There have been preparations underway for weeks for the road construction project on my street. We have all come to tune them out — until the ROAD CLOSED signs appeared on the scene. While none of them have yet to be placed into position, it has caused quite a buzz amongst the neighbors. Many calls have been placed to City Hall and to Councilmen wanting to know the details of the impending detour.

The problem is that it is a county project, and no one at the city is apprised of the details.

But to many residents in this small community, “the city” isn’t some nebulous or faceless entity; “the city” means talking to Doug or Sarah or Curt or Craig. To their neighbors, “the city” equates to a person, whereas “the county” is a nameless bureaucracy that cannot help them.

If you truly want to provide customer service, start by putting a name with the one providing the service. Don’t hide behind “the administration”, “the accounting department”, “the C-suite”, “the 4th floor” or other generic categories that allow for anonymity or escape. Provide a name and a contact person as early in the process as you are able to create the connection and accountability to make it real.

Departments don’t provide service; people do.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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