Customer Focus - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Customer Focus

Having a customer focus encompasses the ways in which a public health agency or program:

  • listens to the voice of its customers,
  • builds customer relationships,
  • determines customers' level of satisfaction, and
  • uses customer information and feedback to identify and act on opportunities for improvement.

While many public health agencies assess the satisfaction of their clients/customers, customer focus is not limited to customer satisfaction. In fact, the following different components make up a customer-focused culture:

  • Customer-oriented structures and guidance
  • Leadership commitment to customers
  • Customer-focused systems and processes
  • Customers are understood
  • Customers are engaged
  • Customer information and feedback is shared and used

Having a customer focus can benefit a public health agency or program in many ways, including:

  • Contributing to a better understanding of the effectiveness and efficiency of services
  • Enhancing the ability to understand and meet customer needs
  • Contributing to a culture of quality by fulfilling a guiding principle of quality improvement
  • Contributing to the ability to meet the Public Health Accreditation Board's Measure 9.1.4 A: "Implemented systematic process for assessing customer satisfaction with health department services" (Source: PHAB Standards & Measures, Version 1.5)
  • Higher employee performance and increased job satisfaction

With retirements, tight budgets, and pressure to improve services, customer focus is of utmost importance. Most of the time in government, customers cannot go elsewhere for the same services. This means that customers can be more persistent, vocal, and even use public platforms to voice their complaints—which can result in more time spent addressing problems. Being customer-focused could help prevent these problems before they happen, and create a positive and enjoyable work environment.

Explore and Learn More about Customer Focus