Testing Pono: Three P's should guide all customer interactions
March 21, 2013
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii -- During recent weeks, the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii community's normal routines have been disrupted by the Macomb Gate closure, major road construction projects and several unscheduled power outages.
Still, the garrison is working hard to minimize these inconveniences, so community members can proceed about their day-to-day activities with less stress.
"We fully understand your frustrations with the construction traffic congestion and the recent electricity outages," said Col. Dan Whitney, garrison commander. "Our absolute top priority is taking care of you -- our customers. I appreciate everyone's patience as we make these improvements to better our installations."
According to its vision statement, USAG-HI aims to be "the most innovative customer-focused garrison in the Army." Customer service, however, is more than just performing a service or doing business with a smile, said Jennifer Mootz, chief, at USAG-HI's Plans, Analysis and Integration Office.
"Customer service is about putting hearts behind 'pono' actions, that is, being polite, professional and positive," she said. "It's more about the interaction that takes place between the service provider and the customer."
"Pono, strictly translated, is the Hawaiian word that means 'righteous,'" explained Ophelia Isreal, formerly PAIO's Customer Management Services officer, who initiated the "Three Ps" program. "It also means 'rightness' and 'excellence' -- two values that the garrison strives to incorporate into its culture."
"Three Ps" -- "Polite, Professional and Positive" -- is the standard for garrison employees. They are expected to not only know their jobs, but also to be respectful of customers and co-workers, and to look for solutions beyond their everyday routines. So, throughout wanted and needed infrastructure improvements, the garrison is listening to comments and adjusting course, as needed, to best accommodate progress.
Further, the garrison provides many venues to resolve issues that come up in the community, within military family housing and in the workplace. When customers contact the correct organization, their issues can be settled as quickly as possible.
Still, patience -- yes patience -- may be needed while awaiting resolution of one issue or another, but customers can be assured that garrison personnel take customers concerns very seriously. Not all issues, however, can be resolved quickly.
Ways to communicate
The Army community of Soldiers, family members, civilians and retirees can communicate with the garrison in many venues. Among the most-used are ICE and Facebook, but again, accessing the correct venue aids in swift resolution of problems.
ICE. The Interactive Customer Evaluation system is a web-based tool that collects feedback on services provided by various organizations throughout the Department of Defense.
ICE allows customers to submit online comment cards to rate the service providers they have encountered at military installations and related facilities around the world. It is designed to improve customer service by allowing managers to monitor the satisfaction levels of services provided through reports and customer comments.
And you will be heard.
"I can assure everyone that each and every negative ICE comment is read by either the garrison commander or me," relayed Jim Duttweiler, the deputy to the garrison commander.
USAG-HI's standard is to respond to ICE comments within 72 hours; community members should submit time-sensitive concerns to ICE at http://ice.disa.mil.
Army Family Action Plan. AFAP provides real-time information to commanders from their Soldiers and family members about what they think is and is not working properly. The program allows commanders to prioritize where efforts or resources should go first.
USAG-HI and U.S. Army-Pacific hold annual conferences that review AFAP issues from the community and/or volunteer delegates. Submit solutions by completing an issue form at www.himwr.com/getting-involved/army-family-action-plan.
Ask the Garrison Commander. ATGC is an email accessible tool that allows Soldiers, family members, retirees, and civilians (both military and non-military-affiliated) to present concerns and provide recommend outcomes to the garrison commander. Directorates and support staff research queries and provide responses to the commander, and PAIO monitors all responses.
Social Networks. USAG-HI's Public Affairs Office manages several social networks that allow customer interaction. The most popular are Facebook (www.facebook.com/usaghawaii), Twitter (www.twitter.com/usaghawaii) and the installation newspaper's online website at www.hawaiiarmyweekly.com.
"Social media networks, like Facebook, are a great resource to get important and impactful information out to the largest population as quickly as possible," said Lacey Justinger, digital media specialist, USAG-HI PAO. "However, this system isn't the venue to resolve day-to-day issues, unless it's during the town hall. Other resources like ICE and Ask the Garrison Commander are systems specifically designed to track and address current concerns."
Town Halls. Garrison hosts quarterly town halls online; the next Facebook town hall is 6-7:30 p.m., Feb. 27. This forum is provided as a resource to elevate awareness of community concerns during which subject matter experts provide information and can advise on policies or procedures.
DPW Service Orders. USAG-HI's Directorate of Public Works solicits service orders about power outages, road and building repairs at 656-1275, or through customer walk-ins at 947 Wright Ave, Wheeler Army Airfield, Bldg. 104, 1st floor. Service order hours of operation are weekdays, 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Only emergencies are serviced after hours.
DES Community Policing. Garrison's Directorate of Emergency Services can be contacted at (808) 655-7114 for the Schofield Barracks area and at (808) 438-7114 for the Fort Shafter area to report suspicious or criminal activity. DES maintains an anonymous crime tips link at https://www.tipsoft.com and monitors both Facebook, www.facebook.com/DES.USAG.HI, and Twitter, @USAG_HI_DES comments.
IPC Resident Feedback. Island Palm Communities, USAG-HI's partner in the management of its on-post military family housing community, offers residents the opportunity to share their ideas, suggestions and concerns through a variety of mediums. Residents can communicate with a member of their community center team in person, over the phone or via email. Contact information can be found at www.islandpalmcommunities.com/go/communitycenters. Feedback also can be provided through the Insite customer feedback module found at www.islandpalmcommunities.com/insite.
PAIO Customer Management Services. USAG-HI's PAIO hosts periodic focus groups and assessments to gauge the pulse of the community. PAIO will be fielding an annual Community Survey this summer, which will help PAIO obtain feedback on varied services that USAG-HI provides.
This survey is important because measuring the quality of service on our installations is only half the story. It is also necessary to determine customers' expectations or the importance they attach to different attributes; otherwise, resources could be spent raising satisfaction levels of things that do not matter.