On Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009, the Customer Service Team presented the fourth annual Customer Service Awareness Day at the Baca Center. We had a wonderful turnout of 180 people.
The previous week the Customer Service Team presented four training sessions that were attended by more than 100 people. The sessions were:
- Understanding and Managing Generations in the Workplace by Brad Voss
- Defusing Hostile Customers by Shannon McIntire
- Roundtable Discussion of Multi-Generations by Kathy Michna, Christi McAllister, Dodi Lilja, Meagan Spinks, Megan Tschoerner, Rehana Vohra
- Real Life Customer Service by Yvonne Naylor, Lloyd Bird, Laton Carr, Theresa Faris, Jeremiah George, Chip Hadley, Mianne Haley, Paul Hernandez, Eddie Imken, Carol Isaaks
In all, almost 300 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.
David Kautz, assistant city manager and chief financial officer, and Jim Nuse, city manager, spoke about the importance of customer service in the City. Mayor Alan McGraw and Councilmembers Rufus Honeycutt and George White helped present the awards.
City employees, 229 in all, voted online for the Outstanding Customer Service by a Department or Division Award during the week of Sept. 21.
Outstanding Customer Service by a Department or Division: Information Technology
With the recent changes in the ITC department, it is evident that they are working hard to provide great customer service and ensure that the City runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. They have a plan in place and have communicated with their customers what is expected from their team. I have been amazed at the wonderful service I have received from this group this year. I was treated as a “Team member” and not as an extra burden to someone’s job.
“This recognition provides positive reinforcement that all the changes and hard work the IT department has done over the last year is actually working for the customers. What IT does is all about service excellence and it’s a tremendous honor that they were recognized by their customers with this award,” says Cindy Demers, assistant city manager.
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 2009 Award of Merit went to the Development Review Committee, an inter-departmental group that reviews building projects from a variety of considerations and coordinates comments to be sent to the applicant. By working together, the group provides better service to developers who previously had to “walk” their applications to each department and would often get conflicting and contradictory information. The group saves time and improves services to customers.
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 with the help of Mayor Alan McGraw and council members Rufus Honeycutt and George White. 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 Mayor McGraw and Councilmember Honeycutt.
Administration and Convention and Visitors Bureau: Joyce McCoy
As the receptionist for the City Manager’s Office, Joyce is the face of Administration, always willing to help citizens and other employees with their questions. Joyce handles a multitude of phone calls and visitors every day. She creates a friendly and professional front office environment. Whether it’s a fellow City employee, a CEO, an angry citizen, or somebody looking for the Human Resources Department – Joyce greets every visitor to the third floor of City Hall with a smile and courtesy. She strives to provide exceptional service to our customers. Joyce brings a sense of humor and old-fashioned friendliness that you just don’t find as much these days. She is an asset to the Administration department.
Building Construction & Facility Maintenance: Letty Anaya
Letty is always friendly, courteous and professional when dealing with internal and external customers. She is a team player helping out all departments as needed. On many occasions, she has offered her translating services to the Building Inspections department and has even gone as far as assisting Spanish speaking customers with filling out the proper application for permitting. She goes the extra mile by giving her direct phone number for those customers to contact her in the event that they have further questions. Her assistance is very much appreciated. She is a great asset to the department.
Engineering And Development Services: Christy Arrington
Christy is always one of top customer service specialists and this past year she stepped up to even a higher level as she took on a greater role in Development. This role brought her into some situations fraught with frustrated and/or confused customers that demanded quick answers. Christy’s welcoming empathetic demeanor helped calm the customers at which point she could educate them how to accomplish their goals in the most painless and efficient way possible. By learning additional technical skills, she was able to provide a more prompt response for customers who typically waited for technical staff to become available. These new skills along with a lot of patience allowed her to coordinate coverage for customers while three key staff members were absent simultaneously. The customers were still served and business went on without skipping a beat because of Christy’s great efforts.
Finance: Marianna Tartt
Marianna is knowledgeable, has a good work ethic and is an asset to our department. She is respectful and courteous to customers when they have issues or questions regarding their water services. She is always there to help her co-workers when they need it. She is patient when teaching new skills. She is a good leader and friend. She assists her co-workers in understanding departmental procedures. She is always pleasant. She is the hardest working person in Utility billing. She is always willing to help anyone. Marianna is helpful and nice, and never negative. She never says “I don’t have time.” She is the best.
Fire: Rick Joubert – Vehicle Maintenance
The Fire Department’s first priority is to the citizens of Round Rock. A safe and well maintained fleet of vehicles is an absolute necessity for the department to continue to provide excellent service. Rick Joubert’s extraordinary customer service, work ethic, and positive attitude have an influence on everyone he comes in contact with. His ability to get the job done, when repairs to fire apparatus are necessary, not only keeps the Fire Department running, but also keeps our citizens safe. Rick takes great pride in his work and goes above and beyond to ensure that the job is done correctly and quickly. He listens to our needs and he communicates what needs to be done and how long a repair may take in a clear and concise manner. Rick Joubert’s performance and positive attitude reflects well upon himself and the City Shop. The pride he takes in his work ensures that the Fire Department is always ready and able to respond to the needs of the citizens Round Rock.
