Local governments have a lot to focus on, and as a result, residents can sometimes feel pushed aside. Most agencies are under harsh scrutiny and budget constraints that lead them to operate with less staff and less money to put towards residents. Another significant issue is political and social biases in government. When you find yourself surrounded by team members and colleagues that don’t have the same vision as you, things start to get complicated.
We understand the struggles that government leaders and workers face daily. We develop systems and software to make your life easier. When your life is easier, quality of life is better for everyone involved. This also includes the residents of your local municipality.
Improving the experience of voicing issues and concerns for your residents is the best way to show them you care. Getting them involved in your local government proves that you have their best interest in mind and that you want to listen to what they have to say.
They need a platform. Through the use of native mobile apps and 311 platforms, you’ll be able to bring your residents’ voices to the forefront. Here are eight ways to ensure you do this in the best way possible.
1. Understanding the Needs of Your Residents
Residents want to know that they have a voice. If they have a problem, they expect someone to hear it. Taxpayers are typically tough customers when it comes to dealing with a problem, and if they pay their taxes on time, they expect their problems to get solved on time as well.
This issue is sometimes difficult for local governments when many different voices are coming from every which direction. Getting organized and having a connected government is the only way to ensure that everyone’s voice gets heard.
2. Building a Team of Knowledgeable Action Takers
It takes an army to run a government, and you need your best people out in front. The frontline people are the ones who actively communicate and delegate jobs in your local government. These employees should be knowledgeable and proactive action takers. You want to make sure they understand each component of their job and how to get things done effectively and efficiently.
With a native 311 app, residents can send in concerns and complaints directly on the app. This tells you who sent it in, when they did, and what department it went to. Having things organized makes it a lot easier for these frontline employees. Having a high-functioning app also provides a more connected government and holds the employees accountable for getting the job done right.
The employees who are in charge of communicating with residents should also understand them in the best way possible. The employees should know the demographics of your residents and understand their needs. They should also understand the voice of the resident and what they are looking to accomplish.
3. Omnichannel Platform
People need options, and they expect to have them exactly how they want them. If you don’t provide enough angles for residents to reach out and voice their concerns, they may feel that no one is listening to them. The last thing you want is disgruntled residents who feel they don’t have a voice.
There are a variety of channels that residents can connect with your municipality, social, email, web, mobile, phone, or in person, so we can understand how it might seem hard to manage all of these different inputs and communicating back to the resident the status of those communications, requests, or concerns. A good CRM is designed to help manage the omnichannel touchpoints that you receive each day.
While all of these channels are important having a mobile-optimized app that allows residents to voice their concerns from anywhere in town is the most effective way to enable resident voices. They are able to go onto the app and say what they have to say, exactly when it’s happening. Maybe someone found a giant pothole in the middle of the road. The mobile app removes all of the website clicks to searching to focus on a quick and easy way to submit the issue.
Instead of having to call 311 and wait for the operator to send a ticket out to that department; they can connect immediately with the department in charge of the roads, submit a report, and watch the status of their ticket as the government delegates the job and gets it done!
4. Citizen Engagement
One of the best ways to ensure a positive customer experience is to get them involved in decisions. If someone isn’t able to make a regularly scheduled community meeting, you could get them involved by allowing them to voice their concerns through a 311 app. They can go on there and connect right with government leaders to offer up their thoughts and opinions.
5. Straightforward Citizen Experience (CX)
No one will accomplish anything if they can’t understand how to get their voice heard by you. It needs to be simple for someone to file a complaint or voice a concern. If the government has an app that is confusing or difficult to use, no one will use it. They’ll continue to express their concerns in an ineffective way that will lead to limited growth.
6. Adaptability and Scalability
You never know what will happen, and if you want your local government to grow, you need to do things in a way that can change over time and scale as you grow. Doing things the way you always have might work for a little while, but as you grow and gain more residents, the things that once worked may not work anymore. Having a dedicated 311 app will allow you to continue to grow without requiring more staff or resources.
7. Analytics and Testing
What’s the point of growing and changing if you can’t measure the results? Ideally, you want to be able to see what is working. The best thing about using a CRM is that you can organize all of the data into an easy to read dashboard customized for a variety of roles and responsibilities. From there, you can take that data to determine what the most significant issues may be. If someone in a certain neighborhood is always complaining about flooding, you might want to look into the issue further.
8. Putting Egos Aside
Last but not least, if something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to trash it and start over. You’re in the business of people. Your job is to ensure that the people live the best life possible as long as they are apart of your community. Whether it’s residents, businesses or employees, you want to do your best to make everyone happy.