Call Center Management Feature Article
March 05, 2012
Evanston Logs 134,000 Calls with Call Center Management
By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor
Since the city of Evanston, Ill., opened its 311 call center in the last year, its call center management has grown to have more than 134,000 calls logged, ranging from the serious to the sublime.
According to a triblocal.com article, the 311 center, at 1454 Elmwood Avenue, has eight full-time and one part-time employees who fielded 134,883 calls during the call center’s first year of operation, including 20,801 calls related to city services.
“Before we implemented this system, if someone called a department and requested a new garbage cart there was no way of tracking that that person actually called and there was no work order to prove the cart got delivered,” said Erika Storlie, Evanston’s citizen engagement manager. “Now we have this really good customer management system and system that has all this data, when the customer called, who was notified and when the cart got delivered and who delivered it.”
Over the past year, the highest volume of calls occurred on July 11, 2011 when the call center received 1,328 calls. August was the busiest month, with 2,477 calls. The most service requests to the 311 center for 2011 included requests for special pick-ups (1,755 calls), building permit inspections (1,714 calls), and broken parking meters (891 calls).
“I can’t tell you how many people have told me that when they don’t know who to call on a city related issues, they just call one number  and they transfer you to the person you need,” said Storlie. “Having that one place where everybody could call and have all the debris documented so the forestry division and public works could work together to clear the debris and get roads reopened, was really instrumental in having the cleanup done in a more efficient manor and having the road opened faster than we would have before.”
A Northwestern University student even called to reserve a space for a moving truck, but then told the 311 call taker that he didn’t know the address of his house. Another person called the 311 center to report a mysterious “brown cloud” moving from the Northwest toward Evanston and told the agent that he could see the cloud from his hotel window and was concerned that it might be dangerous.
Storlie said, “With these economic times, the city doesn’t have the staff we used to have, so the more the 311 center can take on it makes it easier for everybody else in the service delivery end to do their job.”
Edited by Tammy Wolf