Software as a Service CRM software
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 3-1-1 Systems

3-1-1 is a non-emergency community service telephone number directed to non-emergency municipal call centers in select cities and counties throughout the United States and Canada. The purpose of 3-1-1 access is to divert non-emergency inquiries away from the 9-1-1 emergency service as well to provide a valuable community service to residents. Common inquiries made to 3-1-1 call centers may include the reporting of debris on a roadway, notifying city officials of broken street lights or asking questions regarding trash pick-up, bus schedules or other municipal services.

Building Trust in Local Government

Improving constituent service by implementing a 311 system is one of the most direct and public facing investments to effect the way citizens view their local government. Constituent trust is cultivated or lost with each public servant interaction. Unfortunately, the negative experiences are often not visible until they have escalated to a feverish pitch or evolved to group participation and are then unloaded on an unprepared mayor, council member, city manager or city official. Public servants need better information, a more timely pulse on community issues, awareness of citizen interests and advance notice of problem events.

Most city web sites are little more than nice pictures with basic contact information. They provide no method for citizens to search for relevant information, initiate or monitor incidents, or interact with city officials. Most city departments are not well integrated and use largely manual customer service techniques (the phone pad and yellow sticky notes are the most popular incident entry forms). Many departments have differing policies and procedures and few have any type of real inter-department automated work flow processes. Ill-equipped citizens and civil servants combine to frustrate both parties and accumulate significant taxpayer costs.

3-1-1 systems integrate, automate and streamline the entire citizen interaction life cycle in order to achieve efficient constituent facing e-government and lesser taxpayer cost.

3-1-1 systems centralize constituent information in a single screen, facilitate rapid recording of the constituent's incident, provide easy to use search and automation tools to quickly deliver responses, and enable civil servants to resolve citizen requests expeditiously. 3-1-1 systems support the N-1-1 telephone dialing as well as other multi-channel access methods including walk-in, fax, postal mail, Internet and Instant Messaging (IM). A strong 3-1-1 information system must capture every contact and incident irrespective of where or when it originated and permit citizens to choose the time, place and method which suits them to make their request.

Effectively managing citizen inquiries from request to response to timely resolution is the hallmark of good local government. 3-1-1 information and automation applications strive to deliver the following benefits.

  • Free-up 911 emergency lines to provide true emergency services
  • Use citizen self service to make city hall available and accessible 24 by 7
  • Deliver consistent, timely and responsive constituent service
  • Provide a holistic view of the constituent relationship
  • Simplify services for constituents
  • Integrate of a wide array of local municipal services for efficient coordination and delivery
  • Improve quality of service while simultaneously decreasing cost of service
  • Increase civil servant human resources (HR) productivity and job satisfaction
  • Accelerate new and revised policy speed of implementation and consistent delivery
  • Increase first call resolution and achieve shorter delivery cycles
  • Immediately route incidents to their responsible party and provide visibility to manage them to closure
  • Reduce the cost of responding to citizen requests
  • Use citizen feedback mechanisms to identify improved services or areas for improvement

Key components of a 3-1-1 CRM software system include the following:

  • Accelerated incident entry
  • Quick categorization and segmentation of incidents
  • Knowledge base searching and information retrieval
  • Effective work flow mapping and incident routing
  • Escalation automation if cases or incidents are not resolved within designated limits
  • A FAQ (frequently asked questions and answers) database
  • A diagnostics utility
  • Call scripting utilities
  • Computer telephony integration (CTI) - most commonly with VOIP (voice over IP)
  • Outbound or push technologies to e-mail or distribute relevant messages to designated citizen groups
  • Self service to permit citizens entry and monitoring of inquiries and cases
  • Business intelligence analysis and reporting

3-1-1 systems have evolved from simple G2C (government to citizen) to also include G2B (government to business) and G2G (government to government). As all types of 311 call centers sometimes rely on volunteers and often incur a high employee turnover. To be effective, these CRM systems must be extremely easy to use and deliver immediate, simple, online help for the user.

“We see 311 as a revolution in customer service for San Franciscans. Our new 311 program will ensure an unprecedented level of accountability by tracking citizen requests and city responses. 311 will provide our residents with the exceptional customer service and care that they deserve. And by providing multiple, easily accessible communication options, we will ensure that our citizens receive the services they need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

- Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco, CA


 Government Customer Relationship Management Software