LIHEAP Dear Colleague Notice on the Follow-up Announcement of the American Customer Satisfaction Index
LOW-INCOME HOME ENERGY
Dear Colleague Letter
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Re: American Customer Satisfaction Index
Date: April 25, 2013
TO: LIHEAP Grantees
Following up on the announcement of the American Customer Satisfaction Index score for the Office of Community Services (OCS), we would like to share more details with you on the survey results and on our next steps. We are striving to be a high-performing organization— one that sets challenging goals, listens to its customers, measures its progress, and uses those measures to improve performance. How well we work with you— the grantee organizations in the field— is an important measure of success for us.
You may recall that the survey instrument was Office of Management and Budget-approved and was administered by the Customer Feedback Insights (CFI) Group, a third-party research and consulting firm specializing in customer satisfaction studies. CFI surveyed grantees in five critical areas:
- Grant Requirements and Reporting;
- Accessing Grant Funds;
- Technical Assistance Provided by OCS Staff;
- Training Provided by OCS Staff; and
- OCS-Funded Technical Assistance/Training Providers.
The survey results allow us to target our efforts in areas that will have the greatest leverage on customer satisfaction. For both the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), these three areas include: Grant Requirements and Reporting; Technical Assistance Provided by OCS Staff; and Training Provided by OCS Staff. We also asked an open-ended question on how OCS generally might improve, and many comments honed in on these same three areas:
‘More regular communications and timely announcements from OCS concerning awards, plans, requirements and expectations would be helpful.’
‘More guidance and additional grant-specific training.’
‘Provide meaningful, personal assistance.’
‘We’ve had some good training via webinars, but it is important to have face-to-face training on a regular basis.’
Please know we have already started taking next steps to address the results. Some of you may have participated in the focus groups that took place in February at the National Association for State Community Services Programs and the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association conferences. These focus groups gave us more insight into the type of customer service many of you expect from OCS.
We are using the survey and focus group results to make strategic decisions about how and where we direct our resources. OCS staff has started meeting to create a thoughtful action plan, and we will seek grantee input along the way.
The action plan will include steps that OCS can implement in 2013, and beyond. For instance, an OCS Grants Monitoring Work Group has recently formed and will begin to synthesize and address the open-ended survey responses related to monitoring.
Moving forward, know that we value your feedback on how to improve our service to you— for the better we are, the better you may serve America’s low-income people and places.
Jeannie L. Chaffin
Office of Community Services
Administration for Children and Families
Department of Health and Human Services