The U.S. Government and Service

Admit it. You laughed when you read the title, didn’t you? It’s almost as if these two entities are mutually exclusive, isn’t it? That certainly was my experience when I called the IRS with a few tax questions last week. After I made my way through the convoluted phone tree and finally reached a person, my representative was short, didn’t know the answers to my questions, and didn’t know the person to whom I should be speaking who may know these answers.

An hour later, nothing was accomplished and I started thinking about how ironic it is that our government—an entity that exists only because of the people it serves (for the people, by the people, remember?) can’t figure out how to serve those people. In fact, I would say that our government provides the worst customer service experience out there. Why? Because it is not held to corporate standards heightened through competition. There is no competing IRS that I can call because I was frustrated with the service I received. Because there is no alternative, the service and customer engagement rules of the marketplace simply don’t apply. But they should; the government has a revenue stream and an employee population, and they interact with “customers” everyday. Why are they exempt from even baseline service standard requirements?

What do you think?

  • Do you agree? Has your service experience with government entities been poor?
  • If so, do you think the lack of competition as it exists in the arena is the reason why?
  • Do you disagree? Have you had a positive service experience with a government entity you’d like to share?

Post your response—and check back for a reply!