MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Improving Customer Service
In the first phase of this Administration's reinventing government
initiative, I established the principle that government must be
customer-driven. Executive Order No. 12862, "Setting Customer Service
Standards," called for a revolution within the Federal Government to
change the way it does business. The initial agency responses to that
order, including the service standards published in September 1994,
have begun the process of establishing a more customer-focused
government. For the first time, the Federal Government's customers
have been told what they have a right to expect when they ask for
In the second phase of reinventing government ("Phase II"), this effort
should be continued and integrated with other restructuring activities.
The first question agency restructuring teams should ask is whether a
program or function is critical to the agency's missions based on
"customer" input. To carry out this Phase II effort and assure that
government puts the customer first, I am now directing the additional
steps set forth in this memorandum.
Actions. The agencies covered by Executive Order No. 12862 are
directed as follows:
In order to continue customer service reform, agencies shall
treat the requirements of Executive Order No. 12862 as continuing
requirements. The actions the order prescribes, such as surveying
customers, surveying employees, and benchmarking, shall be continuing
agency activities. The purpose of these actions will remain as
indicated in Executive Order No. 12862 -- the establishment and
implementation of customer service standards to guide the operations of
the executive branch.
Agencies shall, by September 1, 1995, complete the publication
of customer service standards, in a form readily available to customers,
for all operations that deliver significant services directly to the
public. This shall include services that are delivered in partnership
with State and local governments, services delivered by small agencies
and regulatory agencies, and customer services of enforcement agencies.
Agencies shall, on an ongoing basis, measure results achieved
against the customer service standards and report those results to
customers at least annually. Reports should be in terms readily
understood by individual customers. Public reports shall be made
beginning no later than September 15, 1995. Measurement systems should
include objective measures wherever possible, but should also include
customer satisfaction as a measure. Customer views should be obtained
to determine whether standards have been set on what matters most to the
customer. Agencies should publish replacement standards if needed to
reflect these views.
Development and tracking of customer service measures,
standards, and performance should be integrated with other performance
initiatives, including Phase II restructuring. Customer service
standards also should be related to legislative activities, including
strategic planning and performance measure- ment under the Government
Performance and Results Act of 1993, reporting on financial and program
performance under the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, and the
Government Management and Reform Act of 1994. Operating plans,
regulations and guidelines, training programs, and personnel
classification and evaluation systems should be aligned with a customer
Agencies shall continue to survey employees on ideas to improve
customer service, take action to motivate and recognize employees for
meeting or exceeding customer service standards, and for promoting
customer service. Without satisfied employees, we cannot have satisfied
Agencies should initiate and support actions that cut across
agency lines to serve shared customer groups. Agencies should take
steps to develop cross-agency, one-stop service to customer groups, so
their customers do not needlessly go from one agency to another. Where
possible, these steps should take advantage of new information
technology tools to achieve results.
The standard of quality we seek from these actions and the Executive
order is customer service for the American people that is equal to the
best in business.
Independent Agencies. Independent agencies are requested to adhere
to this directive.
Judicial Review. This directive is for the internal management of
the executive branch and does not create any right or benefit,
substantive or procedural, enforceable by a party against the United
States, its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or
any other person.