News : 311 Service Celebrates 12th Anniversary
Lower Manhatten, New York, USA, March 12, 2015 -- One number to call for help for anything. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg came up with that idea in 2003.
And as it celebrated its 12th anniversary on Wednesday, 311—thanks to social media, a mobile app, and hundreds of dedicated call center representatives—is thriving.
The service recently marked a milestone, when it handled its 200 millionth call. It was a heat and hot water complaint.
But since 311’s inception a dozen years ago, noise complaints have brought in the most calls.
Landlord maintenance came in second for total complaints, followed by people checking on the status of a service request, and making heat and hot water complaints. Rounding out the top five calls: bus or subway information and complaints.
New initiatives like pre-k and municipal ID cards typically bring in lots of inquiries. And severe weather always drives up the volume.
Joe Morrisroe, executive director of 311, said the most calls on any one day came in on January 27, 2011, during a snowstorm.
"We had 276,827 calls in a 24-hour period. Everyone wanted to get information on snow. What was open and closed. Schools were actually cancelled that day," he said.
There are essentially no specialists at the one-stop call center. Everyone knows how to deal with everything.
"Everyone here is essentially a generalist. We have over 4-thousand different types of services that that we offer New York City residents. And every representative here has to know how to navigate our system in order to get the right information to give to the customer when they call," Morrisroe said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, March 13, 2015