Automating Access to Information: A Quick Guide for Municipalities
Municipalities have unique operations that could be more efficient. Automating some aspects of communications and customer service reduces human latency so public workers can focus on other things. Tasks such as scheduling/canceling appointments, checking payment status, and retrieving property information can be accomplished through Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
We worked with a large county (population: 2 million) to develop several applications to automate some of their business processes to quickly distribute important information. By advancing the methods they use to accomplish these tasks, they improved customer service and increased the productivity of their workers.
Notify Your Community
The county transitioned to mail-only ballots, and needed to automate notifications to voters and the press. They decided on outbound notifications, to inform registered voters when ballots were mailed.
Once ballots were received, they were able to notify voters when signatures were missing or incorrect. Automating these announcements was a labor-saving solution for this county, while still focusing their attention on the voters.
Ask the Parks and Recreation Department
Many people need access to information, which can be provided without requiring someone to answer the phone. For example, people contact the Parks and Recreation Department to find out up-to-the-minute flood information to prepare for the worst. Residents are able to obtain information and readings, about a particular river, that get pulled directly from the U.S. Geological Survey gauges at different points throughout the river.
Find the Answers to Your Questions
County residents need information about property taxes:
- What is the value of my property?
- How much tax do I owe?
- Do I have any additional fees to be paid?
- Were my taxes paid last year?
After implementing the custom application, property owners can enter their property parcel number, and easily find out the answers to their questions. This not only automates this information, but it also allows residents to receive answers 24/7, outside of normal office hours.
Recognizing inefficient operations is the first step to improving processes throughout the organization. Employees’ productivity will be improved by advancing the process of retrieving information and automating information access.