As the pandemic forces municipalities to find new ways to deliver meaningful and effective customer service with physical distancing, potential office closures and a shift away from paper as a safe means of exchanging information, e-permitting is on the rise.

The¬†municipal building department in the Town of St.¬†Marys,¬†a¬†town nicknamed ‚ÄúThe¬†Stonetown‚Ä̬†in southwestern Ontario with a population of 7,000 residents, has¬†always acted with¬†customer service¬†as a¬†top priority.

During COVID-19, they¬†had to consider how to¬†still deliver¬†a¬†high customer service standard in the¬†‚Äúnew normal‚ÄĚ.

‚ÄúBefore COVID-19,¬†our customer service was mostly face-to-face as we were 95% paper and had contractors who¬†would come in to ask a question or two,‚ÄĚ explained Grant Brouwer, Director of Building and Development for the Town of St. Marys and President of the OBOA (Ontario Building Officials Association). ‚ÄúWe were worried that e-permitting would take away from our customer service, but we‚Äôve since¬†discovered that¬†Cloudpermit¬†has¬†enabled¬†us¬†to continue to provide excellent customer service to our community.‚ÄĚ

Before a full Cloudpermit implementation in early 2021, the Town of St. Marys created a soft launch two months ago for its busiest builders and new residential projects.

‚ÄúWe¬†had to consider¬†how¬†one-off¬†applicants¬†and¬†those who are less¬†digitally-inclined¬†would find applying for permits online,¬†and they‚Äôve found it easy to pick up and use which has been great,‚ÄĚ said Jason Silcox, Building Inspector for the Town of St.¬†Marys.¬†‚ÄúWe‚Äôre using¬†the¬†communication tool¬†within the software¬†to¬†talk¬†with¬†first-time users¬†about¬†how we can help make their¬†transition¬†to digital permits¬†as smooth as possible and to ensure we deliver exceptional customer service.‚ÄĚ

St. Marys and Cloudpermit’s shared focus on customer service as a top priority has enabled the municipal building department to deliver meaningful support to applicants and builders online.

‚ÄúThe¬†Cloudpermit¬†team has helped us¬†during this entire¬†implementation¬†process and¬†is¬†always happy to address our feedback and questions,‚ÄĚ assured Brouwer. ‚ÄúThe support that we‚Äôve received from¬†Cloudpermit¬†has led us to where we are today."

As St. Marys helps its community transition from paper-based to online permit applications, Cloudpermit’s attention to customer service has not gone unnoticed.

‚ÄúMunicipality size doesn‚Äôt matter to Cloudpermit,‚ÄĚ shared Silcox. ‚ÄúFrom populations of 450,000 residents to 7,000 residents like St. Marys, Cloudpermit‚Äôs customer service is there for all municipalities.‚ÄĚ

The St. Marys municipal building department has a found new way to deliver a high standard of personalized customer support to its community by adopting e-permitting ‚Äď St.Marys is helping guide municipalities of all sizes toward excellent customer service during the pandemic with Cloudpermit.