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Customer Satisfaction Survey added to Defense Transportation Regulation

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, ILL. (USTCNS) --- The Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) is a critical component of Families First, the Department of Defense's new personal property program that will select Transportation Service Providers based on the quality of service they provide. The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) designed Families First to be a customer-focused, user-friendly program for service members, DoD civilians and their families.

The U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), Scott Air Force Base, Ill., has updated the Defense Transportation Regulation Part IV, Personal Property, with rules on the Families First CSS. The regulation requires strict adherence to its provisions to maintain the integrity of the Defense Transportation System, specifically the movement of personal property throughout the world.

The regulation requirement states that service members are required to complete the CSS within seven days after the Transportation Service Provider delivers their household goods or unaccompanied baggage shipment to their final destination. To ensure compliance with the new requirement and to improve the quality of service for all future moves, the new regulation language includes instructions for service members and Personal Property Shipping Offices. The instructions guide users on:

• The role CSS scores play in a Transportation Service Provider's Best Value Score and how the Government selects carriers based on Best Value Scores.
• What forms users will need and how to complete those forms
• Language and scripts Personal Property Shipping Offices can use to brief members on the importance of the CSS
• Language and scripts Personal Property Shipping Offices can use to guide members on filling out the survey
• Detailed instructions on CSS procedures for Personal Property Shipping Offices (including the website locations of screen shots)

Customers rate the performance of Transportation Service Providers and the origin and destination Personal Property Shipping Offices on a 12-question multiple-choice web-based form. Each customer's CSS response has a direct effect on the Government's selection of quality movers. SDDC uses the response data to comparatively rate Transportation Service Providers.

Under the Families First program, shipment awards are based primarily on best value as opposed to cost. SDDC also provides results of the surveys to the Transportation Service Providers and Personal Property Shipping Offices for their quality control efforts. To maintain integrity in the program, Transportation Service Providers may not provide any incentives to encourage customers to complete the survey.

USTRANSCOM has recognized CSS data as an essential element to the ultimate success of Families First and intends to use surveys to continuously improve the quality of service Transportation Service Providers provide in the future. During the period November 2005 to November 2006, service members completed 49,534 surveys on 325,245 shipments delivered.

While every survey received provides invaluable data for the operation of Families First, SDDC's goal is to receive a CSS for every shipment delivered and obtain the most comprehensive information possible on the quality of service provided by Transportation Service Providers in the program. The more data that customers submit by completing the CSS, the more likely it is that the Government will select only the highest quality Transportation Service Providers.

The CSS team recently took several steps to improve the utility and usability of the CSS process, including:

• Rearranging the CSS webpage (www.sddc.army.mil)
• Promoting the CSS process. DoD personnel will soon see a television commercial about the CSS produced by the American Forces Radio and Television Service.
• Producing CSS reminder business cards. Personal Property Shipping Offices will be able to download business cards from the SDDC website to hand out to service members during counseling. The cards will include contact information, website links, and lines for user ID and password information the customer will need to access the survey.

The success of Families First greatly depends on the feedback from service members and their families who move. USTRANSCOM and SDDC will continue to stress the importance of service members' participation through the CSS to make Families First a great success and improve everyone's moves.

How It Works

To participate in the CSS, a service member preparing for a Permanent Change of Station move provides a valid email address during pre-move counseling to his or her Personal Property Shipping Offices. The SDDC database creates and emails the password to the address the service member provided immediately after the Personal Property Shipping Offices books the shipment and prints the Government Bill of Lading. The service member usually receives the email a few days after the counseling session.

It is critical that the service member provide the Personal Property Shipping Offices with as much destination contact information as possible, including a valid email address, phone numbers, and a street address.

After the final delivery of their household goods, the customer can access the CSS online at https://icss.eta.sddc.army.mil. The customer's social security number is the user ID. The SDDC website (www.sddc.army.mil) contains additional guidance on completing the CSS. If the customer does not complete the survey on-line as required he or she will receive reminder emails seven, 14 and 21 days after the destination Personal Property Shipping Office records the shipment as delivered.

If the Personal Property Shipping Office does not record the shipment as delivered for whatever reason, the database automatically sends a reminder email 30 days after the required delivery date of the shipment. The required delivery date is based on the distance between origin and destination. The emails contain hyperlinks that connect the customer directly to the survey. The hyperlinks are secure and bypass the password and user ID page. An SDDC Customer Service Representative may contact the customer via telephone to complete the survey as needed.

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