Putting GovGuam customer service to the test - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Putting GovGuam customer service to the test

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Making good on a campaign promise to improve customer service in the Government of Guam, the Calvo Administration has implemented a hotline where residents can call in their complaints if they're not getting the proper service from government agencies. Several weeks ago the governor established his new customer service initiative through an executive order requiring GovGuam agencies to answer phones with 'Hafa Adai' and to answer within four rings and provide better customer service to the public.

KUAM News tested some public sector agencies out to see if they're making the grade.

Earlier this month Adelup said customer service is "a hallmark of the Calvo Administration" as they seek to change the face of service to the people and improve employee conduct.  While the initiative is still in the early stages, it appears some GovGuam agencies still need plenty of work to come inline with the administration's new customer service policies.

In the last few weeks the Administration received 19 calls to their Customer Service Hotline. Since the announcement was made publicly, governor's deputy chief of staff Rose Ramsey says their phones have literally been ringing off the hook.

The Administration has launched the customer service hotline 475-GUAM to field complaints from island residents. Of the 19 complaints they received in the first days of the hotline being operational, Adelup officials say many dealt with agency phones not being answered while others expressed concerns about employee conduct. Earlier this month the governor implemented the Administration's customer service policy that requires all GovGuam staffers to answer the phone or greet individuals in person with 'Hafa Adai' and identify themselves by their first and last names.

All government phones are also supposed to be answered within four rings unless employees are tending to several customers in person.  Directors were also urged to implement voicemail phone service in agencies with high-volume customer traffic.

Since GovGuam agencies have had more than a week to implement the new initiative, KUAM News made some phone calls today to see if improvements have been made.

Testing out the Driver's License Examination Branch at the Department of Revenue & Taxation, the phone rang and rang. (25 times, to be exact.) And still, no answer. We then called the Vehicle Registration Branch. Nada.

Others, like the One-Stop Center at the Department of Public Works, proved easier to get a hold of. And still others like the Department of Land Management have already implemented a phone messaging system.

The Administration has also established rapid response and crisis management teams to help deal with some of the concerns that residents call in. The Rapid Response Team will address reports of potholes, unsafe road conditions, traffic light malfunctions, residential flooding, carcasses on the roadways and unanticipated public school needs just to name a few.  The crisis management team will address crises that arise from a lack of resources including health and safety emergencies.

If you'd like to complain about services you're receiving from the government, you can call the customer service hotline at 475-GUAM (4826).  It's operational between 8am to 5pm on weekdays.  If the line is busy or if you call after hours, you can leave a voice message and expect a return phone call at a later time.

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