Why Are We Here In Customer Service?

This post was originally published on the internal DMV.ORG Visitor Support Blog titled, The Road To Awesome.

Lana from Colorado is temporarily residing in Nevada as her husband’s business relocated him for a short period of time. Her handicap placard expires in December and she needed it renewed and mailed to her in Nevada. She reached out to us to understand how to make this update.

In my response, I mentioned the instructions about the renewal, the form needed and the number to call the CO DMV directly. She replied saying she was having trouble getting through on that line. I was curious so I gave the number a call. There were quite a few options on the menu and I pressed a couple options that eventually landed me in the right department. I asked Lana’s question to the stressed out sounding state agent, was told that Lana needed to call in and simply provide the updated address and then I followed up with Lana. I provided her with the menu options I selected and that the representatives are available to help her. Lana replied later that day stating that she waited 40 minutes on hold but did get through and finally got her answer. In her reply to me, she stated:

“It isn’t often that, when communicating on such a large, governmental website, that such  personal attention & compassion is shown.”

She was so overjoyed and you could sense the happiness through her email. Then, she followed up with this customer service satisfaction survey feedback today:

“I was rather frenzied about getting information regarding an updated (renewed/new) handicap placard. Jenny Dempsey took extra personal care of me that eased my concerns and, most importantly, helped direct me to the places/contacts I needed to accomplish my task. She was professional but personal and made me feel as though I’d known her for years. Whoever might read this review, please make sure to give this awesome employee a huge raise or at least a gift card for a nice evening out! She was awesome. I was afraid of the sound of the “DMV” but she put all my fears to rest. Thank you thank you thank you Jenny Dempsey! P.S. I’m sorry there’s not another box or two to click that says, GREAT FABULOUS SUPERLATIVE !!!!”

–>I encourage you to re-read that quote but take my name out and replace YOUR name. Really. Go on. Do it! How do you feel?

Why did I ask you to do that?

Lana’s kind comments are a great reminder of what we’re doing here. With all of our focus on the visitor, we’re really HELPING people. Here are some key points about this situation and what makes it so powerful:

  • We could not resolve this situation for her as we do not have access to DMV records.
  • We had to direct her to her state branch.
  • She had to wait a really long time to get an answer (40 minutes).

With all of those things going against us, here’s where we set ourselves apart:

  • We communicated the instructions clearly using the written content taken from the handicap placard renewal section.
  • We used the human touch to build trust and ease fears that this is the proper process to take.
  • We put personal touches in the message to help Lana feel connected and valued.


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  • Awesome story, Jenny! Having worked with you for 10 years, this doesn’t surprise me in the least about you. You went the extra mile for this customer to solve her problem. I think the more we encourage and do this, the more it becomes the norm–and that’s a great thing.

  • Great tip at the end, Jenny.

    I’ve incorporated that into my customer service training class for many years. (I ask them to write a letter to themselves from an imaginary customer.) The twist is I ask them to read the letter each day before they start work for one month and then try to make a real version of that letter happen.

    Everyone I know who has done the full exercise has been successful!

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