Satisfied Residents Reap Rewards for a Florida Municipality

tamaracTamarac, a small quiet neighborhood just west of Fort Lauderdale, the Venice of America, has one thing the international travel destination does not – an international award. The sleepy town of 60,000, founded in the 1960s as an active adult community, can now boast about its Palladium Award in addition to its warm winters, lush golf courses and early bird specials.

The city was only one of three cities in 2013 to win the award handed out by the Palladium Group at the annual global summit in Boston. The award honors organizations throughout the world who translate strategic concepts into measurable results.

Tamarac was recognized for developing programs and services which led to higher resident satisfaction, improved employee performance, a strong financial outlook and increased engagement of the workforce. The 50-year-old city began its initiative in 2004, but since 2011 has employed a “balanced scorecard” using data to measure resident satisfaction with services. Tamarac regularly surveys its employees and citizens as a strategy to improve services.

“We clearly articulate our priorities and use the balanced scorecard process to link strategy to our daily operations” said Michael Cernech, Tamarac City Manager. “Scorecards successfully help guide our daily decisions because we can easily see the cause and effect relationship between our actions and the outcomes.”

On its application for the award, the city demonstrated that residents’ satisfaction with the city’s services is 23 percentage points above the national average. Unlike a business, the city doesn’t have to work to retain customers. However, improved customer service has its financial benefits. Tamarac recently learned that because it has improved its customer service, it is attracting more businesses and jobs. In September, Venezuelan pharmaceutical company Unipharma announced it would relocate to Tamarac, create 100 jobs and make a $50 million capital investment.

Performance scorecards, customer satisfaction surveys, or customer feedback forms – whatever you call them, they are powerful tools in providing your business with direct feedback from customers – those most impacted by your services. Finding out how they feel about the services you provide, their overall satisfaction and whether or not they would recommend you to others is paramount to customer retention. Don’t rely solely on glowing reviews or scolding critiques to evaluate your brand delivery. Make regular customer feedback a part of your service culture.