Customers cite courteous staff, shorter wait times in comments
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Fort Leonard Wood’s Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS, ID card office has worked this year to improve the experiences of their customers, and the positive comments they’ve been receiving through the Interactive Customer Evaluation system — commonly called ICE — over the past few months are proof of their success.
According to Felesia Herron-Bryant, chief of the Human Resources Personnel Support Center here, some new training, a better system for communicating and a few changes to the layout of the customer area have made a big difference.
“We are here for the customers, be it a service member, retiree, contractor or civil servant,” she said. “Whatever we need to do, that should be our mindset. Whatever we need to do to make the customer’s visit more relaxing and not stressful, that’s our job.”
The physical modifications to the customer waiting area were designed to make interactions between employees and customers easier, Herron-Bryant said.
“We had two half walls (in the waiting area) and we just opened it up,” she said. “We had comments about the facility not being user friendly, and once we opened it up, it made it a more welcoming environment.”
When the DEERS system is unavailable, Eyonda Williams, chief of the Military Personnel Division, said finding more effective ways to communicate with customers has helped.
“If our system is down, we have a message we can push out via the Digital Garrison app, Facebook and Twitter,” she said. “Just so we can get the word out.”
Williams said incorporating new training as new employees came on board has also helped.
“A lot of (our new employees) were new to military life,” she said. “They did a tour … of the installation just to kind of bring everything together so our staff could see what our customers go through — the distances they travel. I think that was positive and productive.”
The ID card office employees now also actively promote the ICE system to their customers — and welcome feedback on ways they can improve.
“We did see a significant rise in customer comments and I look at the comments to see what we can do better,” Williams said.
Another big help is that the facility is now fully staffed, Herron-Bryant added. Six workstations are open — previously, only four stations were available at any time.
“With all the facility’s workstations in operation there is less wait time for customers and more customers are being seen daily,” she said.
Those customers have been voicing their approval of the changes being made.
“Best experience I've had at any ID facility ever,” said one ID card office customer last month.
“The service today has greatly improved over our last couple of times we have visited here — thank you,” said another.
Lauren Hill, an HR assistant, was singled out in a comment for being “extremely attentive.”
“She is a true professional who has service members and their family as her priority,” the comment read. “Thank you for placing people first.”
Herron-Bryant said the goal for the staff is simple.
“Get the customer in and out in a timely manner, and while we are doing that, we need to make sure we are providing them with the best customer service while addressing all of their issues in that one visit to keep them from having to come back,” she said.
The ID card office is open for appointments and walk-ins from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon Thursday. To schedule an appointment, visit https://idco.dmdc.osd.mil/idco. Call 573.596.0744 for more information.