Story by William Bradner (IMCOM Public Affairs) –
The Interactive Customer Evaluation system is a web-based tool that allows users to recognize great service, point out a concern, or make a recommendation about DoD organizations.
Installation Management Command customers make up over 55% of the entire DoD ICE mission, with a total of more nearly 4.2 million comments overall.
“It’s not surprising when you consider IMCOM manages more than 70 installations worldwide, and is the proponent for all Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs throughout the Army,” said IMCOM Commander Lt. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl.
“It puts a burden on our service provider managers, but it’s well worth the effort because of the information it provides us as decision makers,” Dahl said.
ICE is IMCOM’s primary means of receiving feedback directly from its customers. ICE empowers customers to make a difference in how IMCOM delivers products and services, by offering recommendations and bringing up issues. Customer comments are a critical component in helping the command prioritize and refocus installation services and support to meet changing requirements.
“All IMCOM service provider managers are required to review and follow-up on every comment regardless of whether the customer asks for a response or not,” said Russell Matthias, ICE Program Administrator for IMCOM.
In the last year, IMCOM responded to over 409,000 customer comments in ICE. Over 362,000 of those customers responded that they were satisfied with their product or service, which is a 93% overall customer satisfaction rate. Of those that had a complaint and provided contact information, IMCOM responded to 81% in three days or less.
Though it’s not required, Matthias highly encourages customers provide their contact information when submitting a comment card through ICE, so program managers can provide immediate feedback.
“We want to hear it, good or bad,” Matthias said. “It’s the only way we get better at what we do. And if the customer provides contact information, we can respond directly to them with an answer, to either make it right, or even have a discussion about ways to improve.”
In many cases, an ICE comment begins an on-going interaction that lasts until the problem is resolved. One ICE customer wrote to the command after receiving assistance through the program to send appreciation for how the complaint was handled.
“[ICE] made sure I got to the correct people to assist me in my situation,” the customer wrote. “They did research, and spoke to leadership to help me. I wish I knew about this office sooner.”
Matthias said the majority of ICE customers leave anonymous comments, which is still helpful, but frustrating to the service or program managers at the installation level.
“They can make it right for the next person… but I think most managers would prefer to be able to let the customer know their voice made a difference,” Matthias said.
It also limits how ICE can help. Contact information maximizes the opportunity to assist the customer, which often turns a negative experience into a positive interaction.
“Not only did she assist me over the phone, but she took the time to follow-up,” one customer said. “She went above and beyond and provided me with a direct line for assistance. A million thank-you’s from the bottom of my heart.”
Managers appreciate the opportunity to make things right, Matthias said.
ICE is available to every IMCOM customer using IMCOM services – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen (Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve), their Families, as well as Veterans, Retirees and Civilian Employees.
As our resources are stretched thin by budget and manpower constraints, it’s important we focus our energies on providing the best possible customer service,” Dahl said. “ICE helps us do that, but letting us know what we’re doing well, and what needs improvement.”
Dahl encourages every IMCOM customer to make use of the program.
“By sharing your honest feedback, together we can work to improve service delivery and achieve IMCOM’s goal of providing world class customer service,” he said.
“Just as importantly, ICE is a good indication of what programs mean the most to the customers,” Dahl said, “which is important data in an operating environment with limited resources.”
To utilize the USAG Ansbach ICE program, visit USAG Ansbach ICE or go to the garrison website at www.ansbach.army.mil and click on the ICE button.