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    Lori Graham   

Customer service in WCD


The Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD) has a policy on customer service expectations and minimum standards for accessibility and responsiveness. This policy supports WCD’s strategic plan and the DCBS customer service expectations and standards.




Our customers, both internal and external, deserve the best possible service. To achieve that, we will enhance our customer service efforts, ensuring that our activities are done in a timely, professional, and respectful manner. Our employees will be seen as excellent problem solvers. We will also seek ways to make compliance easy so that people can readily understand what they are supposed to do. Employees will be held accountable for providing excellent customer service as defined below in "Customer service expectations of WCD employees."

Employees will be evaluated annually as to their customer service skills as part of their regular performance evaluation.

Managers will ensure customer service questions are included in all interviews of potential new employees.

Managers will cover this policy and any additional customer service expectations in new employee orientations.


What is customer service in WCD?

Providing prompt, complete, accurate, concise and easy-to-understand information.

Listening actively and demonstrating such.

Facilitating compliance through information and training.

Viewing each customer contact as an opportunity to educate.

Providing solutions and when that isn't possible, provide options.

Simplifying processes, forms and procedures so that they are easy to use and to understand.

Communicating in clear language that is understandable to staff and customers.

Carrying out work fairly, consistently and courteously.

Responding to inquiries and delivering our message promptly, accurately, positively, and respectfully.

Providing options for access to the department by phone, fax, e-mail, web-site and in-person.


Customer service expectations of WCD employees

We listen actively, acknowledge the problem, and ask questions before we problem-solve or provide answers.

We do our homework before answering a question and take responsibility for our responses.

We provide solutions and options, and are empathetic and helpful even if we have to say "no."

We respond to inquiries promptly and provide consistent information.

We are polite and respectful.

We are accountable to our customers.

Our verbal and written communications are clear, concise, and as jargon-free as possible.

We treat our customers, both external and internal, the way we would like to be treated.


WCD’s customer service standards for accessibility and responsiveness:

A "live" person is preferred to answer main lines and other telephone lines directed at the general public. All telephone numbers should provide the option of accessing a live person at any time.

Depending on need, key areas are staffed during lunches and breaks.

Employees use the e-mail vacation notification feature to notify customers if they are out of the office and cannot reply, or provide alternative means, i.e. an e-mail back up.

Employees keep their electronic calendars up-to-date.

Employees update voice mail messages to reflect availability, ensuring messages state when employee is out of the office.

Employees provide receptionists "read" access to their electronic calendars.

Walk-in customers are given the same prompt, courteous, and informed service as all other methods of customer access.


Telephone/e-mail minimum standards:

Employees return all phone calls and e-mail within one workday of receipt. This means that employees return the call or e-mail and either respond to the customer on the substance of the matter or let the customer know when a response will be provided.

When transferring a customer to another staff member, employee stays on the line and identifies his/herself before hanging up. (No "blind" or "dropped" transfers.)

Employees follow through on all phone inquiries and e-mail requests.


GOAL: Phone calls and e-mails are returned on the same day.


E-mail responses: WCD employees shall acknowledge and respond to customer e-mail inquiries within one working day. Those staff who are listed on WCD’s external Web site as contacts with direct e-mail links, must have a back-up checking their e-mail for customer inquiries when they will be out of the office for two or more days. The WCD employee or e-mail back up will be responsible for making sure an external customer’s question is answered or issue is resolved. When the recipient of an e-mail is not the subject matter expert, the recipient will acknowledge receipt by responding to the e-mail and letting the customer know who they are forwarding the e-mail to for response. The recipient will then forward the e-mail to the subject matter expert requesting to be copied on the response.

All e-mail responses will use a signature block that includes employee’s name, title, address, and phone number.


Letters (US mail) minimum standards:

Mail correspondence is acknowledged within 2 days of receipt, either with a complete written response, or by phone call or postcard stating the correspondence has been received and who is preparing an answer. A comprehensive response must be sent within two weeks of receipt. Periodic updates will be provided to the customer if a response takes longer than two weeks.

The correspondence meets department writing and style standards.

The correspondence acknowledges the customer’s concerns and responds directly to the issue.

Writing is clear, concise and jargon-free. However, when targeting one specific professional audience, writing can be tailored appropriately for that audience.

Writing is free of grammar and spelling errors.

If a statute or rule is cited, it is explained clearly.


GOAL: Substantive responses to customers go out within two weeks.


Customer service training

All new WCD employees will be required to take an initial customer service training class that includes an active listening component within one year of employment with WCD. All employees will be required to take an additional customer service or communications class every 2 years thereafter as identified by the employee, division, or the employee’s supervisor. This should be a part of the employee’s individual development plan.

Writing skills training emphasizing tone and clarity is mandatory for employees who write orders or correspondence to the public.


Measures of Success

Employees understand and demonstrate what customer service means in DCBS.

Employees incorporate customer service into their activities and behavior.

Customer feedback through evaluations, surveys, and focus groups indicates that customer service standards are met.

Customers report high levels of customer service satisfaction.

For general workers' compensation questions, call toll-free 1-800-452-0288 or e-mail WorkComp.Questions@state.or.us.

If you have questions about this webpage, please contact Lori Graham, 503-947-7502.