Research Request: Customer Relationship Management Systems Approaches


Request Prompt:

"Interested in researching customer relationship management approaches and deployment of CRM software. Is there any information the Alliance can share regarding this subject, best practices for implementation, and local governments who "do it well'."

Summary of Findings: 

The best CRM systems are customized to the needs and budget of the organization. They allow residents to more easily access local government resources and provide the organization with a tool to track requests and data they receive from residents. Creating transparency by finding a platform that best works for one’s residents is essential in having a successful CRM system, as residents should feel comfortable using the system and finding the information they need. Overall, accessibility and efficiency are key pillars of success in implementing a CRM system.

Implementation best practices:

This provides an outline and overview of CRM Systems and their various uses.

Revolutionizing Constituent Relationships: The Promise of CRM Systems for the Public Sector

Programs, Case Studies:

San Antonio, TX 311-Customer Relationship Management System (Doing It Well)

  • The city not only focuses on customer service data but also examines data related to citizen expectations and satisfaction rates.
  • City analysts have found that a centralized system is only one part of creating the city’s desired customer service experience for residents. Determining the level of customer service is the first step. Once that experience is defined and expectations set, the information collected can be used as a base for designing and/or enhancing a system. 
  • The San Antonio 311 Mobile App ( functions very much like a private sector CRM solution in the manner it handles a delivery order. The city is implementing a standardized workflow process that all services will follow regardless of what a request entails.
  • San Antonio operates all mobile app, online, and phone call options to reach all citizens’ preferences.
  • Information is taken in from residents, but it is also pushed out to residents. The 311 office creates weekly reports to council members who want to be aware of the kinds of calls that are coming into their districts. This is also distributed to city departments.
  • This information includes service level agreement (SLA) compliance, SLAs are agreements made by Service Departments with San Antonio 311 to track performance. Ex: Public Works might have an SLA to have a pothole fixed in 72 hours after it has been reported and now this information is also available to the residents using the mobile app


Denver City/County


  • Took case management digital, shaved 23 seconds off average call time, reduced duplicate data entries saved $7,000 dollars by moving 4% of cases to digital in the first 6 months
  • They opened up 311 services for non-emergencies and began mobile website submission through Pocketgov.
  • They developed data-driven processes.
  • Services like modern case management, digital 311, and Pocketgov allow the city to see which categories the community is reporting on, monitor which alerts folks are signing up to receive, and more.


  • Denver 311 launched on July 7, 2006, and was the 26th 311 contact center to be established in the United States and Canada.
  • Denver 311 has been busy piloting a CTI interface with InGenius, exploring “Cloud Dingo” a de-duplication tool within Salesforce, beginning a work from home pilot, revamping their QA process and rolling out extension mobility to allow increased workspace flexibility within their center.
  • Denver 311 now provides support for every city agency with the help of 29 full-time and on-call customer service agents and 10 support staff, who each receive more than 200 hours of training in order to provide Denver residents with exceptional service.
  • Denver 311 has responded to more than 4.5 million inquiries since its launch. In its first year of operation, the department received 280,000 calls and in 2015, that number came in at 507,000, an 81% increase in volume. The contact center is expected to see 560,000 calls in 2016.
  • With the creation of in 2015, the city’s mobile friendly online service center responded to 37,441 online inquiries; in 2016 it expects to receive more than 50,000 online inquiries.


Philadelphia 311

“...The national financial crisis caused a drastic cut in Philly311’s budget, affecting its technology implementation. However, the crisis offered the project team a unique opportunity to rely on established city services. Rather than implementing a software-based customer service relationship management (CRM) system, the project team worked with the city’s Department of Technology to implement a less expensive web-based solution to serve as the CRM system. This approach enabled agents to look up municipal information and directly enter service requests into the integrated work systems of servicing departments. Philly311’s new budget constraints also caused a shift in its hiring plan. Instead of hiring experienced contact center agents, Philly311 hired internal transfers and employees who would have been laid off due to a revised citywide budget”


Kansas City 311 Data

Utilizing 311 call data to improve processes

“Every 311 contact, whether via phone, web, or mobile, may be surveyed to assess the quality of services delivered by the city.  As shown in the screenshot below, the survey is quick, with just three questions asking for a rating on a scale of unacceptable to excellent.  Two questions relate to the service provided and one to the 311 call experience.  Consistently asking just these three questions has been a powerful tool for Kansas City.”

Higher citizen satisfaction with government services since the implementation of 311 service surveys.


Philadelphia text messaging service

“Philadelphia used Textizen to create a text-message town hall meeting about where to locate bike share stations.   In just three weeks, they received 700 responses, which allowed the city to understand where bike share services were most wanted.  Getting that many people to participate in a physical town hall meeting, if possible, would have taken a great deal more time and resources.”

Textizen is able to analyze in real time and display the collected data in a variety of ways.


Sacramento, CA

MindMixer software use.

The PDF utilizes testimonials and examples of the data gathered in Sacramento. Additionally, there is framework of the usefulness of the software and how it can be best used for municipalities.


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