Clayton Town Manager Steve Biggs says the town’s customer service department isn’t conducive for customer service.
The employees aren’t the problem, he said. Instead, it’s the physical space, which lacks both comfort and privacy for residents paying bills, asking questions or seeking help.
The town will spend about $215,000 to make its customer service department and several other departments more welcoming and functional, Biggs said.
The customer service department, located on the first floor of Town Hall in The Clayton Center, will move to a more obvious location in the middle of the hallway. Customers who currently line up across the hallway to speak to a representative will in the future be able to enter an enclosed space and sit in a queuing area.
The renovated customer service department will have a payment counter and two booths where residents can sit down with representative to discuss account issues. Biggs said the department will also have a private meeting room and an office for the customer service director.
Private spaces are needed, Biggs said, if a matter is more personal in nature or if “challenging situation” develops. Currently, if a dispute arises between a resident and a customer service representative, it plays out in front of other customers and staff.
“It’s not appropriate for the customer,” Biggs said. “It’s not appropriate for staff.”
The more personalized space will also help the town orient new residents.
“We want to tell them about the value of in-town living,” Biggs said.
Other changes on the first floor include relocating the finance office to the third floor and adding offices for the deputy town manager, public information officer and IT staff.
On the second floor, changes include expanding and rearranging offices in the planning department and relocating inspection staff with engineering staff.
The Town Council approved the renovations earlier this month. The money will come from savings identified in multiple town departments, Biggs said.
Construction is expected to begin this spring and take 90 days.
“It will be pretty disruptive, but we’ve worked with this contractor before, and they’ve shown an ability to get things done on time,” Biggs said.
During construction, the customer service department will continue its operations in a conference room on the second floor.
Dunn: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104