IMCOM survey rates garrison's quality of service
October 20, 2008
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Emma Vinson is excited about her new job as she sees it as a way to help her community "make it happen."
Indeed, making life easier for those living and working at Army installations is the reason behind Installation Management Command's new Customer Management Services - a process that provides garrison commanders with the voice of the customer.
"This process is a way for IMCOM to get Army services to where they can be depended on and be predictable throughout the Army," said Vinson, who is the U.S. Army garrison Kaiserslautern's customer service officer. "As families go from installation to installation, the quality of services is something they can rely on."
As a part of this program, Vinson's new job is to determine from customers which Kaiserslautern garrison services fit IMCOM's goal of valuable and dependable and which ones need improvement.
"I really hope people will get onboard because the heart of this program is community (participation)," she said. "They have to let us know what the problem is and how we can fix it."
People can first participate by filling out the online Customer Assessment Survey that runs until Nov. 7. This survey is divided into two main categories - corporate or senior leadership; and constituent or community members. Besides Kaiserslautern, the survey is being held in Europe at USAG Grafenwoehr and USAG Wiesbaden, Germany, and USAG Vicenza, Italy.
Anyone who uses Kaiserslautern garrison's services - such as child development centers, clubs, chapels, new parent support services or libraries - are eligible and encouraged to take the survey. It's not just for those who work for the Army, said Vinson.
When beginning the survey, customers provide demographic data that will automatically direct them to the appropriate corporate or constituent assessment. An example cited by Vinson is that family members or retirees will not be asked to rate the Central Issue Facility or unaccompanied personnel housing - two services used by Soldiers and commanders.
Within the survey, customers will rate service performance on a scale of "1" (very poor) to "5" (excellent) and how important these services are to their lives or missions, also on a scale of "1" to "5."
The more people in each category who take the 20 to 30 minutes to complete the survey, the more accurate and substantial the data collected, said Vinson. Examples of categories are family members, retirees, active-duty troops and reservists.
The collected information will be returned by IMCOM to the garrison in December, with the information being used to identify and document best practices in areas and develop plans for improvement in others.
"Customers should see an improved level of services very quickly (in 2009), in all of the services that the garrison provides - as long as they provide input," Vinson said. She emphasized, "We need input from as many people - anyone who is here and uses garrison services."
This annual survey is the second part of the new customer management program's three-tiered approach to provide quality and dependable services throughout the Army. The first part is Department of Defense Web-based customer feedback system known as ICE (Interactive Customer Evaluation).
The third approach is Community FIRST (Feedback, Issues, Resolutions, Solutions, Today) - which are quarterly focus groups that identify and resolve specific issues. Focus groups will start here in December. The first one will be held for wounded Soldiers and their families to discuss services provided at the Warrior Transition Unit here, said Vinson. She added that two to three focus groups will be held every quarter so she can meet with each constituent group once a year.
"Bring your ideas. Bring your solutions," said Vinson. "Let's work them. Let's get them done. Let's make them happen."
The assessment survey has been linked to the U.S. Garrison Kaiserslautern Web site at www.kaiserslautern.army.mil.