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HCUS Launches 311 Helpline



HCUS worked with wireless mobile providers to route calls to either the county or city 311 center based on the area and direction they originate. Should 311 callers accidentally be routed to the county instead of the city, there is an option to be automatically transferred to the City of Houston and save everyone time.
AT&T and T-Mobile activated their towers and began routing calls to the county 311 center in early May, and Verizon may soon begin doing the same for its customers, Fava added. 
According to HCUS-Customer Service Manager Bryce Harper, the county call center has received nearly 5,000 calls since the 311 helpline was launched on May 7. However, the jump in calls has not negatively impacted the response time due to the smarter, automated phone tree that the HCUS Voice Services team helped create. 
Harris County Universal Services has launched a new 311 helpline to make it easier for Harris County residents to receive non-emergency information and assistance.
In the fall, HCUS ran with the initiative of Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Adrian Garcia to create a simple way for people to call county government in non-emergency situations. HCUS decided to set up a 311 call center for county residents. Before people within the city limits dialed 311 for assistance and county residents dialed 713-755-5000.
"Using 311 makes everything much easier for the caller. Our 755 number still works, but it's much easier for someone to remember and dial 311 instead of a full number. It's like a one-stop shop now for county or city information," said Rina Fava, Director of HCUS-Customer Service. 
"People can be automatically transferred to the city's 311 helpline from the start, so there's no need to speak to an operator," Harper said. "Plus, the automated phone tree helped us eliminate the robo calls. The 311 project helped us make changes that saved our agents time so they could place more focus on the customer."