Richland County Development Services has performed a major about-face recently, transforming itself into a top-tier, customer service-based entity that is drawing accolades from around the country.
The Government Customer Service Community of Practice (Cgov) – a national organization of customer service experts – has named Richland County Development Services the winner of the annual Teamwork Excellence Award and has nominated it as a finalist for the Overall Excellence Award.
Richland County Development Services and Philly 311, a call center operated by the City of Philadelphia, were the two finalists for the Teamwork Excellence Award. Richland County was honored as winner for its outstanding teamwork in aiding customers through all levels of the services it provides.
“Customer service improvements have made it seamless and convenient for citizens, business owners, developers, contractors and architects to do business with the County,” said Sparty Hammett, Assistant County Administrator for Development Services.
Richland County Development Services has conducted extensive transformations over the last few years, establishing streamlined processes that allow residents to get the results they need better and faster than previously possible. Some of the department’s new, efficient, customer-based improvements include:
- A renovated service center that consolidates all interworking offices into a single “one-stop shop” for developers, contractors and residents
- A new, easy-to-use website offering a wealth of tools and information about land or building development projects, codes and regulations, permits, inspections, zoning and more
- Enhanced customer service and customer service training
- The reopening of counter space so staff can easily work with residents face to face to fulfill their needs and provide information
- The implementation of new software that allows inspections, surveys and other fieldwork to be easily documented and accessed universally across different departments
- The new software also allows customers to submit all permit requests and project applications online, enabling most development-related business with the County to be conducted from their home or office.
Richland County Development Services has also been selected as a finalist for the Overall Excellence Award, along with DLA Customer Interaction Center, a global defense information company in Michigan, and Jacksonville 630City, a customer service center for the City of Jacksonville, Fla.
Cgov presents its awards to proven public sector entities that foster effective practices for supporting customers. Nominees are evaluated by a panel of independent judges based on detailed background information, narratives and presentations. Cgov will announce the Overall Excellence Award winner in May.