Spokane residents able to communicate with city online using ‘311 Chat’

It’s now easier than ever to get a question answered by the City of Spokane, with the launch of “311 Chat,” an online service that puts you in direct contact with a 311 operator.

For just more than a year, Spokane 311 has been helping you get your questions answered. The service has been dedicated to helping the community with “one call, one click or one visit.”

“The one click part of it is just now really coming into full force with the new chat service that we’re launching,” said Jon Klapp, the 311 customer service supervisor.

“311 Chat” officially started Monday. It allows users to submit a question on their computer or smartphone.

“Usually within 60 seconds, if you’re chatting with us, you’ll have a response,” Klapp said.

Spokane 311 helps you get access to the services you need.

“If you have a garbage can that was missed, if you have a question about your utility bill, if you have anything at all city related, you can give us a call,” said Klapp.

311 operators receive around 100 calls a day, but they were also getting an increasing number of emails. That’s when the city knew it needed to have a better digital presence.

“We’re starting to get more and more requests emailed into us,” said Klapp. “And instead of having that delay time between you emailing maybe on a weekend when we’re not available, we want somebody to be here so we can respond to you right away to get that pothole fixed, that garbage can picked up, whatever the case might be.”

And even if 311 doesn’t know exactly how to help, they’ll try their best to find a solution.

“Last year we had somebody call us in because they had some leftover Halloween candy they were trying to get rid of. We didnt’ have a great way to help them directly, but we put them in touch with the Treats for Troops program and got their candy taken away,” Klapp said.

If you do want to submit a question outside of business hours or on the weekend, you can email 311 and receive a response within one business day.