Customer Service for Fire Departments - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Customer Service for Fire Departments

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  1. Customer Service for Fire Departments Massachusetts Fire Service Project Customer Service: East meets West Revision: Summer 2008 Captain Jim Vuona – Shrewsbury Fire Contributors: Lt. Jeremy Souza – Swansea Fire Lt. Stephen Walsh – Quincy Fire Capt. Phil Field (EFO)– C-O-M-M Fire The how and why of being nice…

  2. Goals • Provide the highest level of customer service to the community • Enhance the image of your department and the fire service Customer Service - Spring 06

  3. Objectives • Understand the concept of customer service • Define who our customers are • Avoid the common pitfalls • Examine the potential benefits Customer Service - Spring 06

  4. Objectives • Explain the ways customer service can affect us • Improve communication skills • Provide a higher level of customer service Customer Service - Spring 06

  5. Customer Service - Defined What is customer service? “An organization’s abilities to supply their customers wants and needs” Does this go far enough? … or should we exceed customers expectations?... And provide “excellent customer service” Customer Service - Spring 06

  6. Customer Wants and Needs What do our customers want? Make a list… Someone to Help Them Timely Response Sympathy Courtesy Understanding A Solution to their Problem! Customer Service - Spring 06

  7. The Customer Service Model Phoenix Fire Department • Provide best possible service to Customers • Always be Nice • Execute standard problem solving outcome • Regard everyone as a Customer • Consider how/what you are doings looks • Don’t disqualify Customer w/ your Qualifications • Customer – centered Organizational Behavior • Continually improve Customer Service Customer Service - Spring 06

  8. It’s all about perception!Remember, to the Individual Perception is Reality

  9. Public Perception • The attitudes that we have • Treat everyone with respect • Those on the front lines represent everyone Customer Service - Spring 06

  10. The Golden Rule The Customer is Always Right… (even when they’re wrong!) It’s more important to be Polite, than Right! Customer Service - Spring 06

  11. It starts at the top! • Fire Chiefs and Company Officers must: 1. Provide leadership 2. Set a good example 3. Communicate the mission 4. Support the troops 5. Recognize outstanding effort Customer Service - Spring 06

  12. CitizenKARE • Means Putting Citizens First! • Knowledge • Attitude • Respect • Excellence Customer Service - Spring 06

  13. CPR…keeping customer service alive! Customer Service - Spring 06

  14. Who are our customers? Anyone that interacts with the fire service, on any level, is a customer Customer Service - Spring 06

  15. Who are our customers? Customers are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna to get… and you never know who they know…. Customer Service - Spring 06

  16. Turn ‘Lemons into Lemonade’ “Unhappy customers are always a concern. They’re also your greatest opportunity” Bill Gates CEO Microsoft Customer Service - Spring 06

  17. Angry Customers The Assassin – tells others about your flaws Strategy: • provide apologies • ask for specifics • seek win/win options • avoid absolutes • never underestimate their connections • Follow up Customer Service - Spring 06

  18. Angry Customers The Butcher – demands go to the extreme or the impossible Strategy: • indicate you want to help • explore alternatives • develop a matching offer • know your limit Customer Service - Spring 06

  19. Angry Customers The Pincher – nitpicks the small stuff, ignores the big stuff Strategy: • don’t sweat the minor details • redirect • focus on the big picture • be sure to document Customer Service - Spring 06

  20. Angry Customers The Grenade – angry about one thing, rants about everything Strategy: • allow them to vent • find mutual agreement • clarify problem/solution • act promptly Customer Service - Spring 06

  21. Angry Customers The Vampire – wants to make you angry more than fix the problem Strategy: • tell them what you can do • be empathetic • don’t take it personal • don’t respond in kind… that’s just what they want to Suck the Life out of You! Customer Service - Spring 06

  22. The Bottom Line • Listen to your customers • Don’t argue with them • Accommodate them promptly (if possible) • Nod and smile! (when appropriate) Customer Service - Spring 06

  23. “What you do to or for your customers is the difference between success and failure” Thomas Faranda

  24. Pitfalls What could possibly go wrong? Customer Service - Spring 06

  25. What could possibly go wrong? • Broken promises/failure to provide the service • Unpleasant surprises • Unrealistic customer expectations • Delayed responses • Ignoring/minimizing the customer’s problem or concerns • Bad manners Customer Service - Spring 06

