December 10, 1997
Taxpayers Give IRS
Problem-Solving Day High Marks
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service's performance at its
first Problem Solving Day got high marks, based on a customer
service survey of over 3,300 taxpayers who took part in the event on
The IRS received an overall rating of 6.46 on a scale from
1 to 7, with 7 being the highest rating, "completely satisfied."
About 55 percent of the nearly 6,300 participating taxpayers
across the country completed the survey after meeting face to
face with IRS representatives to solve their problems.
The survey, which was developed and evaluated by an outside
contractor, rated aspects of customer service that are standard in
private sector surveys. The survey asked taxpayers to rate IRS
employees on promptness of service, employee courtesy, employee
competence, fairness of treatment, the effort taken to resolve the
problem and convenience of office hours.
Not only did the IRS rate above 6.4 in each category, but over
75 percent of respondents gave IRS the top rating of 7. The highest
overall rating -- 6.77 -- was for employee courtesy.
Although the survey did not ask for comments, many people added
them to their survey forms. In New Orleans a taxpayer wrote, "We
could not ask for kinder, more considerate treatment. Thanks so
much to your staff." In Richmond a taxpayer wrote that the IRS
representative who worked on his or her problem was "very courteous,
very helpful, very knowledgeable." And in Phoenix one taxpayer
wrote, "This is a very valuable service. Thank you!"
"We are obviously delighted that the taxpayers who took part
in Problem Solving Day were so satisfied with the experience," said
Internal Revenue Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti. "Performance
like this is the goal of any customer-service oriented organization
-- whether private sector or public -- and I think it shows that
the IRS is on its way to achieving a new standard for improved
The IRS said it will continue to survey participants in subsequent
monthly Problem Solving Days. The agency released the location and
schedule for December events last week.
The customer service survey ratings (on a 7 point scale, with
7 as "completely satisfied") are:
Promptness of service 6.43
Employee courtesy 6.77
Employee competence 6.60
Treating you fairly 6.51
Effort to resolve problem 6.42
Convenience of office hours 6.63
Overall service 6.46
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