As we enter the new fiscal year, Henrico County has introduced a new Capability Model that replaces the County Competencies. This model is designed to help all employees focus on and develop the knowledge and skills to successfully lead and serve in a rapidly evolving workplace and community. View the model below or learn more about the seven capabilities on our resource page.
To help you better understand each of the seven capabilities integral to the model, the County Connection will feature a series of articles, each focusing on a different capability. This article focuses on Customer Engagement.
Providing exceptional service and positive interactions is at the heart of Henrico County’s mission and is a significant component of The Henrico Way. The Customer Engagement capability complements these initiatives and is defined as “Cultivating positive relationships with internal and external customers by proactively seeking customized solutions to increase satisfaction and build rapport.”
Our County employees have consistently modeled the Customer Engagement capability. While it’s always been a priority, customer engagement took on new meaning and importance with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some examples of this exceptional customer engagement before and during COVID-19 include:
- County Departments automated and converted processes to electronic for citizens to continue to do business during COVID-19.
- The IT Department converted systems and increased bandwidth within weeks to accommodate remote work due to COVID-19 restrictions while communicating with and educating employees on best practices for working remotely.
- The creation of a call center to support citizens during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Nourish Henrico program was created to support local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic by purchasing meals for first responders and other eligible frontline employees.
- James River Juvenile Detention employees created a food pantry to help coworkers who lost income during COVID-19.
- A DPU employee assisted a customer at the landfill even though he arrived before the dump was open for business.
- A Police officer responded to a citizen whose car broke down, pushed the car to safety, and stayed with her until the vehicle was repaired.
- A Social Services employee reached out to multiple contacts beyond traditional resources to help a citizen in crisis.
- Library employees implemented virtual story times for children during COVID-19.
- DPU employees repaired a broken water service line even though the damage was in the customer-maintained portion of the water line.
- The Advocate for the Aging coordinated the removal of a rotten tree from a citizen’s property, even though it was outside the scope of her duties.
- An Animal Protection officer spent multiple hours searching for a lost dog and continuously communicating with the dog’s owners until it was found and returned.
These examples show how County employees anticipated customers’ needs, both external and internal, and worked creatively to meet them. They went above and beyond expectations through transparent communication, making decisions, and, at times, adapting processes and procedures to ensure the best outcomes for their customers.
Excellent customer engagement boosts our citizens’ confidence in our county government, enhances productivity, improves processes, expands services, and significantly contributes to our being a high-performing organization. To find more examples of exceptional customer engagement, view our “Who We Are: Leadership Lessons from COVID 19” video series on our OLTD YouTube page and the County’s Henrico Way web page.
For more information on the Capabilities, visit our resource page.