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Treat People Like ‘Customers,’ RMs Told Because of the dubious reputation of local government when dealing with claimants, public employees and average citizens with a problem, public sector risk managers would do well to follow the service example of some retailers.

So said presenters at last month’s Public Risk Management Association conference in Chicago at a workshop entitled: “Treat Your Citizens Like Customers and Reap Profits of Goodwill, Improved Service and Increased Safety.”

One of the biggest challenges to risk managers in the public sector is reconciling the respective interests of their “customers,” said John Miall, Jr., director of risk management for the city of Asheville, N.C. With simple policies in place and a focus on treating the public as customers who need to be satisfied, “interests dont have to be mutually exclusive, they can be compatible,” Mr. Miall said.

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