Citizen Relationship Management in Local Governments: The Potential of 311 for Public Service Delivery

  • Sarah HartmannEmail author
  • Agnes Mainka
  • Wolfgang G. Stock
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 25)


The American citizen relationship management system 311 achieved much success in recent years. It started as a simple hotline and has evolved to a multi-channel communication system which offers a wide range of governmental services, e.g., Web self-service portals, social media, and mobile applications. In many cases, it functions as a single contact point for any issue citizens could have within their neighborhood. It is assumed to allow for quicker and easier access to non-emergency municipal services and information as well as to improve effectiveness and efficiency of governmental service delivery. However, current research on the changes in public service delivery evoked by 311 as well as the importance of different communication channels is missing. Therefore, this chapter introduces 311 systems in three American cities and exposes that the extent to which governmental service provision changed is dependent on the type of request. Considering the strong increase in the number of requests, governmental service delivery has improved in recent years. In addition, the variety of different communication channels can be assumed to be of major importance in order to reach a broad range of citizens. Besides that, the data generated by 311 allow for new opportunities in the provision of governmental information and services and have big potential for improvements in public administrations.


Citizen relationship management 311 systems Government information Public service delivery Multi-channel communication system 



We thank all government officials from the City of New York, the City of Philadelphia, and the City of Boston for the time they spent with us and their openly shared perspectives. They provided us valuable insights into NYC311, Philly311, and BOS:311.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Hartmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Agnes Mainka
    • 1
  • Wolfgang G. Stock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information ScienceHeinrich Heine University DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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