The City of Grand Rapids looked to increase their bandwidth to serve their residents while maintaining, and even increasing, their top-notch customer service. Thanks to OpenCities, now by Granicus, Grand Rapids found the way to let 180,000 people complete transactions at any time, on any device, while reducing calls and allowing staff to focus on service.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
How Grand Rapids Made the Digital Shift to City Services
Like many cities and counties, Grand Rapids had an outdated website. Too many web pages, not enough consistency in the presentation of information. Users found it difficult to navigate, and staff had trouble keeping it up to date. Most services (start water service, set up refuse and recycling, get the permit for a community block party) required printing out a form and mailing or faxing it back to the City.
Paper-Centric and Inconsistent
Digital Services Aimed at High Request Transactions
Since launching the OpenCities website, Grand Rapids has made over 257 services available online for visitors to the Grand Rapids website to complete their city business. And residents have embraced the new system, with over 50% of users who previously made up the 80,000 walk-up payments now using the online form in the new Grand Rapids site.
A Significant Shift in How Work is Done
Within five months of partnering with OpenCities, now by Granicus, Grand Rapids presented a beautiful digital services website that provides a majority of the most requested transactions. For example, the "start water and refuse service" represents 40% of all current 311 interactions. OpenCities transitioned these contacts from calls to almost 1,000 new online submissions.
Must-have Granicus solution
See It Live
Learn more about how OpenCities, now by Granicus, builds digital services for governments looking to increase engagement with their residents.
“OpenCities has been nothing less than transformational for the City of Grand Rapids,” said Becky Jo Glover, Chief of Customer Service and Innovation for the City of Grand Rapids. “We didn't just redesign the website; we redesigned the way our city does business.”
Payments made online
new online submissions within weeks of launching
- Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan
We are building the website for our community — a digital City Hall that serves those who live, work and play here on their terms, on any device, on any browser, at any time. If the website does not work for our community, it simply does not work.”
Reductions in walk-ins
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Seeking Convenient Services That Save Staff Time
Glover noted that in just 11 weeks since the website’s launch, the total number of walk-ins to the customer service desk to start a water service dropped by 79%.
For Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, though, the popularity of these new services among residents shows that the community was clearly waiting for a more digital presence at City Hall.
“We are building the website for our community — a digital City Hall that serves those who live, work and play here on their terms, on any device, on any browser, at any time,” said Bliss. “If the website does not work for our community, it simply does not work.”