Step 3: Staffers - Customer service 101 training needed!

Now I have been handed off to a staffer. Staffers as I am told are the men/women sent out into field to talk to the “regular” people like me. In fact, I was told that “talking to a staffer is like talking to the legislator”. Well, I don’t agree. I did not vote nor give the power to represent me to a staffer.

As I learn, the Staffers are organized by specialities. So depending on what you want to talk about, you can get different staff members. After more emails with the staffer scheduler (yes they too have a scheduler, imagine) I finally have an appointment, 1 call, 10+ emails later! Yippie what a time such!

I go to my appointment and am greeted by the staffer. The staffer I meet with range in experience and professionalism. Most speak political speak and quote bills and processes that normal people like me have no idea about what they are talking. This makes me feel a little out of place. But it does not stop me! I ask questions and discussing my items guiding them to speak in terms that I understand. The meeting ends and I depart.

I, not the staffer, sends a thank you email with follow up items we discussed. Most respond back and provide the follow up info. But a few do not even respond to the email I send, unacceptable!

WTF? GOVERNMENT NEEDS CUSTOMER SERVICE 101

Since I am the customer, I would expect the staffer to be prepped for the meeting and send a thank you email with follow up items we discussed to ME. Customer service 101 is missing from politics.

I recently discussed this issues with some colleagues who work in politics and I was told, “how can a legislator properly handle so many requests?”. To which I answered, “how does Facebook, Google or Twitter do it? They have millions MORE customer than any one of these legislators represent”. Oh the things government can learn from private sector — many of the challenges have already been solved!

My quest to have a one-on-one meeting with a legislator continues … off to some office hours to meet their district managers! Are they the key?