Brome Lake residents are now able to call in non-emergency concerns to the town administration 24 hours a day thanks to the implantation of a new bilingual answering service.
The service will be administered by the Centre d’impartition et de traitement des appels municipaux (CITAM), a division of Cauca, a private company based in Saint-Georges-de-Beauce. According to the company’s website, the service “allows municipalities to sort incoming calls from citizens to reduce the number and make municipal administration more efficient.” According to Cauca, “customer service agents specialized in the municipal context” will take calls.
In Brome Lake, the service will be used on weekends and holidays and in the evenings after 4 p.m., when the town hall reception closes. “On the other end of the line, agents will inform callers, answer their inquiries, record their complaints and requests, accompany them on their search and, if necessary, create a ticket that will be transferred to the right municipal department for follow-up in the days to come,” town communications manager Ghyslain Forcier said. He said the town had been working on the development of a 24-hour non-emergency line for “four or five months.” Agents will be able to directly answer residents’ questions or forward them to the appropriate town official for follow-up during business hours.
“If you want to know when the next tax deadline is, and you can’t access our website…if you have a question about recreation or public works, or if there’s a tree that’s fallen across a roadway, there’s a procedure for that,” said Forcier. “The call centre agents will make sure your call is transferred to the right department.”
Forcier said people “were turning more and more to their municipality for everyday questions.”
“We want to improve customer service, give people answers to their questions and enlarge the range of services we provide to our citizens,” he said. “It makes it easier to find information outside of business hours.”
“Our receptionists do an excellent job with citizen requests during business hours, but there was a desire for us to offer more to our citizens when the Town Hall is closed,” said Brome Lake Mayor Richard Burcombe in a statement.
The non-emergency line is currently available at 450-243-6111. Forcier says that later this year, residents will be able to reach the line by dialling 311. To obtain a burning permit, residents who can’t or don’t want to use the existing online form can now call 450-242-2222 24/7. In emergencies requiring immediate police, fire or ambulance intervention, call 911.
Forcier noted that the town was already working with CITAM to deploy the Mass Notification and Alert phone service. “If you have not already done so, residents are encouraged to register by visiting the Residents and Health and Safety tabs at lacbrome.ca/en,” he said.