The Medford Public Works Department has a new approach to “customer service”. When the telephone rings at the Service Center, no one knows what might be happening on the other end of the line. It could be a stop sign down, an oil spill from a traffic accident, or a sewer line blockage. The office staff at the Service Center receives approximately 4,000 requests for service each year. In the past these have been sent out to crews working in the field on projects. The field crew then had to stop the current project and attend to the service request. If it was a project that could not be shut down, the service request had to wait.
This is where QRT comes in. The customer service related hours have been consolidated into one crew - “QRT.” The Quick Response Team consists of one Light Equipment Operator and one Utility Locator / Traffic Signal Technician and the equipment necessary to respond to all incoming service requests. The mission of QRT is to provide a single point of contact for Public Works field issues, sort out and prioritize the request for immediate solutions or for referral to other crews via a work order.
QRT is the first responder to all service requests and is expected to provide appropriate attention in order to manage up to eighty five percent (85%) of all requests for service without further action. During an average month, for example, QRT responds to about 200 service requests ranging from potholes to drainage problems to graffiti to street and traffic light problems. In addition they are responsible for up to 1000 utility locates each month.
QRT is just one way Public Works is meeting the City of Medford’s changing needs.