120 Dasan Call Center

Date 2017-03-17 Category E-Government Updater hyelyn
Last Update

Policy Goal

Before the development of e-Government, during the period of traditional government, citizens of Seoul had no choice other than to visit City Hall directly, or had to waste time holding the phone for the information they needed. To make matters worse, even though citizens could get in contact with the person in charge, the quality of response from City Hall was very unsatisfactory.
In order to resolve this repeated problem of government’s accountability, 120 Dasan Call Center was introduced. Through the single number “120,” Seoul citizens can now contact the SMG regardless of the kind of complaints, questions or suggestions.

1. Increasing Accessibility to SMG

Through the “Single Number 120,” citizens can contact Departments and Officers in charge regardless of any questions
To provide governmental services more conveniently by Simplified Procedures

2. Enhancing Citizen Satisfaction toward SMG through Technology Adoption

To expand the counseling service from Telephone Call to Text Message, Chatting, and Social Media
To develop 120 Dasan Call Center Counseling Information Database
To adopt Scientific Complaints Management by introducing Counseling Record Program
To expand Service Area by providing Smartphone Application

Figure 2-23. 120 Dasan Call Center: An Overview

Source. Seoul Metropolitan Government. (2014). Digital Seoul e-Government


Performance and Outcome

The primary policy goal of 120 Dasan Call Center is to enhance Seoul Citizen satisfaction through reconstructing an essential contact line with the government. Through ISO 20000 standardized IT service management technology, the center now can now provide 24/7 services to the citizens. Seoul citizens can ask questions and receive inquiries more quickly and accurately with just one call.   
1. High Public Use of the System (As of June 2016)
Total Number of Counseling → 83 Million Cases
Daily Average Numbers → 22,000 cases per Day

2. Seoul Citizens’ Satisfaction 
91.4% of the users have answered “Satisfied with 120 Dasan”
3. Reducing Barriers for the Non-native Speaker and Hearing-impaired Person
Providing Foreign Language Counseling Services → Daily Average: 87 Cases
Offering Sign-Language Services for the Hearing-impaired through Video Chat
→ Total Number: 2.39 Million Cases; Daily Average: 65 Cases

4. A Faster Services through Text Message Counseling System 
→ Total Number: 7.2 Million Cases
→ Daily Average: 2,545 Cases 

5. Sharing Know-how to Manage 120 Dasan Call Center with Domestic and International Governments
On-the-spot information sharing Program
50 Countries and 800 Municipalities and Organizations have visited the center

Figure 2-24. 120 Dasan Call Center: An Overview

Source. Seoul Metropolitan Government. (2014). Digital Seoul e-Government

Figure 2-25. summarizes 120 Dasan Call Center’s entire management system. Most importantly, the SMG is expanding channels to receive citizens’ public service needs from phone calls to Text Messages, Video Chat and Internet Messenger. After the establishments of 120 Dasan Call Center, citizen satisfaction for the SMG has improved considerably (an approximately 91.4% of service satisfaction rate). Moreover, by consolidating all the services into a single center which is in charge of serving citizens’ public service needs, the productivity of other departments has increased due to the fact that they do not have to spend so much time dealing with civil complaints.

Figure 2-25. 120 Dasan Call Center: A Summary of System

Source. Seoul Metropolitan Government. (2014). Digital Seoul e-Government


※ As of June 2014

• High public usage and satisfaction

+ Cumulative total number of counseling : 61 million cases (Daily average : 25,000 cases)
+ Service Satisfaction: 96.0% (Ratio of solved inquiries by first contact : 84.2%)


• Creation of a sign language service to eliminate discrimination against the hearing impaired.

Total accumulated sign language counseling : 139,000 cases (Daily average : 126 cases)

• Creation of SMS counseling service that enables simple inquiry and swift handling

Total accumulated SMS counseling : 5.3 million cases (Daily average : 2,100 cases)

• Creation of foreign language counseling services that provide administrative services to foreigners

Daily average foreign language counseling : 168 cases

• 120 Dasan Call Center operational expertise / know how transfered to various national and international organizations.

120 Dasan Call Center runs a weekly ‘120 onsite program’ for the transfer of 120 Dasan Call Center’s operational expertise. So far,
120 Dasan Call Center has been visited by the central and provincial governments from a total of 50 countries and 800 organizations, including the United States, China, France, Sweden, Russia, Singapore

• Domestic and International Certifications and Awards

+ Call Center IT Service Management System ISO20000 Certification (Sep. 2008, BSI Korea)
+ ISO9001 Call Center Service Management System International Certification (Dec. 2008, NQA Korea)
+ Received Grand Prize for < Customer Satisfaction Management 2009 >, 2 consecutive years in the < Public Administrative Sector > (Jan. 2009, Korea Consumer Forum, Korea Sustainability Assessment)
+ KSQI Korea’s Outstanding Call Center Certification (Mar. 2009 Korea Management Association Consulting)
+ Received the prize for < Korea Human Rights for the Disabled 2010 > (Dec. 2010, Korea Disabled Organization Federation)

Policy Details

Main Functions 

Voice Call Counseling

Seoul Citizens can ask questions and inquiries by calling the single number 120 anytime and anywhere.

Text Message Counseling

In case citizens do not want to call directly, it is possible to ask questions and inquiries through a Text Message (SMS or MMS message, within 1,000 letters). Images can be received by the system to provide for more convenient counseling and complaints.

Video Chat Counseling

In the case of hearing and speech impaired citizens, 120 Dasan Call Center provides video chat counseling through the website. This service can also be provided through the 120 Smartphone Application.

