Program Offers Customers New Ways To Submit Feedback
September 4, 2008
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas - A new Army program is offering garrison customers new avenues to let their voices be heard, whether it's to recognize outstanding service, bring forth a concern or make a recommendation.
The Customer Management Services program is a three-part process that enables garrison leadership to capture and analyze customer feedback to improve installation programs and services.
The program was developed at Fort Jackson, S.C., piloted at three installations and implemented about a month ago at 36 installations throughout the Army's Installation Management Command.
"The goal of the process is improved performance, readiness, retention, recruiting and work-life balance on Fort Sam Houston," said Russell Matthias, customer service officer, Plans, Analysis and Integration Office, who is implementing the new program for the garrison.
The program includes a three-tiered process: Interactive Customer Evaluation, Community FIRST and Corporate and Constituent Assessments.
The first process is one that many garrison employees may already know by its common name - ICE. The ICE system offers customers a way to provide feedback to any service provider on post using ICE comment cards or filling out a survey online; visit http://ice.disa.mil, click on Army CONUS, then scroll down to Fort Sam Houston. A response is provided to the customer within 72 hours after receipt of the survey.
"The ICE automated system allows customers to rate products and services and offer immediate feedback to all service providers," Matthias said. "The feedback can be used to help improve the quality of service to customers and identify issues that affect their well-being."
Some areas where customers can rate include: facility appearance, employee attitude, timeliness of service, and whether or not the product met the needs of the customer.
The second tier in the three-part process is Community FIRST, which stands for Feedback, Issues, Resolutions, Solutions, Today. In this process, focus groups meet quarterly to identify issues on Fort Sam Houston. Each focus group comprises a different constituent, which can include: Warriors in Transition, Families, Soldiers, retirees, Department of Defense employees, veterans and surviving spouses.
"Every quarter, a focus group will meet to bring forth issues and concerns," Matthias said. "We'll take that input and bring it to the garrison leadership to resolve."
The garrison will try to resolve the issues at the lowest level, whether it's at a directorate or customer service provider level.
"The goal is quick resolutions," Matthias said. "Once an issue is brought forth, the goal will be to have it resolved within 30 days."
Some issues may be identified as better suited for the Fort Sam Houston Army Family Action Plan annual forum. AFAP provides a way for the Army community to let Army leadership know what works, what doesn't, and what they think will fix it. Some issues are resolved at the installation level, while other, more far-reaching topics, are brought to the major command, region and Army-level forums each year.
The last tier of the process is corporate and constituent assessments. Garrison employees will be invited to fill out an assessment online in late October.
"The garrison commander will review the feedback and use it to allocate resources to improve garrison programs," Matthias said.
The program is new, but Matthias said he has high hopes that positive results can be gained.
"We want to increase the feedback received, positive or otherwise, and find quick resolutions to issues," Matthias said. "Through employee participation, we can work together to improve and enhance garrison programs."