Cranbrook, BC Improves Customer Service and Generates Public Works Efficiency
With a goal of improving citizen customer service, Cranbrook worked with Rock Solid to add mobile to 311. Cranbrook’s app has not only improved engagement and customer service, but added efficiency to internal processes and sped up service request resolution times by 36%.Get the PDF
The city of Cranbrook was looking for a way to better communicate with its citizens as part of a 311 call center initiative. The only way citizens could submit service requests was by calling a standard, non-311 number. Call takers would then add requests manually. This process often led to confusion between city departments and long hours spent on the phone transferring information.
Beyond that, this process made it difficult for city employees to complete requests. “We’d have a light out, and we’d try take a description from the caller on exactly where that light is. And we were forever sending out electricians to the wrong light, or to troubleshoot the wrong area,” explains Tony Hetu, Deputy Director of Public Works for the city of Cranbrook. “Only so much information can be shared over the phone. And feedback on the completion of service requests wouldn’t go back to the caller.”
This was an investment in our city’s customer service. But it’s also quite obvious that the functionality of the solution has allowed us to improve resource allocation in other areas.
Today, Cranbrook partners with Rock Solid to provide a mobile citizen request solution for citizens and staff. Rock Solid’s app and systems connect directly with Cityworks, Cranbrook’s asset management system. This two-way transfer of information happens in real time and brings all mobile service requests into the city’s existing workflow.
The Cranbrook 311 app has been available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store since going live in 2017. It is free for citizens and easy to use to submit service requests or connect with city resources via smartphone.
For citizen engagement, Rock Solid helps Cranbrook connect with residents in a modern format--mobile. Hetu says, “Rock Solid helped us solve the mobile challenge. It connects with and populates our service request system without having to use a VPN for security. It helped us avoid that extra layer of security and simplified the system to avoid long-term IT involvement.”
The city’s original goals for their mobile app were around citizen customer service, but it provided more benefits than expected. Cranbrook’s app positively affects customer service, internal processes, and operations.
Better Customer Service
“What I notice is that it really closes the loop,” shares Hetu on the benefits of the app. Citizens who submit service requests via the app receive status updates as their requests are processed and completed. “When a 311 representative takes a call, that feedback doesn’t get back to the user.”
Fewer citizen complaints
Citizen complaints used to hit Hetu’s desk 2-3 times per week. Now, he goes months without seeing a complaint. “Just the fact that there aren’t many complaints coming across my desk is a good indicator about our customer success goals. The reduction in complaints is definitely notable.”
Improved resource prioritization
“Prioritization of service requests is better in Cranbrook because the transfer of information is better. The fact that we get a photo, description, and exact GPS location with every request submitted in the app makes us more efficient. That’s where we’ve saved a lot of time, and have been able to prioritize those resources elsewhere in the city,” claims Hetu.
3+ Hours Back To Managers Every Day
Because 311 requests include better information and automatic routing, Hetu and other managers saw their phone time drop from approximately 4 hours every day to less than 1. “The really nice piece is that the system automatically sorts requests and sends them to the right department head. That bypasses about two steps that we had before. It saves a lot of time,” says Hetu.
Reduced 311 Loads
20% of all service requests came from the Rock Solid mobile app so far in 2020. This means more capacity for the city's 311 phone lines.
One Tool Across Departments
Using a single tool across departments lets Cranbrook staff work as one. “The app helped us bring other departments, like bylaws and community services, together into our 311 process so we were all using the same system. That was a positive change for us.”
36% better service request resolution times
Throughout their relationship with Rock Solid, the city of Cranbrook has steadily improved service request resolution times. In 2020, nearly 3 in 4 requests are resolved within a week, compared to just over half two years ago.
I would definitely recommend Rock Solid. The way the project was managed, everything was on time and on task. It was a really great experience compared to dealing with some other projects.
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