October 17, 2012
Alabama City Issues Non-Emergency Call Center Software Application
By Rich Steeves
TMCnet Managing Editor
There is good news for residents of Tuscaloosa, Alabama who have non-emergency questions for City Hall. The Tuscaloosa government has made it much easier for citizens to contact the 311 call center by creating a mobile software application for smartphones.
The Tuscaloosa 311 call center has been in operation for five years now, and decided to release this software application to facilitate easier interactions with citizens. The app is available for free, and works on iPhones, iPads and Android (News - Alert) devices.
In the past, the call center was only available on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., when staff members were on the premises, but now, thanks to the Tuscaloosa311 app, residents can submit questions and information around the clock.
“Our call volume continues to increase each year,” said Rogena Bonner, the 311 call center manager. “With the new smartphone app, we are now open 24 hours per day, seven days per week with no increase in cost to our taxpayers.”
The goal of the city government has been to make the 311 call center as efficient and easy to use as possible. To do so, a task force took a look at the call center software that the city was using to see if it was wise to by a new solution to handle the routing of calls to appropriate departments. When the call center upgraded its software in 2010, it introduced the possibility of creating a mobile application.
In the end, the app will save the city money, allowing citizens to get in contact with City Hall at all hours without the need for hiring additional staff. In addition, it will meet the needs of an increasingly tech-savvy city, where residents are accustomed to using smartphones to make their everyday lives easier in so many ways. And that now includes asking about when the potholes on their roads are getting fixed.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey