Does your service staff have an “easy” button?

by Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC on July 11, 2012

I admit it, I’m jaded. My experiences with most government employees has been negative. Most of the ones I’ve encountered have had lackadaisical attitudes and full of “I can’t do that” verbiage, rather than seeing if they can find a solution.
 
Granted, from my government clients, I understand that there are limits to what they can do. Yet occasionally I find an enlightened government employee who says, “Let me see what I can do” rather than telling me all the work I need to do to accomplish what I need.
 
So imagine my delight when I encountered Kevin, an appraiser at County of Santa Clara. He called me back within minutes of my voice mail (I am used to calling government employees numerous times with no call backs). He was professional, present, friendly and listened thoroughly to my question. 
 
My challenge was to clear up a decades-old mistake listing my home as having 4 bedrooms when it has had five since 1967. Evidently this was not important to the previous two owners, but I was interested in accuracy. Additionally, I’d recently upgraded a powder room to add a bathtub and shower and wanted to make sure this was reflected on my home’s listing.
 
Kevin asked if the bathroom work was issued a permit, which it was. He then accessed the City of San Jose’s Building Department’s online records which showed the permit as well as the blueprints for the whole house. He quickly saw the 5 bedrooms and said he’d made the adjustment while we were on the phone. 
 
Then he accessed the final inspection documentation saying my bathroom was completed and made that update as well. He suggested calling back in 2 weeks to verify the system had recorded the adjustment. When I called him then, he not only remembered our conversation, but confirmed the changes had been made.
 
Wow!
 
If there were more Kevins in government it would mean happier citizenry. It would also help us see that the occasional uncaring staff member was an anomaly, not the norm.
 
When I ended the conversation, I said “That was easy! You need an “Easy” button on your desk!” He laughed.

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