Building a Culture of Customer Service

Building a Culture of Customer Service
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2024-01-23
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Building a Culture of Customer Service
Unit 2 Transcript: Building a Culture of Customer Service
Unit 3 Workbook: Building a Culture of Customer Service
Unit 4 Recording: Building a Culture of Customer Service

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center (JCDC) in Kansas City successfully altered its operations and community relations. This is despite the fact that Kansas City remains as one of top ten cities in the US with the highest rates of violent crime. What did JCDC implement to accomplish this transformation? JCDC Director Diana Knapp shares their experience in this webinar.

Diana has nearly three decades working with adult and juvenile offenders in secure settings and the community across state, federal, and municipal levels. She was JCDC’s Deputy Director in before being appointed as Director in 2018. She is also the chair of the American Jail Association‘s committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Specifics she discussed in this session include:

  • A backgrounder on the JCDC and Kansas City that introduces the challenges the facility and the city are experiencing that serve as barriers to providing top-notch customer service.
  • The JCDC workers’ compensation claims from 1017 to 2019 which serves as baseline for the impact of JCDC’s customer service efforts.
  • The key components that JCDC identified as central to delivering quality customer service – retain staff, keep everyone safe, and build public trust.
  • Factors that influence staff retention
    • Keeping the right staff that involves making difficult decisions, finding and leverage hidden talent, establishing expectations and goals, addressing non-compliance, and celebrating exemplary performance.
    • Recognition that includes modeling the vision, starting within your purview, reinforcing behavior, being the team’s cheerleader, and finding a win.
    • Celebrating that doesn’t have to expensive by capitalizing on getting people to remember how you make them feel, utilizing the power of social media, taking time to know the people and how they want to receive validation, feeding people, and placing value on the little things.
  • Strategies to foster staff safety through…
    • Leading by example to facilitate the desired environment and level of professionalism.
    • Addressing non-compliance to safety protocols across the employee life cycle through coaching or disciplinary measures.
    • Ensuring dignity for everyone – both internal and external customers – to prevent and mitigate the chances of escalating situations into crises.
  • Tactics to rebuild public trust by…
    • Identifying your customers which includes inmates, their families, courts, colleagues, the chain of command, and the community.
    • Establishing a culture or helpers that leverages each team members’ talents and strengths.
    • Being responsive to the customers across the different channels that they interact with the system.
  • The JCDC workers’ compensation claims from 2020 to 2023 that demonstrated the effectiveness of their efforts in customer service.

Topics covered during the Q&A are about:

  • The benefits and challenges of a multi-cultural workforce.
  • The dilemma between upholding hiring standards and the issue with understaffing.
  • Transforming a culture amidst staffing issues.
  • The value of sincere and authentic recognition especially with superiors.
  • Time investment required for recognition efforts.


Other Webinars with this Speaker



Or, click here to register and view other Jail/Corrections related webinars and recordings on the JCH website.



Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “Great topic and very easy to implement ideas and tools, very practical.”
  • “Director Knapp’s presentation was relevant and promoted an environment of learning and growth by treating people with respect and dignity. Despite having hundreds of associates, the Jackson County Detention Center is comprised of a close-knit group of people who respect each other and are a pleasure to work with. It is obvious she leads by example and practices what she shares here. It is always important to not only delegate tasks but to ensure those delegated to are given the grace.”
  • “[The Speaker] was very knowledgeable. and information was pertinent and not outdated.”
  • “Everything about the presentation was valuable. Thank you very much!”
  • “The webinar was very informative.”
  • “Excellent material and instruction. Very relevant topic.”
  • “To know that my team are my customers as well! Was a very important takeaway.”



The American Jail Association (AJA) is a national, nonprofit organization that supports the professionals who operate our Nation’s jails. It is the only national association that focuses exclusively on issues specific to the operations of local correctional facilities. The driving force behind the phenomenal growth of AJA is its members. AJA has taken a leadership role in developing the type of programs that promote the professional growth of the dedicated men and women who operate our Nation’s jails.  Jail staff have the responsibility for the management of people who have been charged with violating our laws and often mock the ideals on which AJA was founded. Jail personnel find themselves sorely tested each day in the jail environment when they receive scorn and derision for their loyalty and perseverance under extremely trying circumstances.  AJA takes this opportunity to salute the jail staff of the Nation who, by their dedication to the difficult task of local corrections, have made a vital, positive difference to the welfare of the communities they serve.  Click here to learn more about AJA. 



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