Giving good customer service applies to anyone in a service position, including police officers. Whether you are on the police force for a city, school, or a security guard for a neighborhood, good customer service skills are paramount to build trust and respect. Giving speeding tickets is just one small aspect of a police officer’s job and even good customer service can apply to that task. Pulling a vehicle over to a safe place, immediately identifying yourself by name and showing your badge, specifically stating the reason for the stop, respectfully addressing the citizen, giving advice on how to slowly pull out into moving traffic are all signs of good customer service.
The Wilmington Police Force knows that building strong community ties are affected by the level of service received from their department. By instituting a Customer Service Team they are starting to look at how to improve processes that cause frustration for citizens starting with their phone system. For example, how often does someone call in and get transferred to the wrong department? This causes wasted time not only for the citizen, but also to the person receiving the call they can’t help. A good customer experience results in a stronger emotional connection between the department and the people of the community. When citizens see their concerns addressed quickly and effectively, their level of trust rises.
Police customer service is not the same as retail customer service. In other words, if you don’t like the product or the service, you can’t return it for a refund. But part of good police customer service is acting professionally, paying attention to your appearance, being courteous and respectful, and collaborating with others. These behaviors on a consistent basis would go far in cementing better relationships between police officers and the citizens they are hired to protect.
Any organization that has a person or department that is in place to enforce rules, should adhere to best practices of customer service. It will make the job more pleasant for the individual and it is what customers should expect. Providing clear expectations, making processes easy to do business with you, treating customers both internal and external with respect, are all hallmarks of good customer service. The payoff can be priceless.