  26. Broken Promises • You said you were going to save grandma! • I scheduled an inspection for this morning and you didn’t show up! Customer Service - Spring 06

  27. Unpleasant Surprises • Forcing entry on false alarms. • Tracking dirt into a home. • Don’t create more damage than the Emergency!!! Hippocrates said “first, do no harm” Customer Service - Spring 06

  28. PFD - Mission Statement:Prevent Harm – Survive – Be Nice Customer Service - Spring 06

  29. Unrealistic Expectations • Why can’t you save grandma? • Get inside my burning house and save fluffy! • Take time to educate the public • Movies and television aren’t reality Customer Service - Spring 06

  30. Delayed Response • I called you 20 minutes ago! • Perception of time slows down for people having emergencies Customer Service - Spring 06

  31. Minimizing the Customer • This call is nothing, you should have seen what we had last shift • It’s the third time we’ve been here this week – our response gets complacent • Don’t disqualify the customer with your qualifications Customer Service - Spring 06

  32. Bad Manners • “Firehouse language” has no place outside of the firehouse • Making comments in poor taste can easily turn a good customer away • If you wouldn’t say it in front of your mother, don’t say to the general public Customer Service - Spring 06

  33. What’s it mean for me ? How does poor customer service affect us? Make a list… Political Issues Department Actions Legal Issues Makes the Call more Difficult Customer Service - Spring 06

  34. Political Issues • Angry customers tell people about their experience with you • Satisfied customers don’t tell anyone • Happy customers tell people about their experience, but less than angry customers Customer Service - Spring 06

  35. Statistically • The average customer tells 11 people about their unpleasant experience… • Those 11 each tell 5 more…and so on… • That’s 56 people negatively affected by one bad customer service experience Customer Service - Spring 06

  36. Department Actions • Customers may complain to department/city administrators about your actions • Poor customer service may result in disciplinary actions towards the personnel involved • Good or bad service can create good or bad press – the press never forgets Customer Service - Spring 06

  37. Legal Issues • Good customer service can sometimes make up for undesirable outcomes • Bad customer service can lead to legal consequences Customer Service - Spring 06

  38. What’s in it for us? • How can Excellent Customer Service affect us? • Professionalism • Turns negatives into positives! • Recognition (political/media) • Positive public image • Community support • Keeps the Chief off my ***!!!! Customer Service - Spring 06

  39. Build Community Equity! • What’s it all mean???? • Winning hearts and minds (and votes!) • Connecting with community partners • Marketing the mission (life safety programs) • Building respect for your department Customer Service - Spring 06

  40. Connecting with your Community Get Involved! Customer Service - Spring 06

  41. Public Education & Life Safety Programs • NFPA – Risk Watch • NFPA - Learn Not to Burn Curriculum • Massachusetts – S.A.F.E. Program Customer Service - Spring 06

  42. Customer Service - Spring 06

  43. Station Visitors • First impressions • Professional and courteous • Any interactions with the public should be viewed as an educational opportunity! Customer Service - Spring 06

  44. USFA – PIER Program • Public Information • Public Education • Public Relations • USFA - Strategies for Marketing your Fire Dept. Today and Beyond Customer Service - Spring 06

  45. Communication Skills Each of us holds the key to good customer service: • Quality appearance • Controlling emotions (ours and theirs) • Controlling attempts at humor • Appropriate language in the presence of others Customer Service - Spring 06

  46. Customer Service - Spring 06

  47. Controlling our Emotions • Maintain a level attitude • Their worst day, is our everyday • Don’t escalate the situation • Stay away from ‘road rage’ • Be nice! Customer Service - Spring 06

  48. Arrival – EMS incidents • Greet the customer in a friendly manner • Perform your assessment in a friendly, professional way • Use your listening skills • Many customers are repeat business, they are comparing you to other responders’ actions Customer Service - Spring 06

  49. Controlling their Emotions • Don’t interrupt the customer • Acknowledge their problems • Confirm the details • Outline steps to solve their problems • Provide updates, both good and bad • Get their input to solve the problem Customer Service - Spring 06

  50. Humor • Attempts at humor can ruin good service • If you have to ask, then don’t use it • If you aren’t good with humor, don’t try to use it Customer Service - Spring 06