On Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010, the Customer Service Team presented the fifth annual Customer Service Awareness Day at the Baca Center. We had a wonderful turnout of 175 people.
During the week the Customer Service Team presented four training sessions that were attended by more than 170 people. The sessions were:
- Communication Training by Teresa Bledsoe
- Defusing Hostile Customers by Shannon McIntire
- Introduction to the Code of Conduct (PDF) by Customer Service Team members
- Motivating Employees by Brooks Bennett
In all, around 350 employees took part in Customer Service Week activities.
Once again, the Customer Service Team recognized individuals and departments for their great customer service. Individual awards were presented from each department and a department/division award was voted on by all City employees. Also, the Innovations Team presented its annual Award of Merit for innovative projects.
Jim Nuse, city manager, and Cindy Demers, assistant city manager and spoke about the importance of customer service in the City. Will Hampton, communications director, spoke about our outstanding customer service results from the City’s 2010 biennial survey. Councilmembers Carlos Salinas and John Moman helped present the awards.
City employees, 277 in all, voted online for the Outstanding Customer Service by a Department or Division Award during the week of Sept. 13.
Outstanding Customer Service by a Department or Division: Finance Department
The Finance Department is the backbone of City business. In the toughest economy in living history, this department has reduced our budget but at the same kept citizen’s happy and kept the lights on. Finding a balance and making tough choices clearly keeps this team awake at night. The Finance Department, led by Cheryl Delaney, provides prompt and accurate information to a host of departments, employees and community stakeholders. The department has taken a team approach to cutting costs and helping departments creatively complete projects successfully. Even with all of the cost cutting we’ve had to do in the last few years, Finance has kept the City on track with its goals. You guys rock! Thank you.
Innovations Award of Merit (Rock Award)
To encourage and foster new methods to be productive, the Innovations Team has developed the citywide Innovations Award program. Submissions are accepted and recognized throughout the year. Recipients of the Innovations Award are considered for the annual Award of Merit or the “Rock” award. The winning department keeps the Rock for one year and then passes it on to the next winner. The 2010 Award of Merit goes to the Fire Department for its conversion of a 1992 Reserve Engine into a Heavy Rescue Apparatus. The conversion, which the City’s Fire personnel did themselves, cost $15,000. The cost for a new Heavy Rescue Apparatus is approximately $250,000. The refitted apparatus reduces the need for multiple vehicles at emergencies and provides more rapid response.
Individual customer service awards
A highlight of the day came with the presentation of the individual awards to acknowledge great customer service from each department. These awards have become very popular. Each department picked an individual who exemplified great customer service in their area. Here are the winners for Outstanding Customer Service by an Individual from each of the participating departments, pictured with Councilmembers Salinas and Moman and City Manager Jim Nuse.
Administration- Saridon Chambless
Saridon goes out of her way everyday to accommodate external and internal customers. Saridon is the first point of contact to provide executive support for our high-level City leadership. Along with her organizational skills and patience, Saridon is consistently on the ball and provides the public and fellow employees with courteous and prompt service. In an office full of great attitudes, she has one of the best. Few, if any, can groove like Saridon.
Development Services Office – Brad Wiseman
Brad has great customer service skills. He has the ability to actively listen, find common ground, and then quickly resolve issues, trying to get the best outcome no matter what the circumstances. He is always professional and approaches his work in a way to be helpful, and constructive with whomever he is working. He is extremely consistent, and at the same time very easily approached. (No picture available)
Finance – Sherri Crone
Sherri has been helping with the PeopleSoft upgrade and the Budget office while still doing her regular job duties. She does all this and still provides great customer service. She always responds to requests promptly and efficiently. She has been terrific to work with on the PeopleSoft upgrade. She is always willing to help others. She works hard to get things done and is willing to take on tasks to help the team out. She is the go-to person in Finance.
Fire – Charlie Myers
In the spring of this year, Charlie Myers was on his way home after his shift was over, when he noticed a woman and several children were stranded on the side of the road with car problems. Charlie was able to diagnose the problem, he not only purchased parts for repair, but spent several hours on the side of the road making the repairs on a very hot day. He made sure everyone in the car was hydrated and had food to eat during this time. The lady notified the Fire department of this, told us that she believed that Charlie was her “guardian angel” and that she doesn’t know what she would have done had he not stopped.
Charlie’s service to the public did not stop when his shift was over. He reached out to help a stranger and his actions reflect the spirit of the City of Round Rock and the Fire Department, and we are proud that he was selected to receive the Customer Service award for the year 2010.
