Residents love knowing exactly how to have their needs addressed, but unfortunately, different departments may have different communication methods. We’re here to remind you that we’ve seen almost every local government department use CivicPlus' 311 Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) system and its SeeClickFix resident app in some manner. If you have unused 311 CRM staff licenses, put them to use. What follows are eight common ways we see municipal departments collaborate and mutually benefit from their administration's 311 CRM solution.
If your council members have districts within your municipality, you can send them automatic reports based on issues that occur within their district’s boundary. Conversations (and, more importantly, decisions) in council meetings will now be data-backed based on the information from these reports.
Parks and Recreation
While many of the responsibilities in this department include programming, scheduling, and record-keeping, many departments also have maintenance tasks associated with their areas of responsibility. For example, avoid making a trip to a park to check on the status of trash receptacles. Instead, add a service request for “Full/Overflowing Park Trash Can” to your request list. You can configure the request to only show while the resident submits an issue from inside the park’s boundaries. We've seen some creative request types routed to parks and recreation departments, including mowing/maintenance, playground hazard, and trail maintenance. Since the SeeClickFix app allows the user to attach latitude and longitude to a request, your field crew will easily find trail issues despite not having an actual address.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen public health departments expand their use of the CivicPlus 311 CRM. With governors implementing different rules (sometimes daily) regarding safety standards, it can be challenging to keep up with changing expectations. Adding a button to your mobile app with the latest COVID-19 information and guidelines to encourage your city or county to slow the spread. At the beginning of the pandemic, we noticed towns using service request types like “Report a Large Group Gathering,” “Concerns for Reopening,” and even “Help a Neighbor.” We find that in uncertain times, our clients have always found creative ways to lean on our system for better communication with residents.
Police departments often use the CivicPlus 311 CRM to gather information on non-emergency issues. Consider adding request types for areas where drivers typically speed or sourcing feedback on police interactions in the community. We even have one client using a “Vacation House Check” request type to alert their police department that a house's occupants would be on vacation and request a periodic house check.
Based on your Clerk’s responsibilities, consider request types that gather questions on the upcoming election or other general questions that save a phone call for the resident and Clerk.
These departments use the CivicPlus 311 CRM to source violations. However, residents sometimes prefer to report sensitive topics anonymously and skip reporting entirely if they must provide an identity. This often results in code enforcement officers relying on each other to notice violations instead of relying on their community members to help.
Contractors and Utilities
When contracted services with your city come up for renewal, how do you decide if you’re satisfied with the quality of work? Pulling a report of the average time to respond and complete an issue encourages timely service from an outside contractor. From the resident’s point of view, it’s also more streamlined to communicate with a city contractor using the same method a resident would use for a city department.
Chances are, your public works team is the main user of your CivicPlus 311 CRM, but you may have field staff who would benefit from using the system directly. For example, a new staff member could be required to submit a photo of their completed task as part of the training process to ensure quality work and effective training. In addition, some clients use these “before and after” photos on social media to promote the work done by Public Works.
For more creative uses for your 311 and CRM, keep reading here.