Today a municipality must fulfil a number of responsibilities in order to give its residents the best possible quality of life. From coordinating everything from snow clearing to the repair of street lights, municipalities have a never-ending list of things to do, often on a tight budget. Communicating with, and responding to citizens inquiries should be at the top of the list.
There are many reasons that municipalities get calls after hours, even under optimal conditions. These may range from critical emergencies, such as water main breaks and flooding or animal control issues, to the more routine, such as questions about garbage and recycling collection. How do you ensure that emergencies are dealt with immediately, but routine messages are dealt with but with a less sense of urgency?
What may be surprising is that many municipalities, regardless of their size, are not equipped to best support a high volume of calls. Often, most calls end up being fielded by a single person, sometimes the town clerk or the even the Mayor, with no real call handling processes in place. This is inefficient, as some calls will be more important than others. There may be an expectation from tax payers of 24/7 support, but what happens after hours? Calls may go to an answering machine, a town employee or even volunteer councillors. If an answering machine is the solution, calls won’t get dealt with until the next business day. If emergency calls go to someone’s cell phone at night, who decides what is an emergency, how many people have that cell number, and what kind of quality of life does the “on call” cell phone carrying person have, always chained to their cell phone?
Ultimately the question is, is there a better way to answer and triage incoming calls? Ensuring all calls are answered in a timely manner and the emergency calls receive immediate attention. A call answering service call help. A live voice to assure the caller that their call is important, the message has been received, and if it’s an emergency, help is on the way. Answering services are then able to dispatch the appropriate people when and if necessary. Think of them as your own full time receptionist and triage and emergency response centre.
At Telelink, we have over 50 years of experience with answering all types of calls, not only for public and private businesses and enterprises, but also government institutions. If your municipality has a need for improved process when it comes to answering inquiries, we’d like to help. Please visit our services page to learn more about how we can help you.