Human Resources – Hassan Farhat
Since joining the City’s Human Resources team in 1999, Hassan embarked upon a quest, as the Risk Manager, to ensure the health and safety of City employees, as well as preserve the City’s assets, resources and service capabilities from loss, damage, destruction or depletion. He has done an outstanding job.
He willingly takes a stand on the most challenging issues, while looking out for the City’s best interest. He has applied this same open and honest approach to citizens regarding their claims against the City. He has, with tact and diplomacy, educated the citizens of the City’s role in their situation. He respectfully says “no” when it is needed to be said, or “yes” when it is appropriate. Hassan has been recognized by other departments for the positive conclusions that were a result of his efforts.
Information Technology Communication – Megan Tschoerner
Megan has been with the City four years. During this time she has participated on the Customer Service Team as our ITC representative in 2009 and completed the City sponsored Customer Service Academy courses. In 2009 she was promoted to Systems Administrator whose primary duties are to provide application support for Public Safety (Police & Fire). The ITC management team strongly agreed that she would be the best suited for the challenge that awaited this new position. Megan possesses and daily demonstrates customer-first mindset and attitude in job practices and interaction with the end user. She is always cheerful, friendly and always willing to help not only the end users but fellow team members as well. Her contagious smile and approachable attitude are keys to her success in dealing with a difficult situation or staff. During any customer service situation her goal is to always provide her customers a positive experience. The City and ITC are truly blessed to have a person of her caliber working to provide excellent customer service.
Infrastructure Development & Construction Management – Tim Minier
Tim is the Chief Residential Inspector for the Inspections Division. He is the go-to guy for resolution of conflicts concerning residential construction for the City. The reason he is nominated for the Outstanding Customer Service Award can be summarized in one word: INTEGRITY. He is down to earth. He communicates well with all of his customers and is willing to assist them in any way he can without causing conflicts. He has complete respect and admiration of his peers. He does every task that he is asked to do, whether or not it is in his job description and is willing to take on extra duty when he is asked to.
Library – Virginia Hadley
Virginia provides outstanding internal and external customer service. She will drop whatever she’s doing to give prompt, courteous service to library patrons as well as to fellow staff members. At her story-times, she shares a love and joy that is palpable throughout the room. The Library is a better place because of her.
Municipal Court – Lenore Stone
Lenore goes above and beyond. She has a wonderful working relationship with the Police Department. If she sends an officer a reminder e-mail, they only need to see her name and they come running. She makes us laugh when we need it most. Lenore never hesitates to help a co-worker in need. Lenore is always willing to help locate anything that is needed as well as helping at the front counter and enter the citations.
Operations and Maintenance – Alan Moreno
Alan has received 15 customer survey cards for his outstanding work and customer service this year! He has also received internal at-a-boys from various department heads and managers. Kim Lutz, Senior Utility Manager said that Alan and his crew worked hard on a hot and uncomfortable day without any complaints helping her department and that they were a pleasure to work with.
Alan always has his customer’s interest at heart. He is willing to help out other departments without hesitation. He goes the extra mile to do a great job for the City. Alan is a great asset to the O&M Department.
Parks and Recreation – Melissa Montemayor
Melissa is a star example of positive and friendly customer service! Melissa is the voice you hear as soon as the door opens at the Clay Madsen Recreation Center with a friendly “Hello, how are you today?” and “Thank you for coming in. Have a great day.” With Melissa, it’s not just the words but you can truly tell she means it! She is always going out of her way to assist customers with information, promoting the programs, assisting the staff and instructors with their needs, working with office staff to correct any misinformation she may find. She is professional, courteous, friendly and respectful in her customer service. Her efforts help create the welcoming and family friendly environment that the Rec Center strives for each day. (No picture available)
Planning & Community Development – Vickie Moreno
Vickie’s positive attitude is contagious! Vickie always has a smile and makes everyone feel welcomed. She goes out of her way to help folks in any way she can. She is friendly, courteous and dedicated to her job. We are very lucky to have Vickie as a member of the Planning Department.
Police – Blake Bearden
Blake has been chosen by the Police Department for the Customer Service award because he consistently goes above and beyond his normal duties and is always willing to help anyone and everyone without complaint, no matter the size of the task. He always has a friendly, positive attitude and strives to provide superior customer service to each person that he comes in contact with, always being professional and courteous in these interactions. His fellow employees did not want his positive attitude, knowledge, professionalism, and devotion to his job and the City of Round Rock to go un-recognized.
Congratulations to our winners! We’ll see you next year. Please let us know how you think we can make CSA Day even better.
All pictures by Arnold Wells.