Foreign Language Counseling

For foreigners, tourists and visitors, the SMG’s counseling services can offer various interpretation services through the number 120 and extension 9. Currently, English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Mongolian counseling is available, and the SMG is planning to include additional languages in the near future.

Social Media Counseling

The Seoul Government and the District Offices are constantly on standby to respond to citizens’ requests via Social Media such as Twitter. In most cases, the inquiries are processed within 24 hours and are responded to through Twitter as well.


Compositions and Details 


120 Dasan Mobile App Compositions

Figure 2-26. 120 Dasan Smartphone Application: Compositions - Revised

Source. Seoul Metropolitan Government. (2014). Digital Seoul e-Government

120 Dasan provides an easy and quick means of contacting the SMG, and it is intrinsically a Call-Center based policy. However, in addition to the multilingual voice call counseling, citizens still can get counseling services through the 120 Dasan Smartphone Application. Moreover, through the 120 App, users can easily get access to other e-Communication services such as Eung-Dap-So, mVoting and Seoul Smart Inconvenience Reporting. Therefore, the 120 Dasan is the most essential connection link between the SMG and Seoul citizens.

Because phone call counseling alone is not sufficient to meet the diverse needs of the citizens, the SMG is providing the same service through another channel. Figure 2-26. represents the 120 Dasan Application and the main functions. Through this App, Seoul citizens can use Video Counseling more efficiently. App users can get in contact with Dasan Call Center quickly and conveniently by using Voice Call Counseling and Text Message Counseling.

120 Dasan App: Details

Chat and Video Counseling provide sign language services for the hearing-impaired. As described earlier, foreigners can also ask and make inquiries about living in Seoul or about other public services for the non-nationals. Through this ongoing effort to provide counseling services even for non-natives, the SMG is actively trying to resolve the problem of information gap, generation gap and the issues involving diversity in Seoul.

Figure 2-27. 120 Dasan Call Center: A Counseling Record Program

Source. Seoul Metropolitan Government. (2014). Seoul Metropolitan Government’ E-Government Policy Tool-Kit Development Report.

Figure 2-27. represents a Counseling Record Program of 120 Dasan Call Center. In order to manage the deluge of requests, inquires, and public service needs from the citizens, 120 Dasan Call Center manages calls by specific programs or policies.

Through the program, counseling and complaints information is recorded in real-time, and the data is stored and processed statistically without any omission. By utilizing technology actively, counselors of 120 Dasan Call Center can deal with citizens’ public service needs more efficiently and effectively. 


Compositions of 120 Dasan Call Center

The database is constructed of a total of 13,000 Seoul City region massive civil affairs cases. When complaints and inquiries come up, even if it’s not a dedicated worker, a professional counselor can accomodate through the use of the standard counseling database. Without ommission, counseling and complaints information is received, stored and processed statistically by the program, and the complaints processing information and status process is handled in realtime.

+ Smartphone App

Through the app, not only voice calls, SMS, foreign languages, and video counseling are available, but also users can register complaints and read various policies.

+ Homepage (Website)

Through the website, key life information can be searched, and sign language counseling reservations, chatting counseling for the hearing impaired can also be submitted

Major Expectations

• Improved ease of civic life

Citizens, through a single phone number, are able to solve issues regarding life in Seoul.

• Reduction of complaints handling for the call center integrated network member organizations

Members who have to always respond to public inquiries and complaints by phone in addition to existing business, can see the effects of a reduction of complaints handling workload.

• Increased convenience and conflict resolution for multi-cultural families, foreign tourists and foreign workers life

Lack of information, and inquiries about everyday life and institution caused by language barrier of the foreigners can be solved. The prevention of conflict between Koreans and foreigners may have a positive role in enhancing national competitiveness and image.

• Achieve equality of access to information and counseling services via a variety of platforms such as voice call, video call, SMS/MMS, chatting, SNS, etc

Law Provisions

• Personal Information Protection Act
• Act on Promotion of Information and Communication Network Utilization and Information Protection
• Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment, etc. of Sexual Crimes
• Civil Petitions Treatment Act Enforcement

Case of New York City, U.S.

Figure 2-28. New York City Government 311NYC Website: Main Page

Retrieved from http://www1.nyc.gov/311/index.page

e-Government Profile: New York City (Source: Holzer & Manoharan, 2016)

One of the Top 20 Cities in Digital Governance from 2009 to Present
  • 2nd in 2014 Digital Gov. Ranking
  • 4th in 2009 and 6th in 2012
  • 5th in Content Measurement
  • 3th in Service Delivery Measurement
  • 7nd in Citizen and Social Engagement
Figure 2-29. shows the main page and menu of NYC311 Smartphone Application. The NYC311 service is very similar to Seoul’s 120 Dasan Call Center, except for the fact that NYC311 is mainly a smartphone-based app and provides access for citizens to non-emergency City services and information about City government programs. NYC311 is available online and by phone. Citizens can obtain access and ask about public services through a voice call to 311. In addition, by using the application, they can initiate complaints to city government and get alerts in terms of weather, traffic information, parking spaces and public services. 

Figure 2-29. NYC 311 Smartphone Application: Main Page and Functions

Citizens can use the App to check if alternate side parking and meters are suspended, if garbage, recycling, and organics collections are suspended, and if public schools are closed. NYC citizens can also make service requests to get help with unwanted noise, heat or hot water problems, rat conditions, snowy streets or sidewalks, potholes, and more. Specifically, due to the fact that NYC is one of the busiest and most crowded cities, the NYC311 places considerable emphasis on traffic notifications and alerts such as parking complaints, parking meter and alternate side parking information. 

Figure 2-30. NYC 311 Smartphone Application: Complaints and Alerts


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