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  • Success Story
  • Maricopa County Clerk

How Maricopa County Clerk's Office, Arizona Handles 8,300 Online Requests With govAccess

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The Clerk’s Office wanted a website with a better technological foundation to provide stellar customer service and access to the judicial branch. Through Granicus govAccess, the Clerk’s Office incorporated online forms, a virtual assistant, and more to handle 8,300 requests in 4 months.

We wanted an updated website with a foundation that enables us to integrate additional technologies and make obtaining our services easier.
Tiarra Earls Haas, Communications Officer


  • 1.4M Page Views The new website had 1.4 million page views in 6 months.
  • 8,300 Online Requests The website facilitated 8,300 requests through the virtual assistant in 4 months.
  • 65% Less Work Of the 8,300 requests, the virtual assistant handles 65% without staff intervention.
  • 45% Mobile Users Mobile users account for 45% of the new website’s traffic.
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Improving Access to the Judicial Branch

The Maricopa County Clerk of the Superior Court strives to provide customer satisfaction through advanced technology. However, the Clerk’s Office was working with an aging website. “Our website was over ten years old, which is really five lifetimes in the world of technology,” said Rich McHattie, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer.

The website wasn’t user friendly. Residents complained that it was difficult to find information without a search function or menu. Customers also couldn’t access the website on a phone or tablet. For an organization whose elected official emphasizes improving “access to justice,” staff wanted residents to find services and information at anytime, anywhere, and from any device.

Staff desired the ability to integrate the website with other technologies that would help expand digital access to the Clerk’s Office. They also prioritized a website based on a content management system to empower multiple staff to make updates quickly and easily. “We wanted a system that didn’t require technology intervention to update,” said McHattie.


CMS, Functions, and Features, Oh My!

After receiving proposals from vendors the County had partnered with in the past, the Clerk’s Office decided to partner with Granicus as govAccess provided the most robust CMS. Staff members would have the ability to update information on the website and publish it without contacting the technology department.

Maricopa County Clerk Devices

The new website is aesthetically pleasing. It includes a menu and a search function. According to Tiarra Earls Haas, Communications Officer, the website also incorporates additional features like appointment scheduling, online payments, widgets and a social media integration, which provides multichannel communications. Additionally, the Clerk’s Office added online forms, which makes the process to request information more efficient. Previously, customers would have to print a form, fill it out, and scan it back.

The Clerk’s Office took advantage of govAccess’ easy integrations to incorporate a virtual assistant, powered by IBM Watson. The virtual assistant, named Cleo, greets each user as they view the website. Cleo is not a standard chat bot. Staff have trained the virtual assistant to handle service requests and answer questions on the webpage 24x7x365 using natural, conversational language, automating work and improving the customer experience. It also offers customers a way to have questions answered without making a phone call to the office.

“If you're looking to empower your communications department with the right tools, it’s ideal to choose a mature CMS like govAccess.” – Rich McHattie, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer

8,300 Virtual Requests, 65% Handled Without Staff

The website received 8,300 requests through the virtual assistant in 4 months. Cleo was able to handle 65% of those requests, eliminating the need to send requests to a live staff member. As the AI learns more, Cleo will be able to complete more customer requests without staff intervention.

The Clerk’s Office’s new website went live just months before the COVID-19 crisis. “We created a page for our employees that didn’t require a VPN connection. The page provided critical information to employees who were not allowed onsite,” said McHattie.

In six months, the website had 1.4 million page views; the most popular pages include marriage licenses and court records.

“Our website is a way to push the envelope technologically while providing services to the public. It’s been a lot of fun.” – Tiarra Earls Haas, Communications Officer