Customer and Digital Service

The wonderful thing about customer service is we know it can be done well. You and I both know a company or organization can make working with them as easy or difficult as they want.

In government, most people find the Byzantine layers of bureaucracy so cumbersome it’s as if government workers, no matter how good their intentions or individual demeanor, is openly hostile.

There are ways Indianapolis can improve:

  • Indianapolis shouldn’t try to be everything to everyone. Focus on services that matter or are legally required and offload those that aren’t to people who can do it better.
  • Indianapolis is likely stuck in a contract with an out-of-state vendor for building a new website. But ideally the web should replace the majority of calls and interactions people have with government. It works faster, most people would prefer it, and it’s cheaper. I just wish there was a way to hire someone locally.
  • Speaking of hiring and contracts, Indy’s process for RFPs is costing us more than it’s saving. The cost of the process on businesses means only businesses with enough staff to spend all their time on RFPs actually do them. That adds overhead and precludes many of the local businesses that could grow and serve Indy.
  • The right investments in time-keeping services may dramatically increase city employee’s working hours, avoid over-hiring or under-hiring, prevent double-shifts, and help supervisors get more work done. And it could be publicly available.
  • Every fall we send trash trucks to collect leaves — along every route whether you need them or not. Think of the savings if we let people easily sign up for collection and then find the most efficient route to pick up what needs collecting.

But there’s so much more and you probably have ideas yourself. Tell me what ideas you have and how your interactions with city employees has been.

Justin Harter for District 12