Aspen’s online complaint service gets little traction
It’s been nearly two months since the city of Aspen launched an online portal for people to log complaints, make requests or provide feedback, but it has barely been used.
Called QAspen, it was launched in June and is designed for residents and visitors to directly connect with a city staffer to get resolution on their issue.
It’s also a way to reduce phone calls coming into City Hall, which can take longer to direct people to the appropriate person to handle the issue.
Karen Harrington, director of quality for the city, said more phone calls are coming in than those using the new online portal.
“That’s something we’ll do more outreach on down the line,” she said.
Harrington said of the 60 or 70 new requests opened, the majority of them are complaints about vehicles parked on the street, parking signs and meter issues, vehicles obstructing traffic in alleys or driveways, and environmental health concerns.
“We try to get to those requests in 48 hours,” Harrington said.
Once a resident logs a request, the QAspen system creates a ticket number and automatically routes the ticket to the appropriate department.
Staff is notified immediately and will work to resolve the issue according to priority.
The reporting party can track the progress of the report and will be contacted for further questions, if needed, or when the issue is resolved.
This new level of customer service also has the benefit of aggregating data and generating reports, which could lead to identifying recurring problems like certain areas where potholes form, or locations where people tend to idle their cars.
City officials can use that information data to make future decisions about budgeting, performance and resource allocation.
“We are trying to develop a database so we understand what is going on out there,” Harrington said.
The public can access QAspen on smartphones and other mobile devices, upload photos to support their request or complaint, and use the system’s mapping technology to identify the exact location of an issue.
The link to QAspen is on http://www.cityofaspen.com/qaspen on the homepage under “Report a Concern.”