Problem Identification:
The processing and tracking of requests for service throughout the studied departments is inconsistent and unreliable. There are no clear ways for citizens to contact the City to submit requests for services or obtain status information for requests previously made. IT help desks within the departments are largely manual or use systems that do not interface with other city departments, even though these departments need to support each other.

Recommended Action:
Create a comprehensive customer service center to receive, track, and assign service orders throughout the municipal government.

Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Not Determined

Barriers to Implementation:
Lack of Citywide WAN (wide area network) and e-mail system.

Projected Implementation:
180 – 240 days

Next Steps:
Develop a strategic vision for City IT customer service that encompasses providing services to citizens and internal customers.

Obtaining services from other City departments is a common complaint among the five studied departments. Often getting services quickly requires calling in favors from helpful friends in other departments and there are no mechanisms for tracking the status of service requests or for evaluating the performance of service providers. This is even more of a problem for citizens who require service and most likely do not know who to call and do not have ‘friendly contacts’ to expedite their requests.

This recommendation transcends IT service and is targeted at developing a strategic plan for customer service for internal and external customers. Key requirements of this customer service function are:

– It must be a single, integrated function;

– There must be multiple methods for requesting service such as phone, voice response units, Internet access, intranet access, and in-person contacts;

– Service requests must be tracked; and

– Performance of service providers must be measured and analyzed.

In order to create an effective customer service operation:

– A strategic vision for city customer service must be developed which encompasses service to both citizens and internal customers;

– A service culture must be developed within City departments;

– Performance expectations for service providers must be developed and communicated; and

– Appropriate technology must be implemented to provide the foundation upon which to build this capability.