QScend's QAlert Municipal CRM System Powers Newark, NJ, 4311 Call Center

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QScend Technologies, Inc. has teamed with the City of Newark, NJ, to power the city's new 4311 call center to address citizen complaints. The opening of the call center, located at 394 University Ave., was announced yesterday by Mayor Cory Booker. Using QScend's QAlert™ municipal citizen relationship management (CRM) software, the center's 10 call takers, who can handle calls in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, enter the caller's information and details about their service request into QAlert.

QScend Technologies, Inc. has teamed with the City of Newark, NJ, to power the city's new 4311 call center to address citizen complaints. The opening of the call center, located at 394 University Ave., was announced yesterday by Mayor Cory Booker.

Using QScend's QAlert™ municipal citizen relationship management (CRM) software, the center's 10 call takers, who can handle calls in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, enter the caller's information and details about their service request into QAlert. When the information is saved, each request receives an ID number for future reference. The system then automatically routes the complaints to the departments responsible for handling them.

Call takers in Newark fielded more than 140 calls on the center's first day. Call Center manager James Bennett, who called the opening of the center "the day where we finally tell Newark citizens we care about what you say," said he expects the call center to field 700,000 calls in its first year.

"Then those responders can act on the service requests, record their actions, and when necessary, update the citizens as to the progress of the resolution of their request," said Keith LeBeau, president of QScend Technologies.

"The beauty of the system is that once a request is entered, it's stored in an online database," said LeBeau. "No calls get lost, and as each issue is addressed, department heads can use the QAlert reporting tools to monitor budget dollars and expenditures, document the need for additional personnel or equipment, or better allocate resources to handle the issues that need to be addressed."

The Newark 4311 Call Center has been on Mayor Booker's agenda since 2006. The QScend solution offered an affordable, yet powerful solution. While many municipalities similar in size are spending multiple millions of dollars, Newark spent just over $1 million for the hardware, the outfitting of the call center, and the QAlert software.

Newark residents can call the 4311 center to make requests about garbage pickup, bulk trash pickup, snowplowing, street and sidewalk repair, tree trimmings, and vacant-lot cleanup. They can also report concerns about graffiti, illegal dumping, housing code violations, faulty streetlights, and much more.

"QAlert also includes a knowledge base to assist the call takers in handling citizen calls," said LeBeau. "Department heads compile and enter their most frequently asked questions and the call takers can quickly and easily reference those items and even email them to the callers."

"Further, municipalities can offer a full-blown knowledge base and citizen self-help center through their websites, allowing citizens to access key information 24/7, not just when the call center is open," said LeBeau. "If they don't find the answer to their question using the knowledge base, they can then submit a form regarding their service request and that request is routed right to the responsible department."

Newark will also implement VUEWorks work order system. With the integrated QAlert/VUEWorks installation, Newark staff will be able to generate work orders by tagging service requests entered through QAlert. When those work orders are complete, the VUEWorks system sends the information back to QAlert, where responders can trigger update notification to citizens about their service requests.

About Newark, New Jersey
Since its founding in 1666, the Newark community has changed many times. Originally a rural, agrarian settlement, The Gateway to New Jersey is now the state's major urban center. With a population of more than 280,000, Newark is the financial, commercial, transportation, and cultural nucleus of the Garden State.

About QScend Technologies, Inc.
QScend Technologies (http://www.qscend.com) is an industry leader in Web-based software solutions and services for municipalities. More than 2,000 QScend product users access the company's series of "Q" products for a variety of citizen service related functions, including website content management, electronic newsletter distribution, citizen service request management, and 311 call center functionality.

Located in Waterbury, Connecticut, QScend Technologies was the first company to relocate into the city's Information Technology Zone. The company also provides custom website design, application hosting, and e-mail solutions for its customers.

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ED DZITKO
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