News : Centralized Call Centre for Guelph City Hall Could Come with Hefty Price Tag
Guelph, Ont., Canada, July 5, 2016 -- Moving towards a centralized number for residents to help make the experience of calling city hall easier and quicker could initially cost the city a little over a million dollars.
A city report is recommending a centralized call centre is a big step towards improving customer service.
That would likely see citizens call 3-1-1 to contact non-emergency city services.
Tara Sprigg, the city’s General Manager, Corporate Communications and Customer Service, told the city’s Corporate Services Committee Monday that an initial budget request for 2017 could potentially include a $130,000 capital request for related equipment and $930,000 over three years for operating costs related to a centralized call system.
The numbers were in response to a question from councilor Christine Billings as to what staff might be looking for in next year’s budget.
A proposed centralized call centre is part of a broader move towards improved customer service at City Hall contained in the Customer Framework Report.
The city currently has 45 phone numbers that handle 300,000 to 350,000 calls a year, a number that continues to increase year over year, Sprigg said.
Guelph Deputy CAO Mark Amorosi cautioned that staff has yet to finalize or prioritize its budget requests for 2017 when it comes to new, or expansion, items.
"We haven’t yet decided if it will be an actual recommendation or not," Amorosi said of the creation of a centralized call number. "It’s difficult for me to predict where on the list it will fall out."
Billings and Mayor Cam Guthrie both felt that if the city were to move towards a centralized call centre that could or should lead to cost savings within individual departments.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, July 6, 2016