Spring is my favorite season for many reasons – one of them being that it’s time to share the incredible progress leaders in government are making on mission success. It is the time when the Salesforce tour bus rolls into D.C., and conversations around customer success and innovation take on a tone that is especially centered on mission-first, citizen-first, employee-first government modernization.
This year’s Salesforce World Tour, Washington D.C. was incredible. We brought the highlights of Dreamforce – our week-long, annual user conference held in San Francisco – to Washington D.C. for a one-day event.
Our Salesforce Ohana hosted several hands-on demos, workshops, and inspirational learning opportunities. Trailblazers from departments, agencies, and industry shared the insights and best practices they acquired when moving to the cloud. I had the honor of debuting the Story of Government – a series of documentary-style short films that showcase recent transformation projects in government, told by the people who lead them.
Here's what I took away from each of the stories we shared, and what they represent in terms of significance for the industry.
The Washington D.C. Office of Unified Communications
A modern contact center drives exceptional service through employee experience.
The Washington D.C. Office of Unified Communications (OUC) manages the 911 and 311 contact center services for the District, the latter of which was re-platformed on Salesforce to enable multiple departments to deliver their services. And, it isn’t just responding to phone calls anymore. The OUC can serve constituents across multiple communication channels at scale, including by phone, by email, by social. The move brought many workplace tools to the desks of OUC employees, which unlocked additional day-to-day capabilities.
LEAP (Learn, Earn, Advance, Prosper) is a workforce development program that places District residents in open jobs around the city. People work as paid interns and get the kind of professional development and on-the-job skills they need to be considered for the position full-time upon graduation from the program. The OUC has been the most successful LEAP partner, employing over 40 people because “the Salesforce CRM is very easy to navigate … for them to be able to walk in after a week of class, and utilize the system to navigate questions, research service requests, and follow up with residents, it means a lot,” said Wanda Gattison, PIO for the OUC.
Average call hold time dropped by about six minutes, and complaints have decreased significantly – though call volume itself did not. The team still fields around 1.8 million calls per year, demonstrating that they are reaching more customers by unlocking new service channels. The agency has found that investing in the employee experience is driving the customer experience for the OUC.
Watch OUC's film on how they improved the customer experience by investing in the employee experience.
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta
Paperless and mobile, employees help members access the best practices, data, and insights to make decisions and recommendations that improve service levels.
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLBank Atlanta) is a cooperative structured enterprise that lends to commercial banks, credit unions, insurance companies, and various other financial institutions. It helps ensure reliable sources of liquidity for communities throughout the nation. After the 2008 recession, the team focused on maintaining healthy relationships by amassing a considerable amount of data, giving the cooperative clear and reliable decision criteria.
Fast forward to today. The Bank deployed a CRM on Salesforce to make that data more accessible and more actionable across each and every one of its employees. “This all changed the conversation from being just about ‘how do we take member information to make sales and marketing better’ to ‘how do we take member information and make everything we do at the bank, better?’” said Scott Brennan, Director of Sales.
Many traditional departments and agencies issue loans, grants, and financial support as a part of the mission (the USDA, the HHS, Federal Student Aid, to name a few). They can repurpose the same off-the-shelf, commercial best practices Brennan and team brought into the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, and leapfrog the innovation process.
Bay Area Rapid Transit
With real-time, authentic engagement by agents, perceptions and citizen experience is enhanced.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit District (or BART) is the San Francisco Bay Area’s version of the New York Subway. The electric rail service spans four counties and moves over 400,000 people a day – critical transportation service in a region known for its traffic, (among other things). However, BART has been asked to provide more than just transportation services lately.
The Bay Area faces the same opioid and homeless crises that impact communities nationwide, and those quality of life issues are pushing into BART’s system and onto trains. To address the tough questions that come from these crises, Trost and team built an outreach and engagement platform on Salesforce. It enables capabilities like social listening, post scheduling, case management, and more. It also helped the team cut through the noise and focus on the voices or tweets that surfaced core discussions, freeing up time and energy that BART now spends researching and responding to constituents in a candid and personal manner. This strategy enabled BART to build trust, create advocates, and return on their investment.
“We’ve actually had people tell us the reason why they voted yes on our last big bond measure was because of our transparency. They understood why this funding was important, and the impact it could have on the overall system,” said Alicia Trost, BART Communications Department Manager. And in August of 2018, FEMA awarded BART a $6.8 million grant to fund police patrols and upgraded security cameras.
Take a deep dive into the BART story.
For more on Salesforce and Trailblazers, take a look at the events coming soon to a city near you.