Community Service / Customer Orientation Skills

Public Employees Leadership Institute
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1. Customer service
2. Dealing with internal and external customers
3. Public relations guidelines
4. Media relations
5. Public relations – real-world activities
6. Diversity programs
7. Diversity – community efforts

This course examines the need for and the practice of community service and customer orientation through the use of employee skills. These skills are acquired and best taught by the examples shown by an organization’s leaders. The decisions and processes that are used to define your agencies’ customers not only define what group(s) are included, but they also often emphasize the strategies that may be used to allow better communications with that group.

Depending on the size and complexity of your target customer group, various tools will be discussed and exemplified to convey to them your messages through: personal contact with individuals, public service announcements, press releases, and phone and personal interviews (via radio or television). Dealing with the changing face and makeup of some communities can require additional and more locally specific and innovative applications.

These skills are all developed by understanding:

  • Who your customer is
  • Customer service practices (for individuals to group sizes)
  • That keeping the customer informed prevents frustration
  • That compromise is the norm for meeting a diverse group’s goals

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand management’s role in the customer service arena
  • Identify different types of customers
  • Use the steps of communication with different customers
  • Analyze current operations to identify staff training needs
  • Understand management’s role in the public relations arena
  • Understand the role of public relations in changing or shaping public perceptions
  • Develop basic techniques in dealing with the media

Key concepts include:

  • Defining customers
  • Methods of communication information
  • Using diversity to grow

Ankeny Driver License Station Supervisor

Sandy Ross is a native Iowan, who grew up in rural Eddyille, Iowa. She started her public service career in 1986, in Albia, Iowa as a police dispatcher with the Albia Police Department and then transferred to the Mahaska County 911 Center, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. She progressed to the Iowa Department of Transportation, Office of Driver Services in 1994. Sandy began as Driver License Clerk and was promoted to her current position as Supervisor at the Ankeny Driver License Station.

Iowa Department of Transportation Director of the Office of the Right of Way

BS in Civil Engineering; Iowa State University

Marty Sankey is a 1982 graduate in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University. He began his career with the Iowa Department of Transportation in 1984 in the office of Project Planning. There he conducted corridor studies for the major highway improvements across the state. In 1996, he became the I-235 Project Manager. This position involved coordinating all of the various activities involved with the $429 million reconstruction of I-235 through the Des Moines metropolitan area. In 2006, he was appointed to his current position as the director of the office of Right of Way for the Iowa DOT.

Iowa Department of Transportation Senior Purchasing Officer

Graduate of Iowa State University

Mary Zimmerman is a graduate of Iowa State. She has been a supervisor and a purchasing agent in local government purchasing for over twenty five years. She now uses her experience as a Government Contracting Specialist to provide counseling, technical assistance and training to Iowa businesses on how to sell their products or services to federal, state, and local governments through direct and indirect contracts.

She is a Certified Public Manager and a member of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing.

Professional affiliations
Member of the National Institute of Government Purchasing

Other Institute course(s)
Resource Management Skills

Was Director of Public Works, City of Des Moines at the time of this presentation

BA; Grinnell College
MS in Engineering; University of Wisconsin
MS in Industrial Relations; University of Illinois
Juris Doctor; Loyola University Law School

Bill was City of Des Moines Director of Public Works at the time of this presentation and prior to that served the City of Des Moines. Worked with Shell Oil and Inland Steel in the area of Labor and Industrial Relations. Worked for MidAmerican Energy in various capacities leading up to Operations Manager. Worked for the City of Des Moines as Senior Operations Leader, Senior Management Team Leader, and Human Resources Director before becoming Director of Public Works.

Professional affiliations
Past President of APWA Iowa Chapter
American, State, and County Bar Associations
American Arbitration Association National Panelist for Construction or Commercial Dispute
American Society of Civil Engineers

Other Institute course(s)
Emergency Management

City of Des Moines Workplace Environment Employee Development Administrator

Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management; Upper Iowa University

Kenan Miller has worked at the City of Des Moines since 2008 and serves as the Workplace Environment Employee Development Administrator. A graduate from Upper Iowa University, he holds a Bachelors Degree in Human Resource Management. He is responsible for training all city employees on EEO, Diversity, Customer Service, Safety, and other developmental topics. He serves on the City’s Equal Opportunity Advisory Committee.

Kenan’s experience includes 13 years with UPS: 8 years in the role of Compliance & Training Specialist with the UPS Air Operations located at the DSM International Airport.

Perry Police Department Police Officer

Richard Cuevas was born and raised in East Los Angeles, CA. He worked for the Los Angeles Police Department as a police student worker in 2000 after graduating from high school. In 2003, he enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Riley, KS and a year later was deployed to Iraq. He was discharged from active duty in 2006 and joined the National Guard until 2009, when he was discharged.

In 2007, he was hired as a police officer for the Perry Police Department, and in 2009 he started a Hispanic Outreach Program for the City of Perry to come up with ways to effectively communicate with Hispanics and other groups in Perry.