FBTX ~ With the noted rise in building and commercial development during the past few years has come a marked increase in business at the Community Services permit counter that has been dramatically affected by small, but meaningful customer service ideas that have made a big impact.
Permit Technician Keary Uhlig said there were sometimes 12 people at the counter, all waiting for service and jockeying for position. Their first idea was to add new chairs and a few plants in the hallway outside the counter that seemed to have a calming effect. After that, Administrative Assistant III Rebecca Albin said they had a staff meeting to come up with additional ideas.
Ms. Uhlig recounted the story of having 15 or more people at the counter one day and implementing a makeshift sign-in sheet as a method of keeping people straight. Not only did that work, it turns out it afforded staff the opportunity to find out who actually needed other assistance from different departments or divisions and to send them on their way. Soon to follow were snacks, including healthy options, and now fruit-infused water. Staff is now pondering what the next step will be in this customer-centric evolution.
Senior Permit Technician Ava Longshore said their repeat contractor customers, who do business with permit desks all over the Metroplex, have begun to spread the good word of how great it is to do business with Farmers Branch. Community Services Director Hugh Pender praised his team's approach to the matter. "We used to be able to provide that (customer care) on service alone," he said. "So, this is a great example of how we can bring ourselves back to that level with very little cost."