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Cranbrook, BC accelerates service request resolution times by 36%

The City of Cranbrook

Cranbrook, BC V1C, Canada

With a goal of improving citizen customer service, Cranbrook, British Columbia added mobile to 311 with a new "Cranbrook 311" smartphone app. 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%.

Topics Covered

Transparency
Civic Technology
Cybersecurity & Communications
Customer Service
Asset Management
Process Improvement

Cost

Initial: 7.7 Thousand USD

O&M: 4.2 Thousand USD

Funding

General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Status

Operational since 2017

Gov Champion

Public Works

Problem Addressed

The city of Cranbrook (population 19k) 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, so we’d try to take a description from the caller on exactly where that light is. 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 updates on the completion of service requests wouldn’t go back to the caller.”

Solutions Used

Today, Cranbrook provides a mobile citizen request solution to improve communication with citizens and allow city staff to work more efficiently.

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.

According to Tony Hetu, "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."

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.”

Also, 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.”

Outcomes

1

Nearly 3 in 4 requests are resolved within a week, compared to just over half two years ago. This is a 36% improvement in service request resolution times.

2

Better customer service. “What I notice is that it really closes the loop,” shares Hetu. Citizens who submit requests via the app receive updates as their requests are completed.

3

Citizen complaints fell from 2-3/week to under 1/month. This, according to Hetu, "...is a good indicator about our customer success goals. The reduction in complaints is definitely notable.”

4

3+ hours back to managers every day. Because requests include better info and automatic routing, Hetu and other managers saw their phone time drop from 4 hours per day to less than 1.

5

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.

Something Unique

Cranbrook connects service request data into Cityworks through an out-of-the-box integration. Rock Solid offers robust integrations with 75+ of the industry's most popular systems. This real-time integration allows city employees to prioritize and service incoming requests quickly and update citizens on progress.

Who Should Consider

Governments of any size that want to use mobile technology to connect residents and staff in a single system for better citizen engagement, service delivery, actionable insights, and workflow automation.

Last Updated

Mar 24th, 2022

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