Knoxville's 311/211 Wins 2023 Award of Excellence

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Knoxville's 311/211 Wins 2023 Award of Excellence

Posted: 05/04/2023
CS Week Engage 311CS Week ENGAGE311 announced Knoxville’s Center for Service Innovation 311/211 (CSI) as its 2023 Award of Excellence winner. The review committee also selected the City of San José 311 Customer Contact Call Center (SJ 311 CCC) as its 2023 Award of Excellence finalist. 

This annual award salutes significant enhancements in performance, teamwork, improvements in customer experience, process and collaboration throughout the organization and recognizes achievements in service levels. 

Knoxville’s Director Russ Jensen presented an overview of the CSI’s recent technology enhancements, process improvements and departmental collaboration during today’s ceremony. “Innovation is in our name,” Jensen said, “and we are constantly working to improve service. We do this by making sure we hire people with the right focus, giving them the tools they need and most importantly, empowering them to do the right things to help our customers.”

Though many technology projects were delayed by the pandemic response, Knoxville CSI 311/211 has emerged to implement several key improvements in the customer experience:

311 Call Center1. MY KNOXVILLE app ‘went live’ in March 2021, allowing users to digitally submit most often used service requests, even without an address, by simply pinning the app map. With the app, constituents can also search for sporting events, recreation league games and dining options.

2. An artificial intelligence chatbot was repurposed to help Knoxville CSI 311/211 work with Knox County as well as the City, Housing and Urban Development and the US Treasury to help over 17,000 households gain access to more than $60 million in federal housing and utility assistance. 

This pandemic-driven effort includes a reimagined data portal, implemented with court information on households subject to eviction and utility information showing properties where shutoffs were scheduled.

The Knoxville CSI 311/211 married these and other data sets to create heat maps of areas of concern versus available affordable housing and shared them with various agencies. These maps continue to prove up the importance of court appearance, the high success of mediation and the effect of making sure constituents understand their legal rights.

3. Knoxville CSI 311/211 implemented a new voice analytics and recording system that identifies key words and phrases to help measure constituent sentiment about the services CSI provides. Its findings have been used to revamp quality assurance and call audit processes, leading to service delivery improvements for requests like bulky waste and missed trash pickups. 
Like other municipal service centers, Knoxville’s CSI uses frequent employee recognition to bolster morale and team activities to promote comradery. “CSI 311/211 sets the standard throughout the city of how to celebrate our work and our employees as well as creative, fun ways to engage partner departments and the public we serve… “(We are) a trusted and highly regarded service in the city with over 99% of survey respondents saying they would recommend our service to neighbors. People routinely sign up for public forum at city council meetings to thank our employees for their caring, thoughtful service,” explained Jensen. 

Learn more about the Knoxville 311/211 Center for Service Innovation at