Building Web Tools to Build a Decentralized Call Center
Albany New York, the State’s capital, needed a way to route citizen requests to the appropriate departments. The City did not have the bandwidth or budget to justify a centralized call center, but still wanted to provide a high level of customer support to its citizens. Albany needed a way to connect the customer service representatives that were spread out throughout the city.
Albany worked with SeeClickFix to deploy citizen reporting tools alongside a hosted request management platform for City support. When a citizen submits a request using the Albany mobile application, that request is forwarded directly to a customer support specialist that can route the request correctly and communicate instructions and expectations back to the citizens. Of course, many citizens are still calling in to these separate departments to report requests. In this case, the decentralized service reps are able to enter request information into the City’s centralized request management software directly. This gives service reps platform level information and gives managers city-wide data in real time.
Albany has succeeded in creating a decentralized call center—providing a high level of customer service without the overhead of a centralized 311 department. Requests come into the city from a variety of avenues: mobile phone, website, in person or over the phone. All these requests are managed from one centralized location, where reps are able to engage with citizens and route requests appropriately. Since launching SeeClickFix, citizen self-serve channels now account for more than 30% of service requests. This saves a significant amount of money for the City. Finally, management is able to run reports and analyze this request data at a city level.