CONNECTING CITIZENS WITH SMARTER, MODERN 311 SYSTEMS
A Better Way to Serve Your Citizens…
Many state, local, and large metropolitan organizations struggle with efficiently serving an ever-demanding tech-forward citizen constituency. The ever-present technologies we all enjoy, such as high-speed internet at home, free WIFI at the local coffee shop, and amazing mobile broadband technology when out and about, allows us an ‘always on’ connection to information, whenever and wherever we want it. Over time these technologies have instilled an expectation of immediacy to information access, in our minds. Applications that citizens use regularly like Amazon Prime, Netflix and Waze have set a very high customer experience bar. This high bar has transcended into the minds of all citizens with respect to the services and information provided by their city and county of residence.
Fulfilling Citizen Expectations
Few, if any, municipalities offer mobile application capabilities. Many local municipalities offer the same contact paradigms today as they have for the last two decades. Citizens will make a call or send an email but can often be left with an open-ended request for days or sometimes weeks having gone by before the issue is corrected. More often than not the original requestor is never personally notified when an issue has been resolved. Few if any municipalities offer any mobile application capabilities either.
Existing 311 System Challenges
Many state & local organizations truly have the desire to better serve their constituency but suffer with antiquated, expensive technology and systems that don’t integrate with each other. Employees/agents have often become habituated to the “swivel-chair” syndrome – where they have multiple monitors to see data between their ticketing system, workflow engine, phone logs, email, and chat systems. Most 311 systems today have challenges or shortcomings from all perspectives including citizens, users/agents/employees and public sector technology leaders:
- Have little or no visibility to an issue once reported and often no idea how long a resolution will take
- No “consumerized” experience for viewing, reporting and status checking on an issue. We all expect an amazon-type application – they often can’t even see the status of their outstanding requests
- Want 311 information and interactions in the channel of their choice – web, chat, mobile/phone or email
- Often no “single pane of glass” for agents to easily find status on an issue
- Want one system of record but often work with non-integrated multiple screens
- Ability to seamlessly create new workflows with an easy graphical user interface
- Struggle with integrating telephone systems/recording of calls with existing ticketing system
- How can we reduce and consolidate licensing costs?
- Reduce system upgrade complexity and downtime and embrace a more efficient hosting solution – modern cloud
- Access to better reporting and business/machine learning capabilities
- Flexible usage model
Modern 311 Systems – Technology Transformation
What are the characteristics of an “ideal” 311 system?
- Customer Interface– Intuitive, inviting and highly available experience that is designed from the ground up to be a friction free experience for the citizens in your area
- Powerful Workflow Engine– A GUI based drag and drop workflow engine that provides your employees with an easy way to model new and improved service workflows from creation to a completed ticket
- Strong Integration Capabilities– a real platform with the ability to consume and broker API calls from existing systems
- Back Office Fulfiller Interface– Powerful and modern interface which incorporates a centralized knowledge database and machine learning as problems are encountered and solved
- Geolocation Capabilities – Automatically detect where a citizen is reporting an issue to facilitate pattern recognition, better automation, machine learning and faster resolutions
- Reporting Capabilities– Integrated analytics and reporting capabilities
- Mobile and Chat Enabled – Provide visibility anywhere and by anyone – allow people to report issues and see resolved issues on the latest technology and channel of their choice
- Ability to Fulfill Citizen Expectations – Being able to truly offer SLA (Service Level Agreements) metrics to employee users of your 311 system for each type of request or inquiry – show the lifecycle of an incident from beginning to end with transparency
- Automation and Machine Learning – A modern 311 system should always be getting smarter with usage – and eventually be able to automate simpler issues without human interaction
- IoT Capable – Many municipalities are looking at Internet of Thing (IoT) enabled sensors for monitoring traffic signals and vehicle activity. This data should be capable of being absorbed by your next 311 system to provide better awareness to your citizens
- Natural Language Support – Your citizens really would benefit from having the ability to describe an issue in a common everyday conversational style language. State of the industry 311 systems should be able to process this request and generate a ticket and subsequent resolution
Modern 311 Systems – Benefits
Technology is available today that can alleviate many of the common challenges in existing 311 systems. With modern technology we can have a better 311 system with several benefits that include:
- Closer connection to your citizens – with ability to offer SLAs
- Organic Citizen Advocacy – as your organization serves its constituency better they recommend the new experiences to their friends which yields a “happy customer” groundswell
- Accelerated customer experiences to match best of breed consumer applications
- Consolidation and retiring of old legacy systems and associated costs
- Single “pane of glass” for employees and agents
- Better insights, smarter analytics, and automation that provide actionable information that will allow you to serve citizens better and faster
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