Putting the Citizen in CX for 311 Centers
As cities and local governments look for better ways to engage with their citizens, the role of 3-1-1 contact centers have exploded. Now more than ever citizens are getting involved, speaking up, and demanding governments respond with increased engagement. Local 311 contact centers are looking for ways to improve the citizen experience and customer service agents are looking for easier ways to serve the citizens effectively. This article outlines what each group wants and how 311 centers can make it happen.
What do citizens want?
Citizens ultimately want to be heard and be an active part of their community. They expect local governments to help keep them safe, educate their children, and fulfill public responsibilities like fixing potholes and keeping streets clean. Interacting with local government happens on many levels, but a common approach is through a 311 center.
311 centers play two vital roles: providing knowledge such as timing for a public event, road closures, and trash pickup times and gathering feedback on various concerns and complaints citizens have. From general comments, to needed street repairs, illegal dumping, and street light outages.
When citizens reach out to a 311 center with a concern, they expect it will be handled professionally and to be routed to the appropriate person that can address it. Whether they are chatting on a website, using a dedicated mobile app, or speaking to a CSR on the phone, they want to be heard, but without having to repeat themselves.
Overall, they want a great citizen experience.
What do local governments want?
Local governments want to provide this necessary service in the most streamline, cost efficient way. 311 Centers have 3 major considerations when building their 311 engagement strategy:
- Reporting and Analytics
Workflow and Systems Integration: Coordinating with several departments across many different applications requires cross department case tracking and integration with the various applications used across agencies. To improve the experience for both the 311 operators and citizens it’s important to provide direct access to these systems and exchange data through backend workflows. For example, when an agent gets a report of a pothole, being able to bring a map within their GIS application, the representative can be more specific on the location beyond a street address. Linking to existing systems, like CitizenServe, asset management systems, ARC GIS, etc. dramatically improve the level of service 311 centers can provide.
Omni-Channel Support: Citizens are engaging across a large variety of channels, such as voice, email, SMS, webchat, social, and even dedicated 311 Mobile Apps. A strong omni-channel strategy, includes being able to track, route, and respond on the channels citizens are using. Regardless of the channel, local governments want a 360 view of citizen profiles and their interactions.
Reporting and Analytics
Ensuring efficient, timely responses to citizen requests requires ongoing tracking and analytics, where data collection plays a key role. 311 centers look at metrics like response times, location of requests, volume of contacts.
311 centers should look to consolidate interaction history, including chatbot interactions, in a central location so agents can get a clear picture of previous citizen outreach and local governments can use that data to improve the quality of interactions moving forward.
311 Centers are improving their overall security for both agents and citizens. Using Single Sign-On (SSO) for agents along protocols like SAML 2.0, balance centrally-based identify access management (IAM) with ease of credential management for operators. Some 311 centers are also utilizing identity providers (IDP) like Okta and Azure AD to authenticate and authorize citizens across interaction channels.
Beyond the top 3 concerns 311 centers have, there are a variety of additional considerations: Security for both operator and citizen, through technologies like Single Sign-On (SSO), and Identity Access management, ways to ensure and increase adoption through great UX and ongoing training, and cost savings through application consolidation and pre-built integrations, and others.
What do 311 CSR’s Want?
311 Customer Service Representatives and operators are looking to engage and assist citizens easily and without overly complex navigation or processes. Core capabilities like a solid knowledge base system, work item routing and workflow, and role-based access / SSO across the systems they need to use enable operators to have the data and access they need. Agents need data and access brought together through a great user experience. 311 centers should look to drive the agent experience through a single pane of glass approach, reducing the number of applications an agent needs to have up and running.
Embedding interaction channels within a citizen engagement platform, including previous interaction history, will put everything the operator needs to focus on serving the citizen.
DaVinci & CRM – A Great Civil Marriage
To best accomplish the strategies mentioned above, many local governments are turning to a combination of DaVinci, CRM Applications like Salesforce and Dynamics, and strong integration partners that can bring them all together.
Many CRM Systems provide pre-built capabilities case tracking, consolidated reporting, omni-channel, and workflow handling. Through their configuration tools, local governments can build specific entities, like Citizen Profiles, that can be used in place of traditional CRM entities like “customers”.
There are even pre-built Citizen Engagement Platforms built within CRM applications that leverage all the capabilities of the CRM, while addressing the specific needs of 311 centers. Cloud Navigator is one such vendor that has a pre-built Citizen Engagement Platform within Dynamics 365. They combine that application with deep 311 experience, which can dramatically enhance and speed up solution delivery.
DaVinci, the industry’s first Interaction Orchestration Platform, provides that embedded CRM experience to deliver channels and services to achieve that single-pane-of-glass approach. DaVinci integrates with leading premise and CCaaS solutions, like Avaya and Cisco, Amazon Connect, Twilio and more, which can be used to enable screen pop of citizen data, easy click-to-dial functionality, and cross channel interaction tracking for robust consolidated reporting and analytics. DaVinci’s App-based approach, let’s 311 centers customize their agent’s experience, bringing together pre-built and custom apps.
For example, DaVinci can take calls via a premise-based phone system, SMS from CPaaS providers, Web Chat interactions, even escalate chatbot interactions, while then combining that with GIS systems, and other application data. Operators can work in a hybrid configuration and utilize SSO for easy, but secure access.
Bringing it all together for better citizen experience
Local governments and citizens are working closer than ever to jointly build a better community. 311 centers are a great way for both to come together and engage. Having the right technologies and expertise can make the difference between a great citizen experience and a bad one, or at least make mediocre experiences refreshingly exceptional.