Improve Citizen Relationships with Dynamics CRM
The New York State and Local Government Information Technology Directors’ Association (NYSLGITDA) is an organization dedicated to the coordination and improvement of IT in all types of government in New York State. AKA attended their conference last week in Saratoga Springs along with a number of other technology vendors to listen and offer solutions to the many issues facing government agencies.
Municipalities with dedicated IT departments are not only tasked to take on the IT, infrastructure, budgeting, revenue tracking, human services (311 citizen services, correspondence, case management) of multiple departments within their own government office, they often are asked to manage all of this for other government agencies within the county.
Shared services such as, disaster recovery, fire and police departments, animal control etc. are being added to the IT department’s already stretched team. Listening to many IT directors explain their struggles at the NYSLGITDA round table discussion, made it clear that updating internal processes with new technology is necessary.
Many of these IT departments are working to upgrade their websites as a start, making them interactive, incorporating e-forms, social media, and other engagement platforms. Like any business, these agencies struggle to streamline and automate their processes but unlike businesses, they do not draw any revenue. They have very strict internal regulations and are subject to severe penalties, not to mention public scrutiny.
In order to provide services to constituents there needs to be a way to track complaints and house information about each case, additionally each case needs to be routed to the correct department. AKA attended the conference to share the case management solutions within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Features such as 311 citizen services to help streamline the processes in a citizen service center, grants manager to mange requests, track available funds and approve spending correctly are available using the Dynamics CRM platform. With one central database, different departments can pull from the same source data and get rid of disparate systems with duplicate and often inaccurate data. AKA has developed a few enhancements to take citizen services even further. AKA’s correspondence tracking accelerator allows government employees, citizens and other interested parties to track their interactions from within Microsoft Outlook when integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Our legal case management solution manages the cases within a public attorney’s office, building on Dynamics CRM’s case management capabilities improving responsiveness and turnaround time with automated workflows.
Many government agencies lack any kind of CRM solution, it may not be considered a high enough priority for the budget or it is not fully understood but if you think of it as Citizen Relationship Management instead of Customer Relationship Management, it makes more sense for municipalities. Considering the number of cities and counties working on updating their websites, making them interactive to engage with citizens, investing in a solution to manage these interactions efficiently, track cases and improve public perception is worth it.