By Ms. Kristin Bradley (IMCOM)May 20, 2009
HOHENFELS, Germany -- The computer monitor and podium that recently appeared in the waiting area of Bldg. 10 may not be the most exciting thing to ever happen at U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels, but if the excitement it elicits from garrison officials is any indicator, it is a small thing that could be the start of big changes at Hohenfels.
At first glance it seems innocent enough.
The computer monitor has the letters I-C-E printed on a banner above it that politely asks patrons to provide feedback on the service they just received.
Now picture that monitor, and the many that will soon join it at locations across post, coming to life in the spirit of the The Brave Little Toaster.
Proudly accepting its role as advocate for the people of USAG Hohenfels, it charges across post to garrison headquarters.
It enters the office of Annette Stanis, garrison plans and management analyst, and hands her messages written by customers about their experiences with various on-post service providers.
After Stanis routes the comments, they end up on the desks of Bridy Godwin, Plans, Analysis and Integration Office director, and the director of the appropriate service provider.
But the job of the brave little ICE kiosk is not done yet.
With head held high, the monitor walks down the hallway to the offices of Lt. Col. Gary Bloomberg, garrison commander, and Chris Saucedo, deputy garrison commander.
It hands them any unsatisfied customer comments, staying to make sure the garrison's highest leadership knows the concerns of community members.
Though in reality there is no ICE kiosk marching around USAG-H headquarters, the truth remains that all ICE comments are read and considered.
Every single unsatisfied comment, which Godwin said only add up to about 6 to 8 percent, is read by the command group and corresponding service provider and a response is sent within 48 hours.
Every sixth satisfied comment receives a response "to let the customer know how much we appreciate the feedback," said Godwin, adding that those comments are just as important because they allow service providers to recognize outstanding employees and processes.
In the past, customers had to fill out paper ICE comments, which took time to input and process, or remember their comment until they could access the ICE Web site.
"(The kiosks) are an opportunity for the customer to provide real-time feedback right after they get service from one of our great providers," said Bloomberg. "It allows the community to tell us how we're doing, where we can improve, and recognize great people's efforts."
"Our dissatisfied comments allow us the opportunity to improve the services within the community. Most that come in are very easily fixed," Godwin said.
According to both Godwin and Bloomberg, kiosks will soon be placed at all major locations around post like the medical clinic, the gym, Army Community Service, the Post Exchange and more.
"I'm hoping that automating the system like this will generate even more comments. It's easy to complete and it's right there," Godwin said, adding that customers should include their contact information if at all possible so they can receive a response.
Godwin said not only is she excited about streamlining the system for customer feedback, she is proud of how they were able to do it.
Hohenfels is currently the only garrison in Europe with the kiosks, a feat they achieved for a fraction of the usual cost.
Instead of buying new computers and podiums, Godwin and her team used older, decommissioned garrison computers and the Directorate of Logistics built the podiums themselves with materials and tools they already had.
"It took lots of team work to provide this service to the community. It is a test of the greatness of the Hohenfels area that we did this for a fraction of the cost and within eight weeks from start to finish," she said, acknowledging that the project would not have been possible without Stanis, who spearheaded the project, and the 69th Signal Company who "went above and beyond to help us accomplish our number one garrison goal of exceeding the expectations of the Soldiers, family members and civilians in the Hohenfels military community."