Customer Service in the City Retirement Office

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RetirementAs I wrote last month, the Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS) is undergoing a significant period of transformation. SCERS leadership has embarked on a number of improvements to the way the office conducts its business and serves its members.

This morning, the SCERS Board of Administration heard from a consultant about how the office can provide better communication and customer service. The consultant conducted a thorough review, highlighted current strengths and recommended some changes.

The recommendations were very specific. To name a few: begin tracking customer service metrics like contact volume, contact topic, response time and time to case closure; organize content on the website by audience group (member of the public, active employee, retired member, beneficiary, etc.); and simplify the language of written communications.

The actions highlighted in this audit, when implemented by staff, will greatly improve the interaction between SCERS staff and City employees, retirees and beneficiaries.

The study and recommendations also provide a strong example for other City departments to follow. Those of us in public service must always be asking ourselves: who are our direct customers and how can we better serve them?