(Note: Fire staff choose to honor someone outside their department)
Human Resources: Steven Centeno
Steven always extends warm greetings to both internal and external customers. Whenever he encounters hostile customers over the phone or in person, he never loses his cool or patience. We’ve observed Steven assisting customers who were having problems in completing their applications online and he will stay with them and walk them through the process step by step, until their problems are solved and their applications complete. This is why we nominate Steven Centeno.
Information Services: Russell Hoelting
Russell has demonstrated a positive attitude and approach when working with our customers. We have received several compliments regarding Russell’s communication skills and his diligent efforts to follow-up with his customers and provide proper resolutions. Russell’s customers that were surveyed say that he is a good listener, accommodating, easy to work with, result oriented, thorough and follows up after the job is completed. He has consistently shown excellent customer service with his professionalism and courteous demeanor.
Library: Charles Hadley
Chip is always available to ask questions of, resolve problems, help anywhere needed and listens when asked something. He has always put customers first and goes out of his way to serve our patrons. Patrons always recognize him at other locations and call him either by his name or simply the “Library Man.” He not only has excellent customer service skills while working the public service desks but his internal service to coworkers is exemplary. Chip has worked for the City full-time almost 20 years, and he is consistently cheerful, positive, and motivated.
Municipal Court: Sherril Friedrich
Sherril actively promotes open communication and teamwork. She is always willing to help and answer any questions as well as she is very enthusiastic. Sherril has a great sense of humor, always greets you with a smile, and is always willing to support her peers. She also has a strong focus on continuous improvement and looks for opportunities to facilitate work processes and improve efficiencies. Sherril provides excellent internal and external customer service.
Parks and Recreation: Elizabeth Sherman
Elizabeth has been a great example of customer service throughout her time at CMRC. She always greets each customer as they participate in the recreation center activities, she is helpful in meeting customer needs, and always demonstrates a positive and welcoming environment. One aspect of customer service that sets her apart from others is how informative she is. Elizabeth always goes the extra mile to explain programs, memberships, fees, facility issues and explains each situation with the correct information. If she is ever approached with a situation she does not know the answer to she will do the right thing and find out the answer and she always follows up with the customer. I think Elizabeth is a great example of customer service, friendly, courteous, dedicated to making a difference…she is a true asset to the CMRC staff team!
Planning and Community Development: Taylor Horton
Taylor Horton is an experienced and established planner with the Department of Planning and Community Development. In all his tasks, Taylor demonstrates the essence of good customer service. Always going the extra mile for both internal and external customers, Taylor is willing to help out in every way he can. Whether it’s assisting walk-in customers, reviewing landscape plans or conducting landscape installation inspections out in the field, Taylor keeps customers in mind in order to provide citizens and the development community with an exemplary customer experience.
Police: Joyce Peacock
Joyce has been the receptionist for the Police Department for over 12 years. Every day, she provides exceptional service with a smile on her face and a sense of humor. She is a vital part of the department and is always willing to help in any way that she can, whether she is working with the officers and staff within the department, outside agencies, or citizens of Round Rock and beyond. She constantly has her hands full with several phone lines, visitors to the lobby, and requests from coworkers, but is able to handle it all and makes it look like a breeze (though anyone who has tried her job knows that it isn’t)!
Public Works Planning, Programs & Administration: Caren Lee
Caren provides prompt, courteous and professional service to all internal and external customers; and is a great asset to the entire Public Works organization. She always has a positive attitude, takes the initiative to get things started, picks up the slack and helps wherever she is needed. She is a highly motivated team player and is always willing to learn new skills. Her “can-do” attitude shows how much pride she takes in her work. She is very talented at what she does and has a deep commitment to job. Although this employee has only been with the City for over 11 months, her knowledge and experience in municipal government has shown through in all that she does. (Not present at awards)
Transportation: Ronnie Crutchfield
Throughout the course of the year Ronnie has exemplified what it means to be a great public servant, and has raised the bar for everyone to look up to. He has assumed the on-call duties for our department this year, responding to citizens concerns and issues at all hours of the day and night. He has been a contact point for the Police and Fire Departments to deliver after-hours response in assistance to them, as well as direct a large number of waterline breaks to the proper personnel. He does it all without complaint and he is willing to lend a hand to anyone who needs it.
Water/Wastewater Utility: Kelli Timmerman
Kelli is the first contact person for the public and for internal customers. Kelli receives approximately 40 calls per day from external customers. This summer has been one of the busiest summers we have had for our Waterline Maintenance side due to the large amount of water main breaks. This has increased Kelli’s work load tremendously. Kelli can be extremely busy and still answers every call as if it was the first call of the day. She is always courteous with the customers even if they are upset, she stays calm and always follows thru to make sure the customer is satisfied to the best of her ability. Kelli also works well with all other departments. Kelli has also attended the customer service academy. Kelli goes beyond what is asked of her to assure everyone’s needs are met.
Water/Wastewater Utility: Christy Justice
Christy has been nothing short of exceptionally helpful and patient. Her positive attitude is contagious and it always make the day more pleasant when there is such a genuinely nice, happy person in the office smiling at you! Christy has also been a definite help in responding to phone call regarding the water mandatory restrictions. With her assistance answering and responding to phone call, accurate information was able to be disseminated quickly and more efficiently than with one person. And what made her assistance even more valuable was that she took the initiative and asked for information and offered to help.
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.