are
not looking at DELL computers here, IBM computers over there and
what have you, but we represent all of those IT people and
of course you know when they started this transition,
everybody was up and arms, like how is this going to affect my
life and who do I work for now? But as time has gone on over the last year,
people are really into it because they have saving money
and they have a common purpose and they are coming up with
programs that not only serve HHS but interior, state department’s (inaudible).
Speaker: That’s an example of a profoundly important
and difficult. Often that’s the right answer, but then we
have a situation where you have the national park service,
with a very different need in terms of technology flowing from
there, you know their customer interface. Then you might have over here, with bureau
of –>>Department heads in Massachusetts –>>Right.
Anyway. May we. Speaker: Yeah, final —
Speaker: David is going to do a quick wrap up.
But if I — my poor attempt at trying to highlight is key
set of themes I just have four that I’ve captured. I want to make sure I didn’t get them right
or wrong. I WAN to share them to make sure I get at
least some sense of the common dialogue.
The is one of the most fascinating conversations in the
beginning was how we lend service performance to our HR tools.
Whether it be recruitment, Cycle or in the promotion cycle.
And so there was a set of themes around sort of tactically
speaking how one embeds that into the DNA of the organization
second there was a great deal about — I don’t know how to
call trick hard wiring results reporting and sharing,
that notion of transparency. What are you listing?
What are you doing about what you’ve listened too?
What conversation, how to make sure there is someone on
the other end knowing that that message has been heard and that
there’s a reaction and a response. So some version of that set of ideas.
The thirds was frankly making sure that you incorporate the
values of customer and the design of the work that
you’re actually doing. So we talked a little about how some the nations
came from the employees learning from their customer’s needs
and then those scaled, when they worked.
And so — basically in a sense, designed principle insuring that
customer need is a factor in the design principle, well,
which is going to be a very useful concept as we think about
how we roll out programs. And then last but not least, there is something
interesting about the notion of virtual workforce.
Frankly, everyone in this room knows we are facing significant
budget deficits, we really cannot just higher thousands
of employees to accomplish our goals, despite the demands growing for services.
So the ability of allowing citizenry to help each other
answer questions and essentially off load some of the work that
would otherwise be done by a federal employee, if we physically can’t find ourselves in the
position of growth. How we think about that idea of of extending
the customer service activity from applicant to you know
I applied for a benefit here and I’m going to explain to somebody
else how to go through that process and way it works.
I done know if I’ve captured all of the broad themes.
Is that a reasonable attempted reason? Gary?
Speaker: I’m sorry — I would say I one lose site of again this
whole self service concept and every government agency has to
have –>>That’s right. Speaker: Has to have high volume predictable
routine tasks that today could be immediately automated which
will take some pressure off the system to allow you to put
people against the interactions of customer that are the most
value added some of the every agency has to have you know literally
millions and millions of those kinds of transactions happen
every day. That immediately should be done with automation
and the pointed Gary made in many cases technology ends up
being a better experience with people.
They would prefer to self serve on those kind of
predictable transactions. Speaker: Last word for Craig and then David
— Speaker: I think I may have
heard Bill volunteer his team for maybe another internal
innovation kind of deal. [Laughter]
Speaker: I would be willing to come into town again like I
did for the veterans to help make it happen. And we could do the social media thing and
–>>Let’s do it. Speaker: Long it’s before the summer because
I really don’t want to basically in Washington during the summer.
Speaker: Just 30 seconds for the rest of you who don’t
understand what happened. The president in August asked the 19,000
front line workers of the VA what ideas do you have to cut
the benefit processing time — I don’t even want to say how many
months — much more than it should to process the benefit
claims, out of these 19,000 ideas, each of the 57 regional field offices, then
mind them, put together a two to three page business
plan, submitted them to Washington.
We had essentially a panel of judges. Craig served on that panel.
Secretary shin secky picked ten of those ideas, more than half of them didn’t actually cost
a nickel. They were just policy changes that were getting
in the way and those are being implemented now across early
2010. That’s the idea that Craig is referencing
that was this innovation initiative that basically all in
cost us a whopping maybe 2,000 bucks of programming
time that — I think that was the extent.
This is not a very expensive endeavor, David, would you like to wrap it up.
I think they have done a great job. One other observation I’ll make that I took
out of this, coming from Gary.
And this is somewhat of a cultural shift I think
that we need to do. We need to learn from you Gary and others
that we tend to be in part because of Congressional oversight and
just sort of the being in the public eye, very conservative
about things and so — and that means that even things like how
you get information, from the employees from customers
have got to be done thorough listening, you know, public
notice, you know. All of this process.
What you guys have learned is you know no, you don’t have to know, get perfect knowledge,
get snippets of knowledge from all sorts of different areas
and go with it. That is not in the DMA of the federal government.
But that — and this is — this conversation has been so good
because you know that’s where the social networking can help.
But again you got — that’s the tactic to get that strategy
implemented which is the big idea is let’s get more
information and let’s not be stymied until we have done every
process possible to make sure we have got the right
answer, et cetera. Speaker: And David.
The same tools that this administration used to get in
office, should be leveraged to improve customer service.
Speaker: Yes. Speaker: Customer service is the new marketing
and this administration could really leverage those
tools right now at low cost and high value.
Speaker: Here’s a homework assignment. I hate to even say this.
Go on’s website today and then go on it tomorrow.
I’m not sure exactly when tomorrow. Do you know Andrew when our new website is
going up? Tomorrow.
WE have a great media person who worked on the Obama campaign.
I don’t want to put too much pressure. You’re trying to move the Titanic.
(Talking over one another). [Laughter] Anyway thank you all.
We are going to huddle with Gary for a couple of minutes and then
we are all going to go back and hear server report backs (ck),
if you don’t mind, if you don’t mind I think maybe Shelly and
others can direct people back to the same room that we were in so
you can have access to the time to get down there and
all of the rest. Thank you.

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