An artist’s rendering of the service center that is now operational at Redmond City Hall. Photo courtesy of the city of Redmond

An artist’s rendering of the service center that is now operational at Redmond City Hall. Photo courtesy of the city of Redmond

Redmond commits to customer service

A $3 million program is helping citizens navigate City Hall, in person and online.

After six months in operation, the Redmond City Hall Customer Service Center (CSC) is making progress on its goal to be a “one-stop shop” for residents.

Staff members at the new CSC desk greet City Hall visitors, and can assist them with everything from business licenses to permitting.

Through the CSC, residents can report issues, make requests, find answers to common questions and stay updated on city news topics. More than 30 city transaction types are administered by the center, and CSC staff are also certified notaries.

It’s both a physical space and a virtual help center. In addition to the new desk, the city also constructed seven first-floor conference rooms for the public to meet with city officials and employees.

It also launched a customer request management system (CRM) and mobile application in March.

“We’re connecting, getting to know our customers, helping people find the resources they need,” said Customer Service Manager Ryan Spencer. “Whether it’s [provided by] the city or other organizations in the city, we’re helping our customers connect with who they need to.”

The total cost of the program is estimated at $3.2 million, Spencer said.

Of the 500-plus requests fielded by the center so far, 7 percent came from the app, and 26 percent came from the web portal. The others came by more traditional means: email, phone or over the counter.

The Redmond City Council heard an update on the CSC on June 19, with council members praising the public-facing program.

“It is providing a level of service that we have longed for in this community for a number of years,” said City Council member Hank Margeson. “In going to other communities and other City Halls, and being greeted, it’s always a good thing.”

The center fields over 50 percent of request types in Redmond’s system, and either resolves them or sends them to the appropriate staff, increasing capacity for other city departments, divisions and workgroups.

Since the center opened on Dec. 29, 2017, hundreds of customer service requests have been resolved and more than 5,300 business licenses have been reviewed, approved and issued, Spencer said.

“We’re seeing a lot less people starting in the wrong spot, if they’re starting with us,” Spencer said.

The online program has improved communication with customers, and generated data on response times, most submitted request types and monthly activity, Spencer said.

“We’ve finally got it all coming through one system, rather than so many individual spreadsheets spread throughout the city,” Spencer said.

According to the city, the opening of the CSC has improved both the customer experience and operational efficiency in Redmond.

“It’s such a different experience now walking into City Hall, and seeing happy faces welcoming people there,” said Angela Birney, council president. “It’s really amazing that we can take a space that wasn’t necessarily tuned toward the public and change it into a space that really is.”

See www.redmond.gov for more.

More in News

Locked up and poor

King County courts use money bail to incarcerate defendants before trial. Should the system be reformed?

Tasveer South Asian Film Festival sheds light on underrepresented stories

TSAFF focuses on Pakistan in this year’s film festival.

The Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted a video of the situation as seen through their traffic cameras. Screenshot courtesy of the WSDOT Twitter account
UPDATE: Man peacefully in custody after 520 bridge standoff

Police closed all lanes on the floating bridge after finding an uncooperative driver had a shot gun.

Redmond mayor’s ‘Day of Concern’ food drive is this weekend

This year’s food drive will be on Sept. 22-23 at the Bella Bottega QFC.

Kirkland firefighters and Puget Sound Energy staff examine the aftermath of a four-hour fire that destroyed the Rose Hill Village and “annihilated” Decks and Spas. Kailan Manandic/staff photo
Locals rally around business incinerated by Rose Hill fire

A GoFundMe campaign for Kirkland’s Decks and Spas, formerly of Redmond, has raised $11,995 to rebuild the business.

Redmond Historical Society marks milestones amid many changes

Group celebrates 15 years of walking tours, which give glimpses into community’s colorful past.

Photos courtesy of Trooper Rick Johnson
Troopers seek hit and run suspect, call on public for help

The Washington State Patrol asked locals for any information to identify the vehicle and suspect.

County officials warn of more HIV transmissions among homeless drug users

A group of eight recently homeless and heterosexual injection-drug users in north… Continue reading

Most Read