Solid numbers, engagement drive Sunshine 811 into new fiscal year

This represents 1,186,343 tickets taken over the internet. 

This represents 1,186,343 tickets taken over the internet. 

That's 346,131 calls for the fiscal year, or 3 calls per second during every eight hour day, Monday through Friday, in one year.

That's 346,131 calls for the fiscal year, or 3 calls per second during every eight hour day, Monday through Friday, in one year.

May 31 marked the end of our fiscal year. "We ended strong," states Sunshine 811 Executive Director Mark Sweet, "with increased tickets, transmissions and awareness; short hold times; and more engagement."

We've had a few hiccups with the system, but still captured 99.8% up time for 365 days operating 24/7. An outage/emergency communications plan was implemented and used during the year. We've set up an automated notification list for those wanting instant updates when the system experiences an issue. To receive notifications or to view the page that monitors our systems, please click here.

Incoming ticket and outgoing transmission volumes were up 5 and 8 percent when compared to the previous fiscal year. ITE increased one percentage point to 73. 

"It's an incredible accomplishment when you think about it," explains Sweet. "That 73 percent represents almost 1.2 million tickets are done over the internet!"

Sunshine 811 is one of a few call centers in the country that passes internet-created tickets through to its members without call center intervention.

"Of course, we offer training and monitor 100 percent of a new user's tickets for 30 days before taking the training wheels off," stated Call Center Manager JoeAnn Flowers. "But we're always here to help."

Education is a key focus, but sometimes difficult to deliver to the right people. In spite of this, we educated almost 16,000. An additional 534 were offered in-depth education on what led to having a noncompliance report filed against them. Liaisons began contacting noncompliance individuals in June 2016. 

Our education and communications pieces are designed with engagement in mind - to drive stakeholders to our website. As a result, we saw:

  • 16 percent increase in total site visits
  • 570 percent  increase in positive response page visits
  • 245 percent  increase in member positive response page visits
  • 224 percent increase in homeowner page visits
  • 45 percent increase in excavator page visits

Each year we celebrate Safe Digging Month in April. The awareness campaign kicked off with Gov. Scott issuing an official Safe Digging Month proclamation. We also offered banners and an online toolkit our stakeholders could download and use at their jobs, home, school, etc. MGH, a Maryland Advertising and Public Relations Firm ran our homeowner and contractor campaigns. They focused on three things: 1) make homeowners care about the 811 message; 2) educate excavators on positive response; and, 3) reinforce the importance of safe and legal digging after contacting 811.

MGH developed a multi-faceted campaign using digital, billboard and radio mediums. Our member partner, Spectrum, further enhanced the program with value-added advertising space on Orlando and Tampa cable stations reaching an additional 2 million viewers in April.

When all was said and done, the campaign delivered 40 million impressions and these successes:

  • Overall, we saw 22,500 clicks on web banners in March and April, up 73 percent compared to 2016.
  • March 2017 set single-month record (6,886) for first-time callers. April was up 4 percent  compared to April 2016
  • Homeowner page visits more than doubled 2016 totals with 16,318. Average time spent on those pages increased 90 seconds to 5 minutes 5 seconds.
  • Contractor page visits were up 51 percent with 4,736 visits. Visits to the member noncompliance reporting page tripled during this time.
  • New users to our site more than doubled from Spring 2016.

Sunshine 811 will continue building on these successes and learning from the hiccups. We look forward to taking the continued journey with you!