Description of Initiative:
Many customers wonder which permits they will need to open or expand their business, as well as how long the process will take. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) now offers new customer service tools to aid the permitting journey.
Customers can see the full picture up front using the DHEC Permit Central website (http://www.scdhec.gov/PermitCentral). The website’s interactive questionnaire uses customer answers to determine which permits they will likely need. The questionnaire poses questions based on the customer’s business interest. Permit Central also includes timeframe estimates, tips for speeding the permitting process, application forms, and a database that allows customers to check the status of their application. It also links customers with the DHEC Permit Central Team. The multi-media Permit Central Team helps customers draw a reliable roadmap for their permitting processes. For citizens, the Permit Central website provides valuable information such as public notice opportunities or how to apply for permits to build your own pond.
Permit Central was tested with businesses, consultants, and economic development representatives before going live. The new tools were launched by the DHEC Director and South Carolina Governor at a press conference in March 2013. Customers can get online information on their own timetable and also meet with the Permit Team to receive tailored information specific to their business plans. These tools help make the environmental and health permitting processes as smooth as possible.
Results to Date:
Permit Central has served many customers since the March 2013 launch. Examples of Permit Central successes include the following:
- In three months, Permit Central has hosted 14 meetings and responded to 30 phone calls and 17 emails. Each response usually includes input from several DHEC employees, delivered in one comprehensive response.
- In three months, the Permit Central website has been viewed over 21,700 times.
- DHEC employees have expressed that Permit Central makes their job easier. The employee answers the direct customer question and then offers the Permit Central service for related, comprehensive media issues.
- Customer feedback to date includes:
“I appreciate how quickly you responded to my question. I wish all customer service was as responsive as you.”
“I am writing today to thank you for the impressive and responsive meeting that was held today to help my company determine our path forward with exciting growth opportunities in the Charleston area and the Upstate.”
“I am extremely impressed with your team and the way they opened their doors for us today. Their ‘customer service’ attitude will go a long way in bringing new business to our great state of South Carolina.”
Federal Facilities Liaison
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control