97 – A question: What if we treated the community the way we treat internal customers?

Posted by Whistler                                                                                          400 words

bins in street

Colin Weatherby’s post about corporate services reminded me about a video clip that I saw some time ago showing what life might be like if the airlines ran like the health service. It was an interesting way to challenge accepted standards and made the whole system look out of touch. Colin’s post about our corporate services colleagues made me think that a similar parody might be needed to highlight the lack of respect internal service providers within councils often show for their customers.

Here goes.

Customer Service Officer (CSO) sitting in call centre answers the telephone to incoming call from a resident.

CSO:                      Hello, how can I help you?

Resident:             Hello. I put my bin out for collection on Monday and it hasn’t been collected. It is now Wednesday and I am wondering what is happening.

CSO:                      Did you put it out the front?

Resident:             Yes. I put it where I always put it on the nature strip.

CSO:                      Ah. There is your problem.

Resident:             I don’t understand.

CSO:                    Well, we no longer collect bins from out the front of houses. It is a new cost saving measure that will save lots of money. We won’t have to increase your rates by nearly as much this year. It will save at least $5 a week per household.

Resident:             But no one told me.

CSO:                     That’s because it would have cost us a lot of money to tell people. We don’t want to waste money.

Resident:             So what will happen now?

CSO:                      That depends. Do you still want your bin emptied?

Resident:             Of course. What else can I do with the rubbish?

CSO:                     You could bury it in your garden. We are recommending that to residents who have trouble accessing the new service.

Resident:             So there is a new service?

CSO:                     Of course. If you take your bin to the regional landfill they will accept it at no charge. It is a great deal.

Resident:             But how can I get my bin to the landfill. I only have a small car.

CSO:                     Well, you could pay for a contractor to take your bin to the landfill.

Resident:             How much will that cost?

CSO:                     You will need to look online for a suitable contractor, we can’t recommend anyone, and you are likely to be charged $5 to $10.

Resident:            But you said the saving is $5 a week and now I have to spend time looking for a contractor and you say it will cost me at least that much or more.

CSO:                    Well our budgets are looking much healthier. You should be pleased that we are becoming more efficient. Is there anything else I can help with?

Resident:            Well, what about my recycling bin?

CSO:                     Sir, I have wonderful news. We have made even bigger savings with that service …