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How to make ICE comments that get results

By Jeff D. Champagne | 502nd Air Base Wing Interactive Customer Evaluation Site Administrator/Program Manager | Oct. 16, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —

Joint Base San Antonio aims to provide exceptional customer service and support to service members and their families. If those Interactive Customer Evaluation, or ICE, service providers meet or don’t meet expectation, you can take actions that provide results.

The ICE system is a real-time direct link to leaders and managers that oversee more than 350 ICE service providers across JBSA.

Providing written feedback is important because it formally documents your complaint or compliment and notifies associated management that you are serious about sharing your most recent experiences.

When ICE is used effectively, it has a tremendous effect within the Armed Forces, which is accountability. ICE managers and leaders are required to be responsive to the needs and feedback of their customers and local community.

If you are faced with an issue or problem associated with your ICE service provider, first attempt to resolve concerns at the lowest level possible, which starts with a representative from that location. You can also try giving them a call or sending an e-mail to have your concerns voiced.

If that doesn’t work, submit an ICE comment. A designated ICE manager will receive and respond to your comment, which are eventually routed up through the 502nd Air Base Wing commander for awareness.

When providing feedback via ICE, be specific and provide as much detail as possible. Take the time to explain what happened and what you would like to be addressed. The more detail you are able to provide the better the ICE manager is able to understand your needs and concerns.  

ICE comments that include actionable feedback and exact details, such as who, what, when and where are most effective.

If you leave feedback through the ICE system and don’t provide details about your experience, then there is little that can be done. But if you write an ICE comment about an office not picking up the phone, and you provide the day, time and phone number, it will be much easier to understand where exactly the problem may be.

Do not submit threatening or angry comments. If you find yourself extremely upset because of your customer service experience, take a moment to understand that the ICE manager that is reading your comments, is not necessarily responsible for the problem. ICE managers work with many organizations and mission partners to help resolve feedback and concerns.

When leaving ICE feedback, the program does not require the submitter to provide contact information. You have the right to remain anonymous. On the other hand, when customers provide contact information, it allows for an open dialogue which leads to a holistic approach to remedy your concerns.

ICE managers are responsible for reviewing their ICE submissions daily. But when we receive an ICE comment that has no name or contact information, it limits what can be done to right the wrong.

ICE comments with a name and contact information require a direct and immediate response from ICE managers within three business days.

For those who think, “but if I leave my name and contact information, I will subject myself to retribution,” that’s just not the case. The ICE system does not track information on any individual who submits a comment, though information such as an IP address can be retrieved for a criminal investigation.

ICE managers who respond to comments are prohibited from using contact information as a means to track down a customer for retaliation. In fact, ICE policy prohibits retribution and actually protects customers.

According to the Department of Defense’s ICE policy, the purpose of the ICE system is to enable DOD organizations to collect feedback and improve on the services they provide.

Negative feedback does help us determine where we need improvement and positive feedback highlights what we are doing right and where we should continue those efforts.

Did you know that eight out of 10 ICE comments at JBSA are positive? JBSA is doing many great things and we value your feedback, whether it be positive or negative.

ICE comments – both good and bad – can bring a trend to the surface and is possibly the greatest mover of change. 

A sudden increase in complaints may provide justification for more funding, manning and resources. Similarly, trending positive comments toward an organization may strengthen its foothold in the community and may prevent downsizing.