Providing feedback about local-area services has never been easier for U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz customers due to the growing usage of the Interactive Customer Evaluation system or ICE.
“ICE is the Department of Defense online customer feedback system that allows customers to provide specific feedback on services, helping service providers identify and address any customer concerns for improvement,” said Linda Bergo, USAG RP ICE organization manager.
Providing customer feedback improves service by letting service providers know if patrons have good or bad experiences at their establishments and why; and garrison customers have no problem telling service providers about their experiences, Bergo said.
“Based on April 2016 through March 2017, USAG RP services in ICE received 3,589 comments,” explained Bergo, who has worked with the ICE program for more than six years. “Of those comments, 3,189 answered the satisfaction question, giving the garrison an 81 percent satisfaction rate on an average of about 300 comments a month.”
At the DoD level, Installation Management Command-level customers make up over 55 percent of the entire ICE mission with a total of nearly 4.2 million comments overall.
“It’s not surprising when you consider IMCOM manages more than 70 installations worldwide and is the proponent for all Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs throughout the Army,” said IMCOM Commander Lt. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl. “It puts a burden on our service-provider managers, but it’s well worth the effort because of the information it provides us as decision makers.”
ICE also provides a means for customers to receive direct responses on their comments. Customers only need to check the “Response Requested” box and provide their phone number or email address before submitting their comments.
Of those that were dissatisfied and requested a follow-up response, 90 percent of the customers were answered within three business days. Within the last six months, that number increased to 91 percent, and since January, the program is at 92 percent – topping the IMCOM rate of 81 percent for follow-up response time.
“It really is a great tool for service providers to hear the ‘voice of the customer’ directly from their patrons. USAG RP is a customer service organization, and we need feedback from our customers to make sure we are meeting their needs,” Bergo said. “Customers have the opportunity to say what works for them and what doesn’t, as well as receive specific answers to their questions. This, in turn, supports readiness and quality of life for all our community members.”
Do anonymous comments get processed? All comments are taken seriously, Bergo said.
All comments are read and required to have a response noted in ICE, regardless if they are anonymous or not. Many anonymous comments do present a challenge, because they are not able to directly help a customer, Bergo said. In some cases, there are not enough details to fully understand the issue.
“There are pros and cons when submitting an anonymous comment,” she said. “On the pro side, a customer can state what they think and how they feel with privacy. On the con side, they may not get the help or answer they need in the timeframe they may need it. It is ICE policy to keep comments and contact information confidential with no fear of reprisal.”
Although many in USAG RP make comments, not all of them are negative, Bergo said.
“The majority of ICE comments are customers telling us about their positive experiences. Customers also use ICE to ask questions about services or tell us what they would like changed,” she said. “Many examples involve requests to change the hours of facilities. We just want honest feedback.”
Dahl encourages every IMCOM customer to make use of the program.
“By sharing your honest feedback, together we can work to improve service delivery and achieve IMCOM’s goal of providing world-class customer service,” he said.
“Just as importantly, ICE is a good indication of what programs mean the most to the customers,” Dahl said, “which is important data in an operating environment with limited resources.”
For more information or to make an ICE comment, visit
http://ice.disa.mil/index.cfm?fa=site&site_id=248 or click on the ICE icon at the bottom of the USAG RP website at http://www.rp.army.mil/.
(IMCOM Public Affairs contributed to this article)