News: Ontario News

Connect with City of Kitchener 24/7 via New App

July 4, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alison Hermansen
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If you’ve got a question, need to request a service or report a problem to the City of Kitchener, it just got even easier to get the answers and information you need – anytime, anywhere. The latest developments in the next evolution of the City of Kitchener’s Customer Service Strategy focus on making it as easy as possible to interact with the city, including: the launch of the new PingStreet mobile app and the expansion to 24/7 service at the City’s corporate contact centre. “We’re committed to creating a seamless customer experience for anyone seeking information, or requesting a service from the city,” said Jana Miller, executive director of the city’s chief administrator’s office. “We know that people want multiple ways to access local government staff and services, whether by phone, walk-in, email, online, or self-serve and these new developments are just some of the ways that we’re continuously improving to meet their needs.” PingStreet mobile app Officially launched on July 3, the city’s newest customer service tool, PingStreet, is a mobile app that allows users to connect with the city right from their smartphone – with the touch of a finger. Residents can access functions including: reporting potholes or graffiti by taking and sending a photo, seeing planned road closures in their area, browsing a calendar of events and looking at – or receiving alerts – for their garbage, recycling and yard waste schedule. The location-based app works on all smart phone devices and can be downloaded free on the App Store, Blackberry World, and Google Play. “Things like social media and technology play such an important role in customer service today. Most often, the first place people go for an answer is online; they want to have information at their fingertips,” added Miller. “Ping Street gives them one-touch access to a wide range of city information, services and connection points.” Contact us 24/7 at 2345 Recently, the city’s centralized contact center implemented full 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week service. The City’s Manager of Customer Service, Jeannie Murphy, notes that the new easy to remember phone number - 519-741-2345 – also helps to make it convenient and simple to reach the city. “The 24/7 service model at the corporate contact centre is one convenient way that residents can reach the city whenever they need to,” Murphy said. “The expanded hours also have the added benefit of enabling the city to capitalize on efficiencies by consolidating and maximizing existing services.” The City of Kitchener has always taken a planned and proactive approach to customer service and information sharing. Through its Customer Service Strategy, which was implemented in 2009, the corporate contact centre was established, a Welcome Centre at city hall was set up and the city’s website was redesigned. A robust social media strategy, several micro-websites, webstreaming of council and committee meetings were also added. Most recently, an Open Data portal was launched on the city’s website that is expected to grow as more data becomes openly accessible to the public. For more information or other ways to connect with Kitchener, visit www.kitchener.ca/connect.