Friday, December 11, 2015

McMillan Award 2015 Finalist – Cynthia Marr

L to R: Cynthia Marr, Audrey Jun, and Chris Lundquist
In the third of three articles recognizing McMillan Award finalists, we present Ms. Cynthia Marr, Analytic Support Manager, Pierce County District Court in the State of Washington and their online customer service  improvement program.


Ms. Marr explains in her submission the online systems that they have developed:

"Due to numerous environmental and budgetary factors, Pierce County District Court explored the use of a distributed system in self‐service of litigants. The Court sought methods to use those seeking assistance to also provide resources to gain that assistance.  The Court looked to its litigants to aid in the production of information, creating of documents, and scheduling of court hearings.

From this, the Self‐Scheduling and LiveChat programs were designed, developed, and implemented."

The Phase I program involved live chat and self‐scheduling tools for District Courts. "Live Chat allows Court customers to get individualized help online, while also allowing clerks to serve more than one customer at a time. The traffic infractions self‐scheduling tool has also been quite popular. The web‐based tool allows defendants to select a date and time for their in‐court hearing that best fits their schedule. This reduces the number of defendants who fail to appear, as well as reduces staff time spent re‐scheduling hearings."

"Live Chat allows Court customers to get individualized help with the click of a mouse. This saves a great deal of time and hassle having to wait on hold or visit the court’s public counter to get answers to commonly asked questions.  Users can print out a copy of the copy of the live chat conversation, as well as get electronic versions of important documents.

The technology also allows a clerk to provide personal service to more than one customer at a time. The online service has proven to be reducing the large number of calls and in‐person visits. About 300 customers used Live Chat when it was first launched in January 2013. By August, that number had tripled.  A year later clerks are answering a thousand fewer calls per month. Given that the Court received 81,000 telephone inquiries in 2012, this is a significant improvement."

Ms. Marr was assisted in her CTC-2015 presentation by Mr. Chris Lundquist.  An online video of their presentation with materials and award winner Ms. Audrey Jun is currently available online on the conference website here.

Congratulations to all in Pierce County for this innovative work that greatly improves services to the public.

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