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PR- 206-08
June 3, 2008


The Mayor and the Public Advocate sponsor a citywide customer survey of New York City households to determine customer satisfaction

Executive Order Creates the Customer Service Group at the Mayor's Office of Operations - a team dedicated to holding City agencies accountable for providing quality customer service

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum announced today that the City is sending a customer service survey to more than 100,000 randomly-selected New York City households to get an assessment of New Yorkers' opinions of City services. The survey is the result of the Mayor's recent signing of Executive Order 115 establishing the Customer Service Group in the Office of Operations. The survey, which will ask residents for their opinions about important characteristics of the City and services provided by city government, will allow New Yorkers in all five boroughs an opportunity to voice their opinions and provide a quantitative measure of where the City can continue to improve service delivery. The results will be used to ensure City agencies provide the highest quality of service to their customers. This initiative represents the largest municipal services survey ever conducted in the United States.

"During my career in business and my time as mayor, I've learned that the more information any enterprise has the more successful it can be at managing its resources, fixing problems, and serving its customers," said Mayor Bloomberg. "That's the theory behind CompStat, which has helped the NYPD reduce crime to historic lows. It's also inspiration for 311 and our new SCOUT program, which is giving the City the power to deploy its services and respond to its citizens more effectively than ever. Working with the Public Advocate's office, we will conduct a massive public opinion survey, which will allow us to make targeted improvements where needed."

The Customer Service Group established by Executive Order 115, is a new team in the Mayor's Office of Operations with a mission of holding City agencies more accountable for providing high quality customer service and responding to the needs of New Yorkers. The group will develop citywide standards for customer service and partner with city agencies to improve customer experiences in all customer-to-government transactions. The Customer Service Group is also responsible for the Street Conditions Observation Unit (SCOUT). SCOUT is a team of inspectors who drive every City street once per month and report conditions that negatively impact quality of life (such as potholes and graffiti).

"This is a groundbreaking project that will result in both a broad collection and deep analysis of information about the effectiveness of municipal government. It will allow city government to better understand how to best serve the people of this city," said Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. "And, ultimately, it will lead to better city services. That's what makes this project so wonderful. A good government is an informed government. As the watchdog over city services, I am pleased to be working on this effort with the Mayor."

Beginning next week, 100,000 randomly selected households will receive a notification postcard informing them that they have been selected to participate in the survey. Households which receive the invitation are given the option of choosing to receive the survey in one of three languages other than English - Chinese, Russian or Spanish. One or two weeks after receiving the notification postcard, respondents will receive the survey. The goal of the survey is to obtain a large enough sample from each community board to clearly identify geographically where there are strengths or concerns in city service delivery. As such, selected households will be spread across all 59 community boards. Questions will ask New Yorkers to rate services and satisfaction of quality of life issues in their neighborhoods, including: cleanliness; noise; pest and rat control; recycling services; graffiti control, and pedestrian safety. Other questions will ask residents to rate agency responses for City agencies they've recently had contact with.

"The results of this survey will bolster the City's ability to measure city performance on a number of quality of life issues" said Mayor's Office of Operations Director Jeff Kay. "Survey results will provide the City with information on where we can do a better job. It will be up to the Customer Service Group to establish citywide customer service standards and work with City agencies to improve customer service as well as enhance the City's delivery of services. By developing strategies for improvement, the Customer Service Group will increase accessibility, transparency and accountability of all City of New York services."

The survey materials include instructions for completing the survey, which can be submitted online or returned in a pre-paid envelope enclosed in the survey materials. To maintain the confidentiality of the respondents, the survey results will be mailed to a third party contractor in New York City. Private information will not be made available to the public or to the City.


Stu Loeser/John Gallagher   (212) 788-2958

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