License to Change

A few weeks ago I went to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Stop right here. I know what you are thinking… “David is going to tell us another bad service story and this time, I could have written his blog entry because the MVA is synonymous with bad service.” Wrong. Keep reading.

I scheduled three hours for updating my registration because that is how long it had taken me last time. I braced myself for what I referred to as “the necessary evil.” As soon as I walked into the place, I noticed something was different. As I got into the long line and started thinking about what it could be, a staff member walked up and asked me my reason for coming and redirected me to a separate area with a much shorter line. Quickly, it was my turn and the staff member behind the computer greeted me pleasantly and proceeded to take care of my registration with a few clicks on the computer. In 40 minutes, I was done. Then, it hit me; it wasn’t one thing that had changed, it was several and I wanted to talk to the person in charge. Once that person revealed herself, I thanked her and told her how noticeable the change in service was. She thanked me and listed what had changed:

Light: They added additional lighting to improve the feel of the space.

Improved Flow: They reconfigured their counters so that customers could be triaged to different stations for faster service.

More Staff: They added staff members and cross-trained those staff members to decrease line length and customer (and staff) frustration.

Upgraded Computer Systems: They upgraded their systems and converted paper to electronic storage so that more could be accomplished quicker.

Customer Service Training: Added this as a requirement for all employees.

Change in Attitude: This, she said, was a result of all of the changes. At their company meetings now, customer complaints had decreased and positive feedback was shared which, in turn, improved morale and staff attitudes.

I was blown away. And if MVA service standards can change, there is hope for every organization out there.

What do you think?

  • Have you experienced a dramatic service transformation at an organization recently? If so, where and what changed?
  • Which change do you think made the most impact on improved MVA service?

Post your response—and check back for a reply!



Topics: business, communication, customer service, predictions