The customer service department provides assistance to citizens living in, working in and visiting Montgomery. Citizens can reserve a lodge or park shelter, sign up for the latest event or recreation class being offered, apply for building, zoning or sign permits, receive assistance on zoning questions and get questions answered regarding the entire City. The customer service department also manages the technology infrastructure of the City which includes Internet applications, the City website, the employee appraisal software system and technical support to all City staff. The customer service department is managed by a customer service director, and is staffed by two full-time customer service representatives.
Service Enhancements and Efficiencies
The customer service department has taken several steps to increase operational efficiency and save resources. Led by Evelyn Dumont, Customer Service Representative, the first effort was a project to digitize existing building plans to increase availability to staff and reduce the need for physical storage.
In November 2013, a LEAN process improvement review was conducted for the payroll process. Following the review, a recommendation was made to replace handwritten time cards with an electronic system. The customer service department, with assistance from the finance department, created an electronic time card system utilizing software that was already available to staff. The system has enhanced and streamlined the payroll process.
To ensure seamless service delivery, Connie Gaylor, Customer Service Representative, has participated in extensive training to become the backup for the current clerk of council. This is an important role for the City as it is the main administrative support for City Council agendas, minutes and legislation.
The City takes great pride in its beautiful parks and lodges and continually strives to provide the best service at a good value. To work towards this goal, two significant changes were made to the lodge and park shelter reservation process and rental costs.
Terwilliger Lodge foyer
Staff conducted a thorough review of the lodge rental policies of the City. A rate comparison, as well as a facility maintenance cost study was conducted to benchmark how Montgomery compares to our neighboring communities. Based on these findings, the non-resident rental rate for both Swaim Lodge and Terwilliger Lodge was increased by approximately 30%. Resident rates, which have not been increased since 2006, will remain unchanged. Although there was an increase in non-resident rental charges, the City has also been diligent in improving the amenities and aesthetics of both lodges. Terwilliger Lodge was upgraded to include a full stove top and an additional microwave as well as updated interior décor. Swaim Lodge was updated with new carpeting and freshly painted walls.
Terwilliger Lodge kitchen
Through 2013, the customer service department and the public works department studied shelter use by both residents and non-residents and reviewed park maintenance operations and associated costs for the seven shelters and five parks that the City operates. The study revealed that not only were residents challenged to be able to reserve shelters due to the high volume of non-resident reservations, the public works department was also challenged to maintain clean, safe, beautiful parks that are the standard of the City. Based on these findings and the recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Commission, it was decided that only residents and those working in Montgomery, should be able to reserve park shelters. Non-residents will still be able to use the shelters, but only on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations made by approved applicants have priority and will be posted at each shelter.