The county needed help, and it needed it fast—administrators planned to improve their customer service operations as quickly as possible. The County approached Microsoft about a citizen request solution based on Microsoft’s CRM Dynamics platform. After interviewing multiple vendors, We were selected.
After working with the county to understand its issues and design a solution, KPMG Adoxio built a web portal for the county using its Government 311 solution in combination with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015. That combination enables the county to join its customer database with the portal’s customer service features, collecting citizen data in one place. The portal is called At Your Service. We were able to design and build the portal in just 12 weeks, surpassing the county’s expectation for a cost-effective solution on an accelerated timeframe.
Using the portal, citizens can use multiple channels to contact the county and receive service. The portal is designed for easy use by citizens and administrators alike.
The county has made it much easier for citizens to submit new requests and check the status of existing requests. The portal is directly integrated with the county’s website, making it easy for users to find from the county home page. If a citizen wants to report a pothole, for example, the citizen simply opens an online form and clicks on the corresponding service. The request is automatically routed to the appropriate team, which replies within one business day. Administrators can track new issues and ensure that service level agreements (SLAs) are being met.It allows users to submit requests anonymously as well, or create an account with the county to track their service requests. Users who do choose to include their contact information can opt to receive email updates as the request is resolved.
“We wanted to empower citizens by making it as easy as possible to get information on the status of their requests,” says, Chief Communications Administrator. “Our desire was to reduce dependency on our call center staff, so that they’re available to respond to issues rather than providing updates on existing requests.”
The county also uses geo-location tools that are integrated into the solution to display a map view of service requests. Using Bing Maps, users can pinpoint the area that needs service on a map. That helps the county and the cities within its boundaries quickly determine which work crews should respond. The mapping system integrates with the county’s ESRI geographic information system (GIS), as well. Integrating Microsoft Dynamics, Adxstudio’s Portals and ESRI’s ArcGIS Online creates a data-rich geo-location platform ideal for analyzing relationships and patterns. This integration also allows county personnel to easily identify county-owned infrastructure and better manage requests for services that cross jurisdictional boundaries.
All service requests are aggregated on a publicly available incident map, posted on the county’s home page. By using that map, the county can identify hotspots for specific issues and coordinate its response, sending one or two crews to handle multiple similar issues rather than sending one crew per issue. The map also reduces duplicate submissions by showing incidents in real time.
Once a service request is submitted, a unique service request number is assigned to it. That number stays with the service request even if the request type changes, and can be referenced by both the website and by the call center, eliminating confusion about multiple case numbers for the same incident.
The solution has created a more efficient system for service representatives, and also gives administrators better oversight into the county’s citizen relations processes. When a request is submitted, whether by phone or online, the county’s business rules identify which team the request belongs to and automatically assigns it to that team, sending a notification email to let the team know a new request has come in, keeping track of each service request’s status, and alerts administrators when a request needs to be escalated. Automatically escalations occur when the submitter hasn’t been contacted by the county in 3 business days, or when an issue is complex or requires high-level input. In addition, the county has improved its auditing and business rules so that administrators can track how service requests were closed, and who closed them. The system retains those details even if the request is reopened and closed again.
“By using At Your Service, our residents can get the information and services they need the very first time they contact us, 24/7,” Chief Communications says. “They don’t need to worry about calling between 8am and 5pm. No matter when they have an issue, they can just report it online and we’ll address it the next day.” The site also allows citizens to upload photos of service requests, cutting down investigation time by customer service representatives. Citizens can review prior service requests and annotate them, as well.
By using the solutions reporting capabilities, the county can generate metrics and map-based reports on service delivery. The information helps the county fine-tune its operations and streamline administration, delivering services more efficiently and improving the county’s overall productivity and citizen satisfaction performance.
The county has seen cost savings, as well – reducing the number of calls per service requests is driving customer satisfaction up while reducing call-center costs. And because we built the county’s portal on the Microsoft platform, the county can maximize its previous investments in Microsoft technologies and minimize the learning curve for its staff.
This County is home to 1.2 million residents with a mission to provide effective quality service at a reasonable cost with courtesy, integrity and accountability in a manner that protects and enhances the quality of life of their diverse population.
To do that, the county needed to improve the quality of its customer service. Citizens contact the county for a range of services – public health and safety, utilities, parks and recreation, social services, and other forms of civic assistance. But the county’s system wasn’t as efficient as it could be. Citizens sometimes had to call more than once to get an issue resolved, and administrators lacked visibility into the process, making it hard to improve the system.
- Chief Communications