Friday, September 23, 2011

North Carolina Department of Environment skips Charlotte on listening tour

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 9:44 AM


Why is the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources failing to visit the state's largest — and let's not forget, politically bluest — city on its "listening tour," which began Tuesday?

You might wonder what it's wanting to hear about. Ironically, customer service.

I know what they'll say, "But, we have an office in Mooresville." To which I will respond, "Right. We know. Why don't you have an office in Charlotte?" ... which, of course, is my main customer service suggestion for the department: Stop making us drive an hour in awful traffic to visit its offices, for those of us who do. (See, I've been down this road several times before; it's a dead end.)

Of course, you can always fill out the online survey, "How can we serve you better?," which guides you through the topics the department actually wants feedback on, though the comment box allows for a pretty lengthy response. So, if you've got something to say: go for it.

Here are the deets:

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources wants to learn about its customers’ experiences with the agency and ways it can improve future interactions, through a series of statewide listening sessions that start this week and an online public survey.

Staff with the Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach have scheduled regional listening sessions to help the department identify the types of assistance citizens need and to generate ideas for better customer service. Listening sessions have been scheduled in each of the department’s seven regional office coverage areas and will consist of a roundtable discussion of about 40 invited guests who are DENR customers and stakeholders. These participants include members of the regulated community, local government, environmental advocacy groups, consultants and representatives of agriculture, small business and trade associations.

“We want to hear directly from the public during these sessions and focus on solutions,” said DENR Secretary Dee Freeman. “We are responding to Gov. Perdue’s call for an efficient and effective state government that will support job creation by looking for cost-effective ways to accomplish our mission of protecting and conserving the state’s environment and natural resources, while also meeting our customers’ needs.”

The schedule for the listening sessions is:
Sept. 20 Wilmington
Sept. 22 Washington
Sept. 27 Fayetteville
Sept. 29 Raleigh
Oct. 4 Mooresville
Oct. 6 Winston-Salem
Oct. 11 Asheville

DENR has also developed an online survey to ensure that all customers have an opportunity to provide customer-service focused feedback. The survey has been designed to focus on customer experiences at DENR and ideas for improvement.The data will be used as baseline information to allow the department to measure improvement in the future. To complete the survey, please visit DENR’s website ( and click on the graphic on the top left of the page that says “How can we serve you better?”

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