City governments are tasked with providing essential services for their citizens. Many do so on razor thin budgets and an ever-rising demand from those who they serve. City agencies—especially those that directly interact with the public—are struggling to successfully engage their citizenry in a meaningful and effective manner. We realize that most residents cannot leave work or school to physically drive over to an agency office with questions or requests for assistance. In response, many city agencies will offer phone or email information and do their best to respond right away. This is a great first step, but the ability to record and track every interaction is vital for the city to garner a greater understanding of what services are most in demand, and which team or individual is best suited to work with the issue at hand.
Customer service platforms, such as the one offered by our partner at ServiceNow, help to make the tracking of these interactions a reality. One of the first things you may hear from a Cask Advisor is “Email is not a process!” Sure, you can certainly accept initial communication from the community via email, but from there it’s vital that a true record is created in a centralized platform. That way, you can capture key information such as:
Contact information from your constituent
The service that is being addressed
The date and time the record was raised
The department or individual assigned to address the record
Attached documents or photos to help better explain what is going on
The time elapsed from opening to resolution of the record
The ability to capture this information on a consistent basis—and provide visibility to these interactions across multiple personnel simultaneously—truly helps to minimize delays in service and improve the quality of that service once its delivered.