The Value of Multi-Channel

Contact Centers: A Checklist
for Local Elected Offcials
Citizen-Centric Government—
Transforming Government
through Service and Technology
Public Technology Institute
The resource for technology executives in local government
www. p t i . o r g
The Value of Multi-Channel
Contact Centers: A Checklist
for Local Elected Offcials
Citizen-Centric Government—
Transforming Government through
Service and Technology
No matter how you currently engage citizens—311, call centers,
walk-up desks, the Web—you can take customer service to a
new level—multiple channel contacts!
People have become accustomed to using the channel of their choice
for communication and transactions. Today’s technology is making that
very convenient for the user and offers great management tools for
the organization providing the service.
For the citizen, these contact
centers provide quick and easy
access to government.
For the elected leaders, these
centers help you stay in touch
with your constituents. The
systems and business processes
that contact centers use help
you to “monitor the pulse” of your constituency and provide you with
real-time analysis on how effectively government services are being
delivered.
The Public Technology Institute (PTI) has prepared this checklist
identifying many of the benefts of multi-channel contact with the
public. Designed specifcally for elected offcials, this list is meant
to provide a non-technical look at how these technologies impact
you and the citizens you serve.
The checklist focuses on three priority areas:
• Citizen satisfaction
• Economic development and revenue opportunities
• Business process re-engineering
“Finally, New Yorkers don’t
have to search through a
phone book or experience the
fustration of being bounced
around fom one agency to
the next as they try to fnd the
service they need. And 311
doesn’t just let us respond
better, we use what we learn
here so we can manage better.”
—MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR
CITY OF NEW YORK, NY
“Sacramento City 311 is
more than a customer-focused
call center. While outstanding
customer service is our commit-
ment, having a “single source of
information” regarding issues
concerning our residents gives
us a continuous gauge on
customer needs, allows for
strategic planning and gives the
executive team objective data
fom which to make sound
decisions for our city. Our
CRM system is the catalyst that
enables this to happen. Strong
leadership with the right
technology can transform.”
—KEVIN JOHNSON, MAYOR
CITY OF SACRAMENTO, CA
MulTi-Channel
ConTaCT CenTer
With the foundation of technology
and communications, a multi-
channel contact center can
build dynamic andresponsive
connectivity between citizens
and local government.
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Technology & Communications
Citizens
FaCT: in 1997, the Federal
Communications Commission des-
ignated 311 as a national number
to handle non-emergency calls.
Since that time, local governments
across the country have been
establishing contact centers.
As you review this list, think about the technologies and processes
that you currently use and what more you could do to transform
government services.
Citizen Satisfaction
✔Achieve a lighter, simpler, swifter,
more accessible and trusted
government through the multi-
channel contact center service
and technology
✔Improve accountability and trans-
parency by meeting the demand
to provide real-time assessment
of the effectiveness of services
✔Transform citizen communications by offering channel of choice,
expanding walk-in and call services with Web 2.0 dashboards,
news feeds, text messaging, social networking, and Interactive
Voice Response and balancing with commonplace technologies
to maximize inclusion and utility
✔Institute continuous citizen engagement through surveys, comment
and complaint forms, special project feedback, town hall meetings,
kiosks, public access to computers, and other two-way interactivity
initiated by the multi-channel contact center
✔Gain understanding of citizen priorities and community issues
through the abundance of straightforward data generated by
the multi-channel contact center
✔Attain seamless service delivery through consistency of information
sharing between citizens, the contact center, service departments
and feld crews
Economic Development and Revenue Opportunities
✔Increase timely collections for accounts receivable through
cost-effective, 24x7 payment processes
✔Facilitate business development with quick and automated access
to business information and maps, interactive web forms,
and faxing
✔Increase registrations and reservations through easy access to
dynamic tourist and recreational information
✔Generate revenue and economies of scale by establishing partner
networks to share services, data and technology use
✔Improve economic development efforts by using browser-based
applications to end data silos and enable access to information
on demand and in real-time (e.g. sales and marketing data,
business contact data, lead management, e-mail integration,
e-mail lists)
Business Process Re-engineering
✔Manage by facts and improve forecasting with real-time and relevant
data access, including easy-to-read report summaries
✔Target limited resources by using call, complaint and location data to
focus on service improvement opportunities
✔Easily transition and effectively support emergency operations and
establish reliable communications infrastructure between public
“Our Strategic Customer
Services division has enabled
us to take a 360° approach to
citizens and service. With
integrated technology for 311,
GIS, the Web and IVR, we
have connected the community
to the City of Dallas.
