IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY THROUGH 311
In August of 2001, the City of Houston launched its 311 Houston Service Helpline, a consolidated call center designed to make city government more user-friendly and responsive to city residents by providing citizens with a one telephone number to call for information on city services and to report non-emergency concerns. The main component of the 311 Houston Service Helpline is the three-digit phone number, accessible from within the Houston city limits. From traffic fines and sewer concerns to pothole problems and neighborhood complaints, Houstonians can call 311 and speak to one of our highly trained Agents. From outside the City of Houston, callers simply dial 713-837-0311. Agents are available 24/7 to answer your calls.
Houstonians can also access this helpful service via an e-mail to 311@HoustonTX.gov. A self Service Request (SR) form is available online at www.houston311.org or by using our 311 smart phone app which can be installed by clicking the link or by scanning the barcode that are located on this page.
WE CAN HELP
Over 2,400 frequently answered questions have been collected and warehoused. With such a broad array of reference entries developed jointly with departmental experts, and by providing specific information from other shared databases, the 311 Helpline resolves 85% of calls without transfer, Service Request, or follow-up.
In addition to handling requests for information, the 311 Agents also process requests for specific city services like pothole repair or a traffic signal malfunction by creating a Service Request in 311's Service Management system. Each Service Request can be tracked from start to finish. More than 300 specific Service Request types have been defined and scripted within the system. Each Service Request is forwarded to the appropriate department and a deadline date is assigned for investigation and resolution. If the same individual or someone else subsequently reports the same problem, the 311 Service Management system alerts it is a duplicate request. Up-to-the-minute Service Request status(es) are available to citizens who call back to request an update on the progress of their concern(s). This increases accountability for city departments and their personnel. The system generates numerous reports by department, by division within a department, by Service request type, participants, council districts, zip codes, Key Map locations, and other geographic areas. Regular reports identify any service requests that have not been resolved within the pre-determined timeline. This provides greater opportunity for management supervision of personnel and assessment of the impact of deployed resources.
The 311 Houston Help and Information Helpline puts City government at your fingertips – one contact, via the channel of your choice -- and you get answers, find the right person, or have your City service problem solved.
311 continues to increase its functionality by adding new Service Request types on the website and more channels of communication such as chat and texting, which are expected to come online in the near future.