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

Washington’s attorney general talks veterans, guns and suing Trump

Bob Ferguson visited the Redmond Rotary Club on Nov. 15.

King County Flood Control District approves 2019 Budget on Nov. 5. Photo courtesy of King County Flood Control District.
King County Flood Control District approves $93 million budget

The 2019 District Budget will maintain current flood protection services.

Vader served the Redmond Police Department for more than seven years and enjoyed a four-year retirement as the Hovenden family pet. Photos courtesy of RPD
Former Redmond police K-9 Vader, dies at 13

Vader served the department for more than 7 years and spent his retirement as a full-time family pet.

Sarah Yount, former YES client, speaks at YES’s 50th anniversary celebration on Nov. 2. Madison Miller/staff photo.
Youth Eastside Services celebrates 50 years

YES celebrates 50 years of providing youth and family behavioral health services.

Sky Metalwala has been missing for seven years. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Police plead for help in search for missing boy

Sky has been missing since Nov. 6, 2011 and turned 9 years old on Sept. 2.

Suspect arrested after stealing paychecks | Police blotter

The Redmond police blotter from Oct. 22 through 24. Courtesy of the RPD blog.

Kuderer leads Tom; Walen over Bright

Legislative District 48 race. Results are preliminary.

Democrats lead in 45th Legislative District

Dhingra, Goodman and Springer earned about two thirds of the vote.

DelBene leads in 1st Congressional District in early returns

As of election night, incumbent Suzan DelBene was leading with 69 percent of the vote, to Jeffrey Beeler’s 31 percent.

King County property assessments have begun for some Eastside neighborhoods

County property appraisers visit around one-sixth of all properties in the county each year to ensure the homes are valued correctly.

Prowlers smash windows, steal wallets, handbags | Police blotter

The Redmond police blotter for Oct. 12 through 14.

Safeco Field funding referendum withdrawn

The mysterious backers of the initiative won’t say why, but some think it’s because they couldn’t get funding to gather the necessary signatures.