- Success Story
- Tea Tree Gully
City of Tea Tree Gully Shifts to a Digital-First Approach
For the City of Tea Tree Gully (CTTG), better serving their community members meant bringing digital services to the foreground. But when the staff in this Adelaide, Australia, suburb integrated OpenForms, now by Granicus, they found more than just a tool to meet their needs. Armed with the powerful forms platform, staff were able to create easy-to-use solutions that accommodated the city’s complex functional needs and integrated with legacy business systems. The result: a 31% reduction in call volume for common services in the first year and a population eager for a digital future.
- 170+ Forms Digitized in the first year
- 90% shift to online for many key services
- 36,000 fewer calls in the first year, a 31% reduction in volume
- 60+ Hours per month saved in over-the-counter interactions
City of Tea Tree Gully Transforms Customer Service with OpenCities
Bringing Digital Services to the Suburbs
The power of digital services often has the most impact at the local level. As cities and towns create new solutions that make it easier for residents to solve their daily problems, residents can see the impact of digital government in their daily lives. Successful digital government not only meets those needs but creates a relationship of trust and positive engagement for their residents.
For CTTG, that transformation started in an area that presents a common chokepoint for both residents and government staff: forms. At first, the steps staff looked to take were small ones.
“When we started, we just wanted to find a way to digitize our PDFs,” said Chris Campbell, CTTG’s Digital Services Officer. “We were looking more at easier access, not necessarily at improving process.”
From this focused scope, however, CTTG discovered the simplicity of creating impactful digital government solutions that provide wide-ranging impact through using OpenForms.
Out-of-The-Box and Ready to Integrate
Built with government, for government, OpenForms offered CTTG a powerful forms platform perfectly suited for the business of local government. From permits and payments, through reports and requests, OpenForms provided all the functions CTTG needed out of the box, and it could be integrated with Council’s customer request management system, document & records system, and names and addresses register.
The revelation, however, was the way that OpenForms APIs allowed new efficiencies to be easily created into existing processes. Direct integration into OpenForms’ Content Manager, for example, provided immediate ways to save time on processing records management requests.
“Customers used to send Freedom of Info requests by post, which we would need to open, catalogue, scan into CM, assess, invoice the requestor, wait for payment, and assign to the right person to start the application process,” said Campbell. “Now, the resident submits and pays online, it’s put into records management right away, customer service gets a copy via email and can delegate to the right person. No handling, so much time saved.”
These and other opportunities presented by the OpenForms integration, went beyond any expectations that Campbell said his team had when they first started the project.
“When we started using OpenForms, we realized it’s not just about putting PDFs online, but about improving the entire process experience,” he added.
Residents Eager to Engage
That shift in digital perspective made an immediate impact on not only how CTTG served their residents, but also in staff/resident interactions.
The team went to work immediately to get the most impact out of their new system Within one year of subscribing to OpenForms, CTTG digitized over 170 forms, which resulted in over 12,000 digital submissions processed online. For staff, that translated to savings of more than 60 hours per month in over-the-counter payments and other in-person interactions, thanks to the added ability of online transactions for even the most complex pricing and payment scenarios.
“Previously, we would see up to 70 customers waiting in line in our service area,” said Elissa Graves, CTTG Customer and Communications Manager. “But by shifting up to 90% of our key services online, we have seen a significant reduction in face-to-face transactions.”
The digital impact has also been evident in call centers, with a 31% reduction in call volume in the first year of using digital services built with OpenForms, totaling 36,000 fewer calls, according to Graves.
But while the new digital approach is creating new efficiencies thanks to time and resource savings for both CTTG staff and residents, the real difference is being seen in the speed at which residents are getting responses from their government.
“I think this is really going to change the way our residents think about our government,” said Silvana Seget, CTTG Project Officer. “Imagine the customers’ delight when they fill out a form and get a response as quickly as half an hour after they’ve submitted it. That shows them that people care and want to help them. And that’s a good thing.”