City’s Contact Center connects people with answers

City employee answering call.One of the goals of the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan operational excellence team is to increase the percentage of citizens who know who to contact for City services by 6 percent by 2019. To make citizen contact with the City of Columbia as simple and direct as possible, a Contact Center was initiated in 2014.

The goal is to have one number for citizens to call by 2018. This means that no matter what topic a citizen is calling for, they will call the number (573-874-CITY) and either have their question answered immediately or be transferred to the person they are trying to reach. Approximately 80 percent of calls received in the Contact Center are resolved in one call.

The Contact Center currently has 11 customer service representatives who answer calls for Public Works Engineering, Street Division, Sewer, Stormwater, Transit, Columbia Regional Airport, Solid Waste, Water & Light Administration, Electric Distribution, Water Distribution, Human Resources and Office of Cultural Affairs. This list will grow as the Contact Center takes on more City phone numbers.

During fiscal year 2016, the Contact Center received 73,284 calls with the highest call volume being for Transit, Solid Waste and Utility Customer Service. Contact Center employees receive a minimum of 400 training hours in their first year and 100 to 150 each year after to ensure that our customers receive the highest quality of customer service.