A bill headed to the House floor would not only make improved government customer service a goal; it would make it a law.
The Government Customer Service Improvement Act (H.R. 538) introduced in February 2011 by Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas and approved on April 18th by the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, would set standards to increase the quality of customer service provided by all government agencies.
Under the bill, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would set customer service standards for federal agencies. Those agencies would collect information on their performance and report it to OMB. They also would have to display that information on their public Web sites. Agencies would also be required to designate an employee as a customer relations representative and would have to work within their existing budgets to enact improvements.
Said Rep. Cuellar in a statement, “When taxpayers interact with a government agency, they deserve the same timely, reliable assistance they would expect from a private sector business.
“My bill would raise the bar for federal customer service and help improve transactions between the American people and the agencies that serve them. Improving customer service from passport issues to student loans to Medicare is long overdue.”
The bill follows the 2011 executive order issued by President Obama directing every federal agency to develop a customer service plan and utilize available technologies to improve and increase the efficiency of government customer service. Many government agencies are already taking initiatives, incorporating increased web self-service tools and social media to better serve customers and constituents.
According to a 2011 Federal Customer Experience Study, 79% of Americans surveyed believe that the federal government can improve customer service; only 31% say they are satisfied with current government customer service and support. Click here to read 5 Ways the Government is Cutting Through Customer Service Red Tape.
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