At a time where budgets, hours, and staff are shrinking, local governments are finding it increasingly difficult to manage the process of receiving, reporting, tracking, and resolving citizen-reported community issues and concerns. In today’s digital-first society, by implementing a citizen request management tool – like the CivicEngage Citizen Request Tracker – local governments open up an avenue for citizens to become an extension of their field staff, reporting issues and problems that could have otherwise gone unnoticed.
A recently concluded CivicPlus® study found that 75 percent of Internet-using citizens would welcome the opportunity to report municipal issues online; however, less than 50 percent of government websites offer such functionality. A citizen request management system is an online reporting tool that gathers, organizes, and distributes citizen requests and issues – opening up the lines of communication between citizens and their government. The Citizen Request Tracker tool offers civic leaders an automated, integrated, and intuitive system to manage citizen requests, reducing phone calls and walk-ins, and proving to citizens that their civic leaders are responsive to their needs.
Fortunately, for CivicPlus clients, this functionality is available for all CivicEngage® partners and fully integrates with your local government website. The robust capabilities of the Citizen Request Tracker module can be customized to function as a web-based 3-1-1 portal or as a citizen request management tool. During the implementation process, the citizen engagement experts at CivicPlus will utilize research from your community as well as our 2300 other local government clients to ensure common request categories are fully built when your new website goes live.
The Citizen Request Tracker tool offers civic leaders:
- A simple-to-use interface that is intuitive for administrators and citizens.
- A request routing system that allows website administrators to assign requests directly to the appropriate department or individual to improve efficiency and accountability.
- A way for citizens to check on the status of their request and follow it through to resolution without manual intervention from civic administrators.
As an example of how the Citizen Request Tracker tool can save you time and effort while offering citizens a better customer service experience, consider this scenario: A citizen notices a broken piece of sidewalk pavement in his neighborhood that he fears could put passersby at risk of a trip and fall.
Without the Citizen Request Tracker tool, to report this issue the concerned citizen would need to research the correct department phone number or go directly to the public works office to report a compliant. A staff member would need to pause from other work to file the complaint, contact a staff member to make the repair, remember to follow-up until the work is completed, and then remember to contact the citizen to let him know when the repair is complete. All of these steps require manual time and effort for both the citizen, and the administration.
With the Citizen Request Tracker tool, the citizen can report the issue directly from a desktop computer or using the Citizen Request Tracker mobile app. Once a request or issue has been submitted, it will be routed directly to the correct department or employee based on preset request categories. Additionally, administrators can be notified whenever new tickets are submitted to their department, and can assign tasks as they see fit. Citizen Request Tracker can also be configured to send automated reminders to staff and administrators if action has not been taken within a predetermined amount of time – ensuring the request is addressed in a timely manner. The citizen can monitor the progress of the request every step of the way until completion, without any phone calls, walk-ins, or manual follow-ups.
The same scenario could be played out for a multitude of issues and concerns, such as potholes, overgrown weeds, graffiti, dangerous wires, stop signs blocked by overgrowth, etc.
Local governments that use the Citizen Request Tracker tool save time and energy addressing citizen needs, while providing citizens with a better customer service experience. The Citizen Request Tracker tool:
- Removes the task of answering a phone call, an email, or a walk-in complaint, since the request is done quickly and efficiently through the website and/or the mobile app.
- Sends the request directly to the appropriate department and can even assign the task directly to one person – removing the risk of bottlenecks, improving efficiency, and accountability.
- Notifies the citizen as progress is made on the project. By seeing the direct impact their voice makes in improving their community, citizens are more likely to stay involved, report concerns, and encourage others to do the same.
- Uses GPS data pulled from Citizen Request Tracker mobile app submissions to identify the exact location of the reported problem.
- Finds patterns from submissions in the same location and time frame, allowing staff to identify and complete duplicate requests without any extra steps.
- Generates reports with custom parameters that help administration identify trends and areas of needed budget allocations or resources.
Most importantly, with the citizen request tracker tool, citizens feel confident in their local administration and elected officials, and believe that their voice matters and that future needs will be addressed.
Click on the links below to see how several communities are using the Citizen Request Tracker tool to manage citizen requests quickly and efficiently:Lake Forest, CA