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311 systems – Successes and Challenges
April 1, 2010 at 1:39 pm #96510
I’d like to hear from anyone who has been involved in implementing a 311 system in their area. What challenges have you experienced? Do you have any success stories or statistics of how it improved the way local government does business.?
April 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm #96526
The City of University Park, Texas implemented a 3-1-1 system in 2005. I was involved with procuring the technology portion of the implementation (phone lines, ACD equipment, software, 3-1-1 call routing, etc.).
I think that the system has helped the City improve its response to citizen requests and complaints simply by giving us the ability to record and track the requests from start to finish. And, we created a searchable database with answers to a large variety of frequently asked questions. Our call takers take pride in being able to respond to all requests, even those that do not relate to services provided by our city.
One of the challenges of the 3-1-1 system is that residents must call from a landline within city limits to be connected to our 3-1-1 call takers. 3-1-1 calls from a mobile phone are likely to be routed to the City of Dallas’ 3-1-1 system as we are a small “bubble” suburb completely surrounded by Dallas. Many people still call the City’s main receptionist phone number out of habit.
Overall, we’re pleased with our 3-1-1 system and we think it will continue to grow in use as residents grow accustomed to accessing the system.
April 1, 2010 at 5:59 pm #96524
Thank you Christine. Can citizens submit requests and complaints online also or was it strictly a phone service?
May 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm #96522
ICMA has several case studies on 311 that might help answer some of your questions:
Just type “311” into the search box; there will be too many results but the case studies are pretty easy to identify.
May 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm #96520
May 20, 2010 at 5:49 am #96518
You might also be interested in http://open311.org – an effort to develop an open standard around web enabled 311 services with an emphasis on the type of public forums and points of engagement that they can provide. The hope is that this effort can help catalyze and better leverage an interoperable ecosystem of 311 technologies. Currently we’re on track to have Washington D.C. and San Francisco interoperating and other cities are set to come on board with the standard soon.
See http://wiki.open311.org/API for more technical details and status of the Open311 API development.
Emerging technologies also allow traditional phone interactions to be powered by web APIs like Open311.
May 20, 2010 at 1:16 pm #96516
Thanks so much for your feedback. I will look into this.
May 20, 2010 at 1:17 pm #96514
Thank you for providing this information. Very interesting.
April 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm #96512
You might find this conference to be worth your time – https://www.govloop.com/events/government-call-center-conference
It is really affordable – I have gone to it at least 6 times and learn a lot every time I go. As a call center manager, I have found AGCCE to be an awesome resource for me. This year I am the conference host, so feel free to send me any questions you have about the event.
And – you will get to meet the ever helpful Phil Ashlock, who commented on this thread. We’ll be exploring uses of Open311 with him at the conference!
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