Working in a municipality defines public service, but sometimes it’s helpful to take a step back and focus on how a City staff can be more effective with its key constituents or customers. Every organization can be fortified by prioritizing its customers – internally and externally.

Last week the City of St. Cloud leveraged National Customer Service Week by launching a new “Building Trust” customer care initiative designed to strengthen the City’s culture. The five key elements of this new mindset include:

  • Give Trust. Start a positive cycle of trust by extending trust to others.
  • Keep Commitments. Say what you will do, then do it.
  • Accept Responsibility. Hold yourself accountable for your words and deeds.
  • Solve Problems. Make things right when they go wrong.
  • Be Honest. Tell the truth and keep your word.Nearly 200 employees signed a pledge to build trust internally and externally. And nearly 350 were recognized by citizens and employees citing good customer service experiences they witnessed, demonstrating support for employees as well as citizens.From the city manager participating in mock “undercover” boss moments trading places with employees, collecting supplies for citizens affected by Hurricane Maria to grilling hotdogs with the Osceola County Tax Collector and offering cake to visitors at City Hall, the week was strategically designed to remind employees about citizens’ needs. Citizens, too, were reminded of the professionalism and good nature of city staffers through a positive experience.“It’s important that employees not lose sight of the important work we do here, and like the public, our employees need to feel valued, too,” said City Manager William Sturgeon. “These five trust building elements work internally and externally; when trust is strengthened everyone can have a positive experience.”