IRS News Release  
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 November 15.

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 customer service."

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

Previous | Next

1997 IRS News Releases | News Releases Main | Home