1 / 81

Customer Service for Fire Departments

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

Download Presentation

Customer Service for Fire Departments

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author. Content is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only. Download presentation by click this link. While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server. During download, if you can't get a presentation, the file might be deleted by the publisher.


Presentation Transcript

  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

More Related