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'One Call To City Hall': Lansing's customer service hotline answers thousands of calls in 2022

Designed silhouette of Lansing's capitol building with the following words at the bottom: 'Lansing 311. Your One Call To City Hall'.
Courtesy: City of Lansing

Earlier this year, the City of Lansing launched its customer service hotline. The service was designed to help residents find answers to common questions through a single number.

From needing to find out a trash pickup schedule to polling place locations, 311 customer service agents have helped many residents find answers to their problems in 2022.

311 call center manager Augustine Martinez says the center has answered more than 17,000 calls since May.

“So we began to take tax and treasury calls and then went into summer time which was then property tax season and then the elections as well so we took calls for the clerk’s office," he said.

Lansing's 311 call center was modeled after Grand Rapids' 311 line that offers access to all non-emergency city government services. According to Martinez, the agents at Lansing's call center are cross trained in multiple departments.

"Let's say someone wants to call because there's a question about their property taxes. And they also want to report a pothole," he said. "Previously they would need to know both departments that they need to speak to, and then they'd have to call those departments individually to see if someone would pick up the phone and answer the question for them."

Now both of those questions can be answered on the same phone call. Martinez plans to develop relationships across all city departments in the coming year to help lessen the workload on city employees and streamline solutions for callers.

"My own personal kind of goal that I've set for the office is that we get to a place where 80% of the phone calls that we get will be able to be answered, handled, reported on whatever the person is looking for on that call," he said.

Martinez says he’s proud of having successfully helped thousands of residents navigate all kinds of city related problems without them needing to make more than a single call.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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