City of Lowell Expands its Online Customer Service Offerings
City of Lowell residents and businesses now have more access to information and communication with the City through E-Gov Link, a new tool accessible from the City’s website that allows anyone to easily submit suggestions, request information, place service requests, or report possible code violations on-line.
“This is part of our ongoing effort to expand the use of technology to improve the manner and speed with which we deliver services. But in order to provide better service we need to receive constant feedback from our customers - the residents, businesses, and property owners,” says City Manager Bernard F. Lynch. “If we don’t know what they want we can’t deliver it. E-Gov Link allows us to be more responsive and open to the community, and it is easy enough that you don’t have to have advanced computer skills to use it.” Community members without computers may continue to call the City and staff will input their requests into E-Gov Link so they can be tracked.
E-Gov Link allows you to fill out and submit an “Action Line Request” form which is assigned a unique tracking number and automatically routed to the appropriate department and staff member for follow up. When you want to check on the status of your request, you can enter your tracking number for an update. It is as easy as checking the status of an online purchase. In order to prevent requests from falling through the cracks, after a set period of time the request will automatically escalate to the relevant department head. The automatic routing, coupled with automatic escalation notification, gives each department the ability to monitor requests and ensure that Action Line Requests submitted to their department are being processed efficiently. “This means that your requests won’t get ‘lost in the shuffle,’” says City Manager Lynch, “as pending actions are flagged and tracked by City Hall and the appropriate departments to ensure all requests are reviewed and acted upon accordingly.”
The program is very easy and user friendly. While it isn’t required, it is recommended that a first time visitor to the site complete the online registration process, which takes less than 2 minutes. Once registered, you gain easy access to a history of all submitted Action Line Requests, as well as the ability to sign up for City email subscriptions (e.g., Recycling News, Public Works Updates).
Initially covering a broad spectrum of requests, E-Gov Link is viewed as a “work-in-progress.” Based upon community and departmental feedback, additional requests will be created, allowing the City to further improve its online services.