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(San Francisco) — Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in CRM, today announced that the Washington, D.C. Office of Unified Communications (OUC)—the agency responsible for providing both emergency and non-emergency services to 911 and 311 callers, respectively, across the District—re-platformed its server-based 311 system using Salesforce Service Cloud and Einstein Analytics. As a result, the OUC is able to provide fast, professional and cost-effective response to emergency and non-emergency calls for the District’s 700,000 residents and 200,000 daily visitors.
Built on Service Cloud, the OUC’s cloud-based 311 system allows the agency to manage non-emergency service requests via a 360-degree view, bringing a customer-centric approach to engaging with citizens. Features such as automated email or text notifications result in faster response times, keeping inquirers informed of the status of longer-term, stepped service level agreements, such as the planting of new trees.
The system’s ability to integrate with third-party platforms, like Twitter, is further extending the OUC’s outreach and engagement efforts. The system supports modern communication channels, including mobile, web, text, social media and live chat, empowering citizens to engage with the agency from anywhere, on any device. In addition, the system includes Einstein Analytics, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze data, discover patterns and automatically surface insights that the OUC can use to make data-driven decisions and improve citizen experiences.
As a result of its migration to Salesforce, the OUC has eliminated the infrastructure costs and downtime associated with maintaining its previous server-based system, and it can pull reports in a matter of minutes—an exercise that previously took hours. Additionally, the OUC is able to meet the needs and expectations of today’s digitally savvy citizens by supporting more than 120 types of service channels ranging from clean-up requests to faded sign replacements, while still answering 1.8 million calls per year.
The migration has strengthened alignment between the OUC and Learn, Earn, Advance, Prosper, or L.E.A.P.—Washington D.C.’s workforce development program. In early 2016, in accordance with Washington D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser’s priority goal of creating Pathways to the Middle Class, the OUC began onboarding L.E.A.P program graduates. These employees hit the ground running and the agency immediately began to see key performance gains in its 311 Operation. According to Erick Hines, 311 Operations Manager, the new system has “made it easier for us to actually train individuals, because the system is not as cumbersome. Therefore, the process is a lot shorter, more concise.” To date, the OUC has hired more than 40 L.E.A.P. participants as full-time employees, and watched call wait time drop from an average of seven minutes to 31 seconds.
“Outside these walls the world is evolving, and I don't want to ever put us in a box where we're not evolving or keeping up. We are making sure that we're innovative, that we're able to change when the agencies need change,” said Karima Holmes, Director of the OUC.
“We're not afraid of embracing new technology, we're not afraid of social media. At the end of the day, your residents and your visitors are going to appreciate that you have more service channels. They're going to appreciate that you're up on technology. They want the best that their tax dollars can spend, and I think that that's what we're doing here in D.C.,” added Wanda Gattison, Public Information Officer for the OUC.
“Today’s tech-savvy citizens are used to fast and personalized experiences when connecting with private sector companies, so governments today need to provide their constituents with an engaging and modern platform to interact,” said Casey Coleman, SVP of Public Sector at Salesforce. “By leveraging Salesforce 311, Washington D.C. has established itself as a leader in government technology by connecting with citizens wherever they are, via preferred channels, helping to increase civic engagement.”