The distribution of public services is synonymous with a subtle disdain for the customer. In this case, the writers examine a rare case of consumer culture in the public sector in Ottawa County. The tendency towards superior customer experience is generally a strategic benefit in the business environment. However, the case study provides an insight into how the municipal authority has implemented a customer-first approach. The initiative was inspired by “The Way of Disney.” The essay analyzes the policy of the municipal authority to follow a consumer-centric society and the possible impact on the general public. The process is challenging for both the management and government employees due to the massive cultural shift. The article details the steps followed in integrating the initiative in all government operations. The discussion of challenges and the consequent solutions by the authors ensures that a reader is informed about the intricacies of the “Ottawa Way.”
The principal claim by the authors is that public sector institutions can successfully adopt a consumer-centric culture and reap the rewards of the move in a variety of ways. The authors argue that the county’s reputation has significantly increased due to the Disney-inspired culture. The ease of doing business in Ottawa County has increased since then with new firms locating to locations within the County. According to the authors, this has a direct impact in terms of employment, an indirect impact if the firms buy raw materials locally, and a multiplier effect on the flow of wages by employees and the creation of more jobs. The consumer-centric culture has worked wonders since the County’s employment multiplier is 2.12. The authors also argue that if a potential investor experiences good customer service in Ottawa County, it may influence his/ her decision to relocate. The success of “The Ottawa Way” was evident from the early days. 70 employees of the local government were nominated for the quarterly customer service award organized in the County. According to the authors, the local government has successfully transitioned from bureaucratic and regulatory culture to one that is more about helping improve the quality of life of the county residents. This has made the local government a valuable partner of the local business community.
The Ottawa Way Experience that is comprehensively explained is illustrative of the article’s persuasiveness. The values-based and futuristic initiative involves all staff in an organization from top-level management to workers from all departments and agencies. As mentioned earlier, the article provides an overview of all activities in the process from preliminary planning to the involvement of the management to the eventual rollout. Rather than just indicating that a consumer-centric culture is the best, the authors show how it works and how to achieve it. The reliability of the source is boosted by the fact that one of its authors also co-authored “The Disney Way” which has been hailed for it transformational insight into the customer service experience.
The Ottawa Way experience affirms the need for proper communication between all stakeholders for any organizational initiative to succeed. The consumer-centric culture would substantially contribute to an organization’s vision by attracting inward investment as the article purported. As such, rather than communication being an enabler, it becomes the major tool driving strategic planning through excellent customer service. This has worked for Ottawa County, and it provides a blueprint for other public-sector organizations in the country to follow the lead.