Impacts of COVID and Customer Service
By Paul Whetzel, CAPP
How many organizations are still dealing with impacts of COVID? I would say most still are! Charleston County employees we are still required to report a positive test to our HR Department. Currently, our Parking Operations Division is understaffed. I am pretty sure we are in the same boat as most organizations, we continue to have a difficult time finding candidates for our vacant frontline positions.
As our staffing shortage continues, it is difficult to maintain an elite level of customer service. Here are some examples we are experiencing at Charleston County Parking: it takes staff a little longer to respond to customer issues due to less staff; trash pickups are taking longer within the garages; replacement parts take longer for almost all items; less staff equals less cleaning time, etc.
Charleston, SC, is ranked as one of the friendliest cities in the country per Conde Nast. At Charleston County, we take pride in customer service. All County employees are required to take customer service classes. In the past we have utilized IPMI customer service in-person training classes. Our employees have always enjoyed these classes and have gained a lot out of them. We hope to be having a class soon now that things are returning to normal. During COVID, we paused/delayed a lot of training and other educational sessions for staff which was an obstacle. This changed the way we did some of our training – we executed a lot of our safety training thru WEBNET Online Safety Training.
If we are looking for the good in the COVID Pandemic, it forced us to explore other avenues of training and communicating with our frontline staff.