Montgomery County has been designated as a 2013-2015 Citizen Engaged Community (CEC) by Public Technology Institute (PTI) for its MC311 online and telephone information system. PTI created this annual designation program to recognize excellence in multi-channel contact centers and best practices for the use of Citizen Relationship/Records Management (CRM) systems, 311 services, web portal technology, telephone systems and mobile communications infrastructure. In addition, a recent Customer Satisfaction Survey of hundreds of users of the County’s MC311 call center showed that more than 85 percent of callers were satisfied with their overall 311 experience.
“Being named a Citizen Engaged Community for the second consecutive year by Public Technology Institute is indeed an honor and validates our belief that our MC311 system is successful and provides a valuable and efficient service to our residents,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “And, I could not be more pleased that the most recent customer satisfaction survey shows increased satisfaction on the part of our customers. Our call takers work hard to make our 311 call system such a success.”
Montgomery County was one of 13 jurisdictions with populations of more than 300,000 to be selected for this distinction. Local governments were selected based on three key areas for multi-channel contact centers. The criteria and how MC311 is meeting them are listed below:
• Citizen Participation Processes – MC311 offers customers online surveys to determine satisfaction of interactions, service request numbers so customers can track progress on requests for services, and transfers of calls to experts when necessary.
• Integrated Communication Channels and Technology – Customers can contact Montgomery County’s MC311 system by calling 311 or 240-777-0311 outside of the County, or visiting the website at www.MC311.com. The website is also available for mobile devices. A knowledge base of information allows almost 70 percent of calls to be answered without a transfer to another person. Additionally, MC311’s CRM system is integrated with GIS (geographical information system) to expedite services that are location-based. MC311 is also available to support public safety personnel in the event of an emergency.
• Performance Reporting – MC311 monitors performance on an ongoing basis, focusing on call handling efficiency and quality using a variety of measures including average call handling time, customer satisfaction, customer wait time and cost per call. Industry best practice benchmarks are used to set goals. Management analyzes data, regularly reviews core business processes and makes improvements when necessary.
“As the County Council's lead member for digital government, I have worked hard in collaboration with my colleagues and the executive branch to launch new initiatives in open data and citizen engagement,” said Council Member Hans Riemer. “We are making great strides building a deep and broad program. This recognition for our efforts is greatly appreciated.”
Public Technology Institute actively supports local government executives and elected officials through research, education, executive-level consulting services and national recognition programs. Created by and for cities and counties, PTI works with a core network of leading local officials — the PTI membership — to identify research opportunities, share solutions, recognize member achievements and address technology issues that impact local government.
In addition to results showing more than 85 percent of callers being satisfied overall with MC311, the Customer Satisfaction Survey also showed that more than 85.5 percent were satisfied with the call taker’s ability to find the information and more than 88 percent were satisfied with how long it took to reach a representative. More than 85 percent indicated that the customer service representative was able to resolve their issue – up from 77 percent in January 2012. Less than 15 percent were dissatisfied with their overall experience and with the handling of their call, and 11 percent were dissatisfied with the time it took to reach a representative.
“The feedback we receive from our customers is invaluable,” said Leslie Hamm, MC311 operations director. “Since MC311 opened three years ago, customer satisfaction has continued to improve as our customer service representatives commit to providing accurate information in a courteous and professional manner.”
“The service was excellent,” wrote a customer from Aspen Hill. “I am extremely satisfied and glad to have a human voice to answer my concern. Also wonderful was that a written report received by e-mail followed.”
For more information about the PTI award, or about the MC311 Customer Service Center, contact Brian Roberts at 240-773-3583.
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