A Digital India Initiative

Surat: Comprehensive Complaint Management System

December 30, 2020

Need for a Comprehensive Complaint Management System

Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) is responsible to deliver large gamut of infrastructure and services that touches the day-to-day needs of the citizens such as roads, street lighting, water supply and sanitation, solid waste management, primary education, parks, public health, and so on. It touches the life of all the strata of society, SMC is required to orient its activities towards the satisfaction of citizens in the city so as to build confidence among the citizens.

To this end, SMC has identified grievance redressal as an important function for an efficient, responsive and transparent municipal functioning. The basic purpose behind a grievance redressal mechanism is to provide a platform to the citizens to lodge their complaints related to various services they receive from SMC, voice their opinions and provide feedback on various services rendered by ULBs.

Features of Comprehensive Complaint Management System (CCMS)

Complaint registration channels

One of the very important aspect to make any complaint management system successful is to provide easy avenues for the citizens to register their grievances. SMC has augmented and introduced various popular communication channels from time-to-time. It is ensured that the system is accessible to all sections of the society and does not create technology or financial hindrance.

Proactive Complaint Registration

Instead of relying on citizens to lodge complaints, SMC has taken various steps to identify the complaints proactively. The Command & Control Center [Smart City Center (SMAC Center)] helps to identify the complaints.

  • The CCTVs feed from over 600 vehicles deployed across the city are used by SMC for identification of civic issues and proactively resolve them.
  • The CCTV System is also used to monitor the areas where water logging happens at the time of heavy rainfall. The night brushing and scrapping activity is also monitored through this network.
  • Over 81,000 LED fittings are controlled by around 2300 Smart Feeder Pillars (CCMS). These CCMS are monitored and managed from the SMAC Center.
  • Monitoring of Door-to-Door Garbage Collection using RFIP and GPS based system is done through SMAC Center to ensure maximum coverage and adherence of garbage collection activity across the city.
  • SMC own staff is provided with Employee Connect App and Night Round App using which they can report various civic issues pertaining to any department.

All these efforts help SMC to identify the issues proactively and leads to timely compliance of the same.

Complaint escalation

With a view to ensure timely compliance, complaint escalation is incorporated in the system.

The complaints are first assigned at Level-1 employee, if the complaint remains non-complied within the compliance duration, the complaint is assigned to Level-2 officer and if it remains non-complied even after 24 hours it is escalated to Level-3 officer.

For each escalation, the citizen is notified that the complaint is escalated and the contact details of the concerned officer at respective level are also shared with the citizens.

Reopening of complaint / appeal on compliance

To make sure that the complaints are compiled properly and to the satisfaction of the citizen, provision to reopen complaint is made. Once the complaint is complied, an SMS is sent to the complainant intimating about the compliance. The citizen is also intimated to reopen the complaint if s/he is not satisfied with the compliance.

The complaint can be reopened within 48 hours of compliance. Reopened complaints are directly assigned to Level-2 officer. On compliance of such reopened complaint again the citizen is notified and he is given option to again reopen the complaint if not satisfied. Such reopened complaints are assigned to Level-3 officers.

Complaint management system web interface for employees

Considering the different types of employees working for different domains like health, engineering and administration within SMC and their level of computer knowledge, it is very important to provide and easy user interface.

The web-based application provides the dashboard quickly providing insights on the pending complaints. It also provides details like source wise complaints, escalation details, etc.

Complaint management system mobile app interface for employees

SMC has launched SMC Employee Connect Mobile App ( The app enables the assignee employee/officer to keep check on the complaints assigned to him/her. It enables them to check pending complaints, escalated complaints, and reopened complaints. It enables them to mark the compliance from the field. If complaints are not pertaining to them, they can assign/transfer to the concerned employee.

The assignee officer is notified through SMS and push notification as and when the complaint is registered by the citizen. He is also notified when the complaint is escalated.

This app has been very useful to the employees and has also improved the overall response time and reduce the compliance duration.

Prior to this app, employees were required to rely on the SMS notification which was having limited information. The compliance was not on-the spot as the same required to have access the web-based application within the intranet.

Insights generated from the Complaints Data

The data received from the Complaint Management System helps to generate various insights that helps to identify and correlate the performance or citizen satisfaction w.r.t. particular ward/area, service, employee, seasonality, etc. Some of the data insights are as under:

Benefits of the Comprehensive Complaint Management System

  • Single system across organization: CCMS is a single repository of all the complaints pertaining to SMC. Complaints coming from different sources have a common database and provides holistic view of complaints.
  • Easy to use: SMC has offered various channels for reporting complaints that are popular amongst the citizens. The toll-free number helps people belonging to lower section of society or non-tech savvy people to register their complaints. The website and mobile app helps people register their complaints on the go. WhatsApp is a popular social media tool widely used by people belonging to different age group.
  • Improved communication: Complainant is notified at each stage of complaint right from registration to its compliance. This helps to keep citizen in loop during the process.
  • Improvement in service delivery: Complaint escalation and complaint reopening helps to ensure timely and proper compliance of the complaint. Combined with regular review at the highest level, the system helps to improve the service delivery.
  • Better insights: Various analytics on the complaints helps to identify frequent complaints, average turnaround time, general pendency vis-à-vis employee, general reopening vis-à-vis employee, area specific complaints, etc. All this help identify the root cause of the complaints and take short term and long term corrective measures. It also helps to identify need for strengthening infrastructure and manpower.
  • Empowered employees: SMC Employee Connect helps keep track of complaints assigned to them. It sends them notifications on escalation, reopening, etc. The dashboard gives quick glance of the pendency along with escalation. It also helps to get complete details of the complaint registered by citizen even on the field eliminating need to visit office.
  • Improved citizen satisfaction: CCMS with its different features helps SMC ensure timely and proper compliance and it helps citizens keep track of their complaint for its compliance up to their satisfaction.