LANSING — Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson recently released a report on her observations and recommendations upon completing a tour of all 131 secretary of state branch offices in Michigan.
At a news conference at Cadillac Place in Detroit, Benson spoke about visiting all branch offices in Michigan’s 83 counties and talking with customers and employees about how to improve service and shorten wait times for Michigan residents.
“Every Michigan resident deserves efficient access to state services,” Benson said. “We are ready and determined to rebuild a system of delivering services that is modern and effective. Michigan’s hard-working residents and our employees deserve no less.”
Benson’s recommendations include:
• Upgrade online services and communications.
• Provide targeted support to the highest volume customers.
• Revamp self-service kiosks to ensure reliable service.
• Review internal policies and pursue legislative reforms.
• Create a culture of support for staff.
• Improve the physical environment of offices.
• Expand features that work and restructure those that don’t.
• Look for opportunities to continuously streamline operations.
• Encourage customer and employee feedback.
The full report indicated there is a lot of opportunity to modernize Secretary of State branch offices from the current inconsistent, outdated and inefficient system. Modernizing interactions with customers would include:
• Upgrading online services and communications, revamping the website and other communications, including mailings, to be more relevant and user friendly, ensure more people know about our online services and can access them efficiently, and simplify mailings to better provide details about information or documentation to bring when visiting branch offices.
• Provide targeted support to our highest volume customers (auto dealers, manufacturers, etc.) to reduce the need for them to make repeated visits to our branches.
• Revamping self-service kiosks to ensure reliable service, provision of more services, and fewer break downs.
• Reviewing internal policies and pursue legislative reforms, such as multi-year license plates and automatic driver’s license renewal to streamline services for our citizens.
Additionally, they will upgrade branch offices to ensure smooth and short visits, create a culture of support for staff, and will review job classifications, recruitment, training, labor-management relations and policies.
Plans also include improvement of the physical environment of offices to be welcoming, warm, inclusive environments that celebrate local communities while providing efficient service in an organized setting.
Expanding features which work and restructure those that don’t. Our appointment system is well used and well liked. We will increase appointment opportunities in offices throughout the state to reach more residents. Failures of the MI-TIME system, to provide accurate wait times and creating deep frustration for our customers and employees will be fixed by recalibration. — P.S.