City of Tilburg

We are pioneering, and that kind of work starts with good relationship management in all customer contact channels.”

Marjon van der Maat, Department Head of Services, City of Tilburg
“We are pioneering,” said Marjon van der Maat, Department Head of Services, City of Tilburg. “And that kind of work starts with good relationship management in all customer contact channels.”

The City of Tilburg -- a municipality known for everything from its textiles industry to hosting a ten-day funfair -- is transforming citizens services on Salesforce. The team is streamlining their operations in a way that enables the city to deliver fast and personalised services, digitally to its 200,000+ citizens at scale.

But what is good relationship management?” van der Maat continued. “To what extent do you know the customer, and can you take them by the hand in their journey from one counter to the next as they engage our services? How does that experience extend and connect through social channels, webpages, phone calls, and more? Those are the questions we asked ourselves as we began this transformational work.”

Citizens expect an unified experience

The City of Tilburg had already standardised citizen processes within a one department to renew passports, apply for driver’s licenses, and report relocation. Other services, such as starting a new business, were more complex due to elaborate protocols and the inclusion of multiple departments needed to process the request. “This resulted in a more opaque, siloed experience,” said van der Maat. “We needed to find a way to put citizens at the center and build our processes around their needs”.

Digital Public Services or eGovernment is currently being launched across cities and municipalities throughout the EU. The onset of the pandemic brought to light the need for digital citizen communication and remote access to public services. Currently, an average of 68% of Europe has reportedly migrated to a digital government. The City of Tilburg has aligned itself with this trend establishing their own cloud initiative.

“A few years ago, this was still uncharted territory in municipal land,” explained van der Maat. “At first, there was a lot of skepticism: will every employee go along with this new way of working? My answer was simple: we just have to make sure of that.”

Tilburg transforms citizen services on the Cloud.

Van der Maat and her team will launch their business transformation plan, anchored by citizen services, on the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform for Government. It is a CRM platform that serves as an engagement layer, giving citizens a single and consistent point of access to any municipal services on the front end. Meanwhile, without sacrificing Tilburg’s ability to configure workflows to align with their process, on the backend.

The result will be a 360-degree customer view that enables the Tilburg team to respond to customer needs at the right time via the right channel:

  • Social Listening: Anytime someone mentions keywords or phrases (think: “City of Tilburg” or “apply for parking permit”) in a post on a social handle, Social Studio will alert the team so that they can respond to the citizen, and take any necessary action. “Imagine how nice it would be if you gave notice of your move and were automatically notified to apply for permit parking or to join a neighbourhood WhatsApp group. Then you really have added value for a citizen, right away,” said van der Maat.
  • Customer Service: Information from these social interactions will automatically move in a profile-like setting in Service Cloud, Salesforce’s CRM product configured for customer service and case management needs. This will give the Tilburg team a complete view of the citizen’s request as well as any relevant information that may be helpful in addressing the inquiries.
  • Advanced Contact Centre Support: Knowledge was added, which will surface relevant articles, FAQs, and more that the Tilburg team can use as they navigate next steps. The inclusion of Chatbots will give the citizens the option to engage via live chat on a city webpage.

“This plan will give us a way to connect systems across departments, not replace our IT landscape,” said van der Maat. “We have several stand-alone, well-functioning applications -- applications we do not want to and cannot say goodbye to. We will use Salesforce to connect these systems and meet today’s customer expectations.”

Tilburg transforms citizen services on the Cloud.

What started as a proof of concept, will now become Tilburg’s central source of information for employees citywide. The Customer Contact Centre and the entrepreneurial service team will be the first to begin using Salesforce in support of the contact center operations of the municipality. The other departments will manage their roll-out plan concurrently furthering the 360-citizen services initiative.

Overall, this strategy will give the citizens of Tilburg the ability to access municipal services faster and more efficiently via traditional and digital communication channels alike, “which helps us shift to being more proactive, more transparent, and more unified,” said van der Maat. “This will not happen overnight, but as our processes and citizen’s needs continue to evolve; the CRM solution is flexible enough to change with them.”


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