ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed and the City of Atlanta have launched new efforts to improve the customer service experience for residents and visitors interacting with the city. Among the features of the City’s new customer service program is the first-ever Customer Service Bill of Rights; customer C.A.R.E. (Courtesy and Respect Everyday) training for all employees; a roll-out in July of a new performance management system and the implementation of a new 311 customer service number over the next 18 months. Development of these new strategies has been fueled by the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team, which is funded by a $3.3 million grant awarded to the City of Atlanta by Bloomberg Philanthropies last summer.
“All Atlanta residents and visitors should expect and receive best-in-class customer service every time they interact with the city,” said Mayor Reed. “My administration’s new customer service initiatives challenge and encourage City of Atlanta employees to be more efficient, courteous and professional. The city’s workforce of more than 7,500 employees are Atlanta’s ambassadors. When they take pride in their work, we all benefit.”
The Bill of Rights articulates the City of Atlanta’s commitment to customer service excellence. Six new customer service goals make up the City of Atlanta’s new Customer Service Bill of Rights. These include: the Right to Courteous Treatment; the Right to Know Who You Are Dealing With; the Right to Have Your Question/Complaint Heard; the Right to Easy Access; the Right to Responsive Service; and the Right to Fair Service Delivery.
Approximately 70 percent of the City’s 7,500 employees have already been through the new customer service training, which began in early May. By the end of June, it is expected that every City of Atlanta employee will have completed the course.
Additionally, the City of Atlanta is beginning implementation of a 311 Call Center to improve customer service. The new 311 system will fundamentally change the way city residents interact with government, enabling them to access all city services with just two simple numbers – 911 for emergencies and 311 for everything else. The first phase of the new 311 system is expected to go live by the end of 2013.
“At the moment, there is no single point of entry to access government services,” Chief Operating Officer Duriya Farooqui said. “Instead of citizens trying to figure out who to call, they will be able to call a single number to get quick answers and an efficient response. A 311 approach combined with a strong focus on improving response times will be transformative for how we respond to citizens and deliver city services.”
Atlanta is one of five cities to receive an Innovation Delivery Team grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.