Something Everyone Can Agree Upon (Hopefully): Better Government Customer Service


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Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bipartisan bill focused on setting standards for, and improving customer service from, federal agencies. Sponsored by Texas congressmen Henry Cuellar (D) and Michael McCaul (R), the Government Customer Service Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R. 1660) would require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, with no increased expenditures, to develop government-wide standards to improve and modernize customer service delivery.

The standards would target among other performance items reducing call wait times, setting response times for correspondence, improving benefits processing and payments, and ensuring customer service contact information for federal agencies is readily available. Additionally, the Government Customer Service Improvement Act would require participating agencies to implement a customer service feedback system regarding the quality of customer service provided.

“The primary goal of the federal government is to serve taxpayers and currently U.S. law does not require federal agency customer service standards, which is long overdue,” said Rep. Cuellar in a statement on the House floor.

“Too often we hear veterans are waiting months to get critical medical services, or federal employees experience long waits for their retirement benefits. These are just two examples, but millions of Americans rely on federal agencies for vital services, which is why we must usher a new chapter to accelerate response time and overall performance for a better customer experience.”

The bill heads to the Senate next for consideration, but as those of us who memorized Schoolhouse Rock’s I’m Just a Bill lyrics when we were little know by heart, it’s not easy to become a law; it’s a long, long journey, but hopefully better customer service from government agencies is something upon which everyone can agree. Track the status of the bill here.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


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