3 West Coast Cities Giving the Best Customer Service

What do the cities of Carlsbad, Renton, and Temecula have in common? In addition to all being located on the West Coast, these communities’ local governments share the common goal of providing staff and residents with the highest level of customer service possible. To bring this community development vision to life, these local governments decided to collaborate closely with their civic services software vendor. As these cities began transforming their permitting processes, it wasn’t only customer service that improved … they’ve also been able to save valuable time, resources, and stress along the way.

An Empowered Staff Increases Efficiencies

City of Temecula, California

When Temecula went live with Tyler Technologies’ Enterprise Permitting & Licensing (powered by EnerGov) in late 2014, the city government had big aspirations — from breaking down siloed processes to increasing efficiencies to improving the overall civic services experience for city staff and citizens. Temecula worked closely with Tyler at the outset to ensure staff was equipped with the right knowledge and training to tackle the community’s priorities.

Temecula decided to provide even more support for staff by partnering with Tyler through the Enterprise Permitting & Licensing Assist Program, which offers additional services and learning opportunities for Enterprise Permitting & Licensing Assist clients. “We use training and virtual labs that is provided to us by [Enterprise Permitting & Licensing] Assist. Our users think it is great!” said Sara Seng, senior IT specialist for the City of Temecula.

Temecula was not only able to break down departmental silos through the implementation of Enterprise Permitting & Licensing — the local government can now better connect and communicate with citizens through the visibility of permits, plans, code cases, and licenses. This open communication translated into increased efficiencies. Now, citizens are spending 75% less time waiting at the permitting office, and staff is spending 30% less time processing (per permit transaction). This helped Temecula achieve a 24- to 48-hour faster turnaround time from plan submission to approval.

There’s no end in sight for Temecula’s innovation. The city continues to collaborate with Tyler to stay informed of the latest enhancements and recommendations and is excited for the future of this partnership.

“Temecula’s use of innovative solutions like [Enterprise Permitting & Licensing] has generated real value for its businesses, developers, and residents. Utilizing new technologies to achieve efficiencies and improved processes sends a message to the community that the City of Temecula is committed to delivering the highest quality of services,” said Michael Naggar, Mayor 2019, City of Temecula.

Custom Online Permitting Alleviates Stress

City of Renton, Washington

The City of Renton was faced with the challenge of finding an online permitting solution that met citizens’ high expectations for usability, yet was flexible enough for their diverse comfort levels with technology. On top of that, city staff needed the solution to meet its complex functionality and reporting requirements. An Enterprise Permitting & Licensing client since 2012, Renton looked to Enterprise Permitting & Licensing’s Civic Access portal to provide the online permitting options the public desired, which they went live with in 2019.

“The solution needed to be customizable, intuitive, robust, and have a tight integration with [Enterprise Permitting & Licensing],” said Amanda Askren, property and technical services manager for the City of Renton. “[Civic Access] was a natural fit to overcome the challenges we faced with our previous solution.”

Renton employees worked with Tyler to customize Civic Access to their expectations and gathered valuable data for the city. In going live with the system, the city was even able to reduce permit configurations from 62 down to just 12. Askren noted that, “Integration is no longer an issue, and we have alleviated that stress on city staff.”

Not only was Renton able to provide staff and citizens with a higher level of customer service, but Civic Access also created more efficiency. The city has reduced maintenance time requirement by more than 50%. “With fewer voided permits, less manual input, and no longer needing an appointment to apply for a permit, staff members can focus their time in a streamlined approach,” said Askren.

Renton is positive about its future with Tyler. “The success we have seen rolling out these permits has contributed to strong staff support for pushing forward with more online permitting opportunities, which our regular customers will appreciate,” Askren stated.

Flexibility Allows for Smooth Transitions

City of Carlsbad, California

The City of Carlsbad prides itself on being a diverse city, but there is a common thread that ties the community together: The city is invested in its people — their well-being, their quality of life, and their careers. This sentiment is especially true among city staff. “The ultimate goal is to provide citizens with the best experience,” said Paul Waldron, senior applications analyst for the City of Carlsbad. “Customer service is the lifeline. Making sure customers get top-notch service and top-notch resources.”

“When we go out and acquire tools like [Enterprise Permitting & Licensing], we expect these resources to give us back that high level of service,” Waldron said. Waldon knew that having a reliable partner’s support was crucial, particularly through a recent upgrade the city faced.

When Waldron learned about the upgrade, he decided to change the schedule dates to better accommodate his team. “I just got on the phone with the Tyler guys from support, and they just made things happen. We mapped out an entirely new schedule. And we finished it on time,” Waldron noted.

“It was a very good experience,” Waldron continued. “And that’s what I’m expecting in the future — that high level of response. They were on point, they took care of things, and we had a partnership.”

Case Study Highlights

  • Temecula achieves a 24- to 48-hour faster turnaround time for plan submission to approval.
  • Renton reduces permit configurations from 62 down to 12.
  • Carlsbad collaborates for a smooth, on-time upgrade.

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