Cool Customer Service
Increased efficiency and positive feedback nets Nebraska DMV 2019 Customer Convenience Award for Region 3
As the population of the Omaha metro area continued to grow, the Nebraska DMV quickly realized their services were being overwhelmed by this influx of individuals. Due to limited resources, the DMV faced a number of customer service-related challenges—particularly, long wait times.
Because the County Treasurer had been statutorily responsible for collecting payment of issued credentials until 2016, and continues to perform this function elsewhere in the state, DMV offices in the metro area were located inside five separate County Treasurer locations. These shared offices resulted in limited space, resources and operating hours. Separating the staff into five offices also decreased efficiency due to communication challenges. After a legislative change in 2016 to allow the DMV to collect fees, they started exploring a way to overcome these limitations.
ONE-STOP SERVICES, RIGHT ON TIME
The answer to the DMV’s challenges was the Metro South Service Center, a new location with 16 fit-for-purpose workstations for examiners. The center combines staff from two DMV offices and has space for more equipment, allowing examiners to conduct the entire process themselves rather than sending customers to a different line to pay.
“We wanted to create a one-stop shop for our customers by making sure we had enough staff and the equipment they need at the right place and at the right time,” says Rhonda Lahm, Director of the Nebraska DMV.
Each examiner has his or her own secure payment collection drawer and equipment for security checks and printing—no sharing between examiners required. Cameras are also mounted on the privacy dividers between workstations, so customers just need to turn to the side to have their picture taken. These changes not only created more privacy for customers, but have also had a big impact on wait times.
“The average wait time has been reduced by 74% since implementing the changes,” Lahm says. “Despite staff completing the additional work of issuing temporary documents and collecting payments, the total time needed to process a customer is the same as with the old arrangement. This has been received very positively by our customers, who have registered 92% positive feedback via our customer service terminals.”
A COMBINED EFFORT
In order to design and develop the Metro South Service Center, the Nebraska DMV partnered with many other organizations, including the State Building Division and Office of the Chief Information Officer, as well as city officials and other stakeholders.
“We held on-site meetings with our contractors, local officials and other stakeholders every two weeks,” says Lahm. “This gave us the chance to make sure everyone was on the same page and allowed us to coordinate our efforts.”
The DMV also worked with their driver licensing vendor, Idemia, to figure out how to print temporary documents. Nebraska Interactive helped create a new payment system and trained staff on how to use it. Road signs were put up to direct customers to the new location, thanks to Sarpy County and the City of Bellevue.
“The process of designing and building the facility, from beginning to end, took a full year and involved a large number of people,” Lahm says. “It would not have been possible to complete the project without everyone pulling together. The willingness of everyone involved to work together and bring a flexible, result-focused approach to the project made the changes a success.”
Beyond the positive feedback from customers, staff morale has improved, says Sara O’Rourke, Administrator of the Driver Licensing Services Division. “By having a fit-for-purpose space to do our jobs, we are able to empower our staff and give them the tools they need to be successful in their roles while serving our customers,” she says.
Due to the success of Metro South, the Nebraska DMV has plans for more service centers in the Omaha metro area, along with even more improvements to the customer experience, such as an online appointment system and electronic customer-driven data forms.