Call to radio show prompts Christie to overhaul MVC customer service
Last week on New jersey 101.5's "Ask The Governor," a Bound Brook mom called the show and complained how she had gotten the run-around at the Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission when she tried to get her teenage son a replacement driver's permit.
Gov. Chris Christie was so annoyed he invited the woman and her son to meet him the next day at the South Plainfield MVC office to straighten things out.
The governor was able to get the replacement document for the lad within minutes, and at the time he promised to investigate the situation and come up with a plan to improve things. (See video below.)
Now he has delivered on that promise.
Standing in the middle of an inspection lane at the Bakers Basin MVC in Lawrenceville, Christie said overall the quality of service delivered by the New Jersey MVC is very good, but the experience of Stacey Pilato and her son Isaac “reminds us that everyone is human, no one is perfect and we all make mistakes.”
Christie then said it’s important that MVC employees interacting with the public every day put their best foot forward.
“That means being accessible, listening what customers have to say, most importantly it’s insuring that our responses to the customer request are followed through, completed in a timely manner,” he said.
Christie explained that presently customer service training courses are only mandated for new employees, so to ensure Jersey consumers receive the best customer service possible from the MVC, “our new proposal will require that all MVC employees attend customer service training annually at a minimum.”
He said training sessions “will focus on customer service fundamentals, proper phone etiquette, calling back customers in a reasonable amount of time, at most within one business day, and making sure that people are attending to that.”
Christie added that “additional targeted customer service training will be ongoing and will be conducted once per month, with MVC’s frontline staff.”
He said all MVC employees, even Chief Administrator Ray Martinez, will be required to undergo this thorough customer service training.
Christie ordered MVC officials to review “current practices and processes to determine other new initiatives that could further enhance the customer service experience, including how time spent in agencies can be reduced, and handling transactions in a more efficient manner.”
Christie said providing excellent customer service at the MVC and throughout the state government has been a key component of his administration, “and while MVC has a high standard for service we can always get better. I’m looking forward to every MVC employee going through this training within the next year and to improving the level of service even beyond what we have already.”
When asked if the call to "Ask the Governor" was the only thing that prompted this action, the Christie said he hasn’t received any other specific complaints lately, but “over time I’ve heard anecdotal stories about lines moving too slowly, about a failure to really be clear with customers about what information they need to bring to get the documents they want. The Stacey Pilato call was the culmination of me saying you know, I’ve heard enough of these things anecdotally, we really need to step it up and do something different.”