When Melody Andersen joined the City as its Operations Manager – Customer Experience in June 2020, she was immediately confronted with the challenge of helping the team provide excellent customer experience during pandemic conditions. Unphased, she set about putting programs and tools into place that she’s spent a career perfecting and found an interdepartmental team to help her give her ideas life. Today the team is leading Southlake’s staff to ensure outstanding service.
“I was an airline customer service leader for many years and it taught me so many things about working with people, especially in high-stress situations,” said Andersen. “Our team has been able to draw from this experience and share their own. We’re working well together to continue to evolve the City’s approach to service.”
(Pictured from left to right: Melody Andersen, Stacy Wells, Bora Sulollari, Kealoha Vaipulu, Stephanie Clayton, Catherine Eix, Amy Shelley, Dee Ann Yates, Cheryl Cooper, Erika Fletcher, Michelle DeVoss, and Selena Serrano.
Pictured in the featured graphic include other members of the Customer Service team: Back Row – Left to right: Diana Smith, Michelle DeVoss, Vicky Schiber, Misty Eaves, Lydia Ruiz. Front Row – left to right: Melody Andersen, Cynthia Pfledderer, Cristina McMurray.)
Program outcomes are centered around creating an enjoyable, useful experience for daily customer interactions. When things get challenging, the team is also working to enhance the organization’s ability to solve problems, big and small.
Goals will be achieved by developing standards and tools, understanding and improving processes, developing efficiencies, training staff, implementing meaningful measurements and reporting mechanisms, etc. In addition, the team collaborates with internal departments and customer groups on presenting proposed changes and gathering feedback.
Successes have included updating customer service standards and interaction guides, expanding customer service elements to leadership performance elements, and enhancing website pages for better customer access and use. Andersen has also focused on updating forms and implementing automation where possible and has used process mapping to understand staff’s approach and identify opportunities for improvements.
“We have big plans,” she says, smiling. “But I am really proud of the progress we’ve made.”
“Melody has a passion for serving the public, and it shows,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “She’s our corporate voice of the customer and is working with her team to make it easier for our staff to anticipate needs and manage customer requests. She’s doing a great job, in large part because she values the perspectives of staff to find well-considered solutions.”
Outstanding service begins and ends with a focus on the customer. For Melody Andersen and the City’s customer service team, the aim is to maintain unwavering attention to the details required to make it happen.