Customer uses Interactive Customer Evaluation iPad tablets

Second Lt. Alejandro Trejo provides an assessment of the services he and his wife Miriam received at the Soldier Support Center ID Card Office in August. He is using one of the new Interactive Customer Evaluation iPad tablets that are proving to be a more efficient means of collecting customer service feedback.

The rarely used and costly to maintain Interactive Customer Evaluation kiosks around post are being removed as the garrison continues its implementation of upgraded ICE iPads that received high marks from users during an initial trial period.

“To coin a phrase, it’s out with the old and in with the new,” observed Arne Curtis, director of the Plans, Analysis and Integration office here.

“Our kiosk maintenance contract expired, and the systems (22 total, installed in 2012) are costing many hours of in-house labor to sustain,” he said. “Also, their usage is at historic lows. The ones located in the DFACs, for instance, only generated a total of 10 comments over the past reporting month. Part of that is due to downtime for repairs, and customers have become disinterested in using them.”

Recently introduced ICE iPads – seven were deployed in a beta test that began last year – are receiving favorable reviews, as reported in a Traveller article published in September (go to www.fortleetraveller.com and type “ICE” in search bar).

The comments of Tomeka Covington, branch chief of the ID Card Office, were part of that write-up. Referring to the kiosks, she said her section, which sees roughly 200 customers per day, would receive roughly three-to-four ICE comments per month through their machine.

“The highest amount I’ve seen so far since we’ve had the tablet is 14 in one day,” she noted.

Curtis also confirmed that “comments have increased by approximately 60-percent in three directorates” since the iPads were deployed. That, in addition to the positive things trial run customers have had to say about its intuitive user interface and portability, has convinced the command that it’s on the right track with implementation.

“This action is in line with our leadership’s emphasis on bringing the Army out of the industrial age and into the information age,” Curtis said. “The end-state is having a system that efficiently allows customers to provide feedback at the point of sale. That’s key because it ensures we have the necessary data to help us grow good experiences and fix bad ones. We need that input when it’s fresh in the patron’s mind.”

According to several customer service websites, point-of-experience feedback is key to accurately gauging customer sentiment. One study indicated it is 40 percent more accurate than input given 24 hours later.

The tablet project falls under the garrison’s Service Culture Campaign, an Installation Management Command effort designed to enhance the level of customer service and instill a culture of service excellence in every aspect of installation operations.

The ICE system allows customers to submit online comment cards to rate the service providers they have encountered at military installations and related facilities around the world. It is designed to improve business practices by allowing managers to monitor the satisfaction levels of provided services through reports and customer comments.