Citizen Engagement Is a Two-Way Street: How Technology is Driving Success

There are many moving parts in the management of a city or county—large or small—including infrastructure, public transportation, parks and buildings, and so much more. Managing all of these critical functions is challenging, but creating a safe, comfortable, efficiently run city or county for your citizens is a priority. Government offices at all levels are now making citizen engagement a top priority, and for good reason.

Citizens are the eyes and ears of your city or county and often identify issues faster than your own staff. Their feedback is vital to helping you understand which improvements to make not only to avoid problems, but to enable growth and prosperity. Taking citizen engagement to the next level means putting tools and technology in place that enable you to nurture this two-way street.

Governments can’t afford to put off adopting new technology

Let’s be honest: Few government offices are taking full advantage of the latest technology or getting the most possible benefit out of social media interactions. In the past, it wasn’t easy or cost-effective to upgrade technology. Networking with citizens on the platforms where they spend the most time is hard to keep up with, let alone execute. With shrinking revenues, budget cuts, and other challenges, it’s hard to justify new technology. But at the same time, leaders are realizing that, to compete, they cannot avoid it.

The good news is there are many options to modernize technology today for governments that did not previously exist. You can now deploy cloud-based, integrated solutions without a significant investment in new hardware and software—powerful technology that will help you engage with your citizens at a whole new level.

Take citizen engagement from adequate to effective

We recently addressed some of the top challenges of citizen engagement in our webinar, Take Citizen Engagement from Adequate to Effective with Power BI. You can watch it on demand right now and see how easy it can be to capture, track, report and take action on the feedback you are getting from your citizens.

Cloud-based solutions are a key enabler for cities and are the future of citizen engagement. The ability to integrate your technology and data allows you to provide a frictionless experience to your community and your staff across all departments and offices.

In the webinar, we walk through common scenarios and struggles cities face every day and the technologies designed to help you:

  • Communicate effectively: A concerned citizen could email a message or use social media to indicate a problem, like a pothole or graffiti for example. With one click in Outlook, you can add that citizen to your citizen engagement database and create a record for the citizen and the issue that needs to be resolved.
  • Respond faster: Workflows and other automation will route citizen questions or concerns to the proper staff. Active cases or work orders can be monitored in dashboards to ensure that these issues are being addressed, citizens are receiving a prompt response and tasks won’t get forgotten. You can prioritize case resolution, scheduling labor and resources in a way that optimizes productivity and minimizes expenses.
  • Identify trends: Power BI provides further analysis of the issues and helps you identify trends. Capturing data from citizens and looking at it in a new light could highlight the information you need to strengthen city infrastructure, streamline municipal services and improve safety.
  • Be more agile: The cloud opens up the ability for cities to scale technology to unique needs now, and add on as you grow. This not only reduces IT costs, it allows you to improve forecasting and work around budgetary constraints. You can become more proactive and quickly adapt to changes in citizen demands.

As you know, capturing citizen interactions and analyzing them manually isn’t effective or efficient. In this digital era, it’s simply not fast enough and citizens won’t stand for it. Automating citizen engagement with modern technology is a win-win for all and will get you further, faster.

Questions? You can visit us online to learn more about AKA’s Citizen Engagement Solution built on Microsoft Dynamics 365, or contact our public sector experts to learn more.

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Contributor: AKA Enterprise Solutions

AKA is comprised of professionals with deep experience in business, technology, and their respective industries. Our team members regularly share their knowledge and expertise through blog articles. We hope you find them helpful, and we welcome your comments.

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