In 2002, the City of Baltimore, led by Director Lisa N Allen, was the first city in the country to launch 311 as an intake center for all service request and requests for general information from citizens and visitors. Over the years, many cities and counties have modeled Baltimore’s 311 and have implemented 311 call centers internationally.
On March 11, 2019 local governments of all sizes are using this date – 3/11 – to showcase and to celebrate how they are using 311 and centralized contact centers to provide a coordinated and seamless approach to service delivery.
For many communities, contact centers have become the face of government to the public. With the implementation of 311 systems, digital and civic media, and apps which allow the public to make service requests and enables direct interact with government officials, local governments are setting new standards for customer/community participation.
I encourage city, county, state, and federal governments that are using 311 and centralized contact centers to use March 11 (3/11) as an opportunity to promote your efforts to provide for responsive service to the public.
What could happen if government viewed certain public sector challenges through the lens of customer experience? By changing the way people interact with a process rather than focusing solely on the process itself, agencies can broaden the range of available solutions.
The Niagara Falls Community Development Department is competing for a grant to fund a citywide 311 system and is are asking residents for input. 311 is a nonemergency phone number that people can call in many cities to find information about services, make complaints, or report problems.
“A grant-funded 311 system would change and improve the way the City of Niagara Falls does business and serves residents,” said Seth Piccirillo, director of Niagara Falls Community Development. “It is essential for our citizens to help plan this system, and we hope the public will join us at our meetings, as always.”
Now you might think that it is quite obvious that companies would understand the importance of using data. But, you would be surprised how many organizations do not fully align their Data Strategy with their business objectives.
Cities that want to make the transition into being a ‘data driven organization’ may entail coordinating operational business decisions to a systematic interpretation of information by deploying Advanced Analytics.
Customers are holding public sector agencies to service standards typically found in private industry. As a result, local governments are turning to innovative technology to keep up with rising service expectations.
311 systems offer local governments speed and insights that boost overall performance. They:
Enable citizens to submit requests from anywhere at any time
Provide location accuracy related to requests with GIS functionality
Mobilize information sharing across government departments
Account for service costs more accurately and timely
Deja vu? Last year the City of Atlanta spent $2.6M to recover from a $52K ransomware attack.
How are cities managing the tremendous security risk of of a ransomeware attack?
The City of Akron did not specify the amount of ransom demanded. The attack was detected Jan. 22 when workers in the city’s information technology office “became aware of suspicious activity on the city’s network,” an Akron press release reads.