Civic service exists in many forms for local government. From election coordination to funding allocation to public works, successful governing means listening, responding, and reacting. In an era where citizens expect the convenience of on-demand, any device connectivity to brands, public entities, and resources, the number, and variety of channels citizens want to use to reach their local leaders to issue requests, inquiries, and suggestions have never been greater. While local leaders used to resort to time-consuming manual documentation and follow up processes to manage and respond to requests, modern 311 and citizen request management solutions are helping to automate critical aspects of citizen service—one Tweet at a time.
What Is 311 and Citizen Request Management Software?
311 and citizen request management software solutions enable automated and streamlined citizen service delivery for local governments. In many areas, 311 remains a phone number that residents can call for information about services, and issue community-based requests, such as reporting that a street light has burned out. Modern 311 and citizen request management tools have amplified the capabilities of the traditional 311 phone number, creating fully integrated internal and external communication and request maintenance tracking tools.
A Multi-Channel Solution
One of the most significant challenges for local government leaders is successfully facilitating the number and variety of service request channels that exist today. Where citizens used to commonly call or walk into a public office to report graffiti or potholes, today they can call, step into an office, email, text, and even post requests via social media channels. While citizens appreciate being able to contact their local leaders via their preferred communication methods, successfully managing responses to such requests—both to citizens and relative to internal maintenance management—can become disjointed and overwhelming for already overworked departments and administrators.
The most advanced 311 and citizen request management solutions integrate citizen requests from all channels and deposit them into a single documentation and response management hub. From there, civic leaders can convert relevant messages into trackable service requests for public works and other departments and can respond to citizens via their original channel (text, tweet, phone, or social), using a single interface. It is within this model, in which multiple communication streams funnel into a single data management hub, that local governments find the greatest workflow and data management efficiency and that citizens benefit from the most transparency and expedited responses.
How Does 311 and Citizen Request Management Benefit Municipalities?
For civic leaders, modern software solutions offer:
- A consolidation of service requests into a single management hub.
- The ability to respond to citizens more timely.
- The ability to convert citizen inquiries directly into internal service requests.
- Automated follow-ups with internal departments until service requests are complete.
- Automated follow-ups with the requesting citizen when work is complete.
- Insightful data that can be used to identify trends in citizen concerns and community repair issues.
- A high level of transparency and responsiveness to citizen needs.
- Streamlined public works request management and operations.
- A greater ability to meet the growing desire for citizens to digitally self-service their needs.
- Individual communication and feedback history document at the citizen level for future reference.
- The ability to conserve limited staffing funds by automating workflows that formerly needed to be managed manually by staff.
How Does 311 and Citizen Request Management Benefit Citizens?
In an era where citizen expectations for local government responsiveness have never been higher, with modern software solutions citizens benefit from:
- Multiple channels to submit service requests.
- Transparency into the request management process.
- Guaranteed follow-up and response.
- Direct access to civic leaders.
- Convenient channels to help improve neighborhoods and share opinions and suggestions.
- Through the use of integrated mobile applications, the ability to report issues when identified and even include photos and geo-tagged locations for streamlined request documentation accuracy.