Evanston's 311 service adds new features
October 4, 2012
Evanston announced Tuesday that several new tools and features were added to its 311 system, a call center and online support center for residents.
“With the penetration of the Internet and smartphone, the hotline alone is not enough," said Sue Pontarelli, service desk supervisor at the 311 call center. "These newly released tools offer a wider range of choices to residents and visitors, subject to their preferences and availabilities."
Among its expanded features is a live web chat, which offers online visitors the option to chat with a service desk officer, according to a city news release. Evanston residents can also be connected to a service desk officer through 311's new click-to-call service, which allows them to click a button for instant communication.
An SMS/text service gives residents the choice to communicate with the center by initiating a text message to “311311," according to the release. Additionally, 311 users can now access a mobile-optimized website on their smartphones, featuring a click-to-call option and GPS directions.
A 311 customer satisfaction survey is also a new feature. Most 311 users have given "very positive feedback," Pontarelli said. Desk officers also conduct satisfaction surveys directly after they handle a call, she added.
The city launched 311 on March 1, 2011. The 311 call center provides a simple, professional way for residents and visitors to report non-emergency problems and obtain information, according to the 311 website.
The service's most recent online report from July indicates that on average it handled 522 calls per weekday and 114 every Saturday that month, Pontarelli said. On Sundays, 311 staff are not in the office, but Evanston residents can still leave voice messages.