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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Recommendation from Co-Leads of BIP #7 to Co-Leads of BIP #5

Dear Yvonne, Derrick and James:
We are writing on behalf of the BIP #7, Customer Service.  Although we still have considerable work to complete, because the progress on BIP #5 is moving so quickly and given the timing for 2006-2007 budget planning, we want to offer two recommendations based on our preliminary work. 
First, as you know, we have recently completed a survey of all city bureaus regarding customer service goals and values. Based on this preliminary work, we are recommending that the City to include in all job classifications, and subsequent job announcements, a requirement that addresses a candidates experience and training in customer service.  We believe this is an integral part of the charge that we have been given to improve customer service.  Making customer service a definitive criterion will allow:
  • recruitment evaluators to give adequate consideration to an applicant's experience and knowledge in customer service; and
  • application examinations and oral interviews to more adequately discern an applicant's customer service skills when making hiring decisions. 
Implementation of this recommendation will also allow customer service competency to be addressed more fully in the employee evaluation process.
Secondly, we want to assure that when designing any training program for a diverse work force, a customer service perspective is included. In today's environment, regardless of if the customer is another staff person or a tax payer, our workforce must be able to provide services tailored to that individual. The City has a long documented history of not providing equal service or access to all people. This will always need to be a central focus of any training.
We hope your team will be able to discuss and consider our recommendations.  Please let us know if you would like further information. 
Thank you, 
Michael Mills, Bonnie Morris & Carol Stahlke
Chairs of BIP #7