We stay accountable and very
responsive to that connection
through ongoing citizen input
and extensive performance
improvement processes.
It’s a great way to manage.”
—JILL A. JORDAN,
ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER
CITY OF DALLAS, TX
“My focus is to be responsive
to the needs of our citizens and
to engage them in building
a better community. Corpus
Christi provides seamless
customer services through
the call center and an award-
winning interactive website.”
—HENRY GARRETT, MAYOR
CITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI, TX
FaCT: Good customer ser-
vice used to mean friendly
and courteous. Today, it also
means a citizen can use a
combination of communica-
tion channels to interact with
government, has options for
24x7 access, is not trans-
ferred, and does not have to
repeat information.
311/CRM Project
Coordinating Group*
Created by PTI, ICMA, Rutgers
University and the Ochs Center
for Metropolitan Studies, this
group hopes to:
• Create a unifed public voice
to promote the difusion of
311/CRM systems to local
governments across the U.S.;
• Share information and serve as
a resource to local governments
on 311/CRM systems;
• Promote best practices and
strategies that lead to more
responsive government and
improved government
performance.
*Each organization has a research
project supported by the
Alfed P. Sloan Foundation.
“Citizens expect and deserve
government that responds
in real time to what they
need. Solano County is using
311 to meet citizen expecta-
tions of customer service by
providing a ‘one-stop shopping’
resource. Callers don’t have to
know how County government
works. Tey only need to know
when they call 311, there is a
fiendly person ready to help
them access information and
get connected to the experts
that can address their needs.
I believe 311 is one of the new
wave of tools that maximize
technology to help elected
ofcials and management
staf assess how well services
are being performed and
how efective the programs
are managed. Taxpayers get
a return on their investment
with improved efciencies
and better accountability.”
—MICHAEL D. JOHNSON,
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR
COUNTY OF SOLANO, CA
safety agencies and affected
constituents and between
critical frst responders
✔Develop employees to become
service design and delivery
agents
✔Address declining workforce
issues and create greater
effciencies through integrated,
shared or interoperated data
and technology systems
✔Achieve faster response times by empowering reliable access
for employees to critical information
✔Maximize technology investments by expanding contact center
technology to other departments, such as development
services or municipal court
in-Person
Call agents
Web
iVrs
e-Mail/iM
Work orders
• Technologies
• Point of Contact
• User Options
• Processes
• Tracking
• Communications
• Response
Seamless
Service
integrated
PTI is a non-proft technology research organization created by and
for cities and counties. PTI’s Citizen-Engaged Community
Designation Program recognizes best practices in the use of Citizen
Relationship Management (CRM) systems, 311 systems, web
portal technology, telephony systems and mobile communications
infastructure. Visit www.pti.org to learn how your local
government can be a citizen-engaged community.
FaCT: in a 2004 Pew study, 55%
of americans—both internet users
(72%) and non-users (23%)—con-
tacted government. Fifty-seven
percent of the population ages 18
to 29 years old contacted govern-
ment—and this tech-savvy age
group now makes up 22 percent
of the u.S. adult population.
Plan anD STraTeGieS
A fully integrated multi-channel contact center enables
local govenment to function as a cohesive organization
delivering seamless service to its citizens.
PTI would like to thank the following sponsors:
Public Technology Institute
The resource for technology executives in local government
“Our Philly311 Contact
Center allows our City to
work smarter, faster, better.
Integration between our CRM
and departmental work order
systems creates more efcient
processes and enables valuable
trend tracking and advanced
analysis. Te results are
greater coordination among
departments and improved
service delivery.”
—CAMILLE CATES BARNETT,
MANAGING DIRECTOR,
PHILADELPHIA, PA

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