City of Vicksburg hires Georgia firm to improve customer service

Published 1:33 pm Friday, June 2, 2023

Vicksburg city officials have hired a Georgia company to examine how city employees deal with the public and improve customer service.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen at its May 25 meeting approved hiring Turnkey Solutions LLC of Fairburn, Ga., to look at the areas where city employees have challenges in providing service to residents seeking services.

The program will be carried out in several phases with the first phase using a focus group of employees to provide information concerning the challenges they meet while trying to serve residents. The cost of the first phase is $5,444.

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According to its website, Turnkey specializes “in serving the public sector and utility markets, helping our clients increase trust and transparency through better understanding of their citizens, streamlined processes, advanced technology and employee empowerment.”

“What we are doing is a customer service assessment to see how well the government of the city of this Vicksburg is able to satisfy the needs of citizens in doing business with the government,” said Dona Franklin, Turnkey president and CEO.

She said the assessment involves selecting a focus group of city employees to discuss their experience in providing service to residents.

“The reason we’re starting with the employees is statistics show that when employees are satisfied and engaged with their position, you get about 21, 22 percent higher efficiency, productivity,” she said. “So understanding how the employees feel is just one piece. It is very important to understanding both where the city is and things that they can do to get better and Mayor Flaggs just wants to make things better for the citizens.”

The focus group phase, Franklin said, has three parts and looks at all aspects of the employees’ work, including their perspective of their job, customers, on-the-job experiences, the support they receive from their supervisor or department head and whether they believe they have the tools to do their job.

Franklin said a report will be presented to the city so officials “can take a look at what we’ve learned from it, and then hopefully we’ll go to phase two and three, which are the surveys, and there’ll be a report with those.”

At the end of the study, she said, Turnkey will make recommendations for the city to follow. She said Turnkey can also provide services such as training if city officials believe help is needed.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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