Town of Fountain Hills
Fountain Hills, AZ
Implemented: November 2008Solutions:
Fountain Hills, located in the fast-growing Phoenix metro area, realized several years ago that citizens were increasingly requesting information that wasn't readily available on the City's web site. The Town's population is becoming younger, and citizens are comfortable with doing business online rather than making a trip to Town Hall or trying to figure out who to call about a request or concern. Town staff also knew that citizens expected the option to track requests themselves without contacting Town Hall, just as they receive regular updates on items ordered from online retailers.
The municipality began its effort to improve customer service by researching what other cities were doing, and it soon became clear that Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) software was the solution they'd been looking for. It also became quickly clear that Government Outreach had the best combination of cutting-edge features, rock-solid reliability, and ease-of-use for both citizens and staff.
Implementation of the system, branded "eFountain", was seamless, with the benefits of the new technology soon making a true difference in Town Hall. Although there was initially some hesitancy on the part of staff, based primarily on unfamiliarity with the system and its features, the public rapidly embraced the 24-hour Town Hall concept. The staff's hesitancy disappeared rapidly as well, and the system's reporting features and other advanced tools are allowing the Town to provide a level of service unimaginable just a few years earlier. Requests are handled within a day or two, and the numerous Frequently Asked Questions built into the system have helped head-off many unncessary requests.
Citizens have also found the eFountain survey feature to be an efficient way to provide feedback to Town staff, and survey results indicate a high level of satisfaction with the Town's customer service commitment. Even though citizens may not always like the answer they receive about an issue, they invariably appreciate the quick response to their concern.
eFountain's popularity led to the Town migrating its e-subscription service, which was previously based on a listserv program, into the system as well. This feature represents the future of government-citizen interaction, since it offers a convenient way to subscribe or unsubscribe to communication on specific topics of interest.
Buoyed by eFountain's success, the Town is now exploring further expansion of its customer service improvements, including 3-1-1 and Interactive Voice Response systems that will build on what is already in place. Win-win may be a commonly-used term these days, but in the Town of Fountain Hills' case, it is unquestionably accurate.