Why Enhancing Your Municipalities’ Digital Government Strategy Creates Resident Satisfaction
Residents, business owners, and community organizations are central to the mission of local government. To that end, citizen experience (also known as customer experience) needs to be the primary focus of all government departments. This remains true regardless of whether they are outward-facing (airport security, property tax, community services) or supporting the government’s internal processes (legal, budget, human resources).
One of the most significant challenges local governments face is determining how to develop a digital government strategy that enhances the citizen experience. Technology has advanced rapidly over the last decade, yet government budgets often remain small. This disparity leaves municipal offices trying to enact digital government solutions on budgets that are a fraction of what private sector businesses can employ. But despite these limitations, nearly all government entities have some form of digital presence that residents can utilize at any time. The age of having to visit a government office to conduct your business is quickly fading into the rearview mirror, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As more government agencies and departments focus on the digital nature of the citizen experience, it’s not surprising that more people now look online to a municipality’s website to access the information they need to conduct the transaction that is required of them. Whether it’s paying taxes, registering to vote, dropping off license plates at the DMV, signing up children for school, or filing for unemployment, making sure relevant information is online to help residents know the steps they need to take is crucial. When information is easy to locate, designed in a way that is accessible to all residents, and written in language that can be readily comprehended, resident satisfaction soars and complaints decrease.
Qless: Delivering Digital Government Resource Solutions
Qless offers queue management and appointment scheduling systems designed to enhance your digital government solutions and bolster the citizen experience by eliminating the need to wait in line for municipal services. Qless integrates into a government office’s website and simplifies connecting residents with individual departments they need to interact with.
Here are five suggestions for improving your local government’s digital government presence and improving community engagement and satisfaction.
1. Invest in the Citizen Experience
Providing the best possible citizen experience is an essential factor in modernizing government interactions and services. Because technology is fast, portable, and readily available, residents are coming to expect digital services in all areas of their lives — and that includes government. Digital government solutions need to make information, forms, payment, and data available online and responsive to mobile technologies. The citizen experience for interacting with government offices should be 24/7, at the convenience of the resident. While some residents prefer to meet with government staffers and officials in person, the vast majority will choose to conduct their business online, in the evenings, and on weekends.
2. Modeling Citizen Experience After Customer Experience
Private sector businesses live and die by their customer experience strategy. Governments would be well advised to take a page out of the business playbook and look for innovative ways to lower operational costs while increasing levels of trust and satisfaction. An informed digital government solution can help.
The business community is always looking to build a better customer experience and puts the needs and satisfaction of customers first. As a result, people now expect a heightened level of service and accommodation from any entity they engage with. Compared to a bank, retail shop, or restaurant, a government office may not have to worry about “losing” residents to a competitor for poor customer service. However, the government works best when the citizen experience is positive, and residents feel their time, efforts, and tax dollars are valued and respected.
3. Make Life Easier for Your Residents
Unfortunately, most citizens have low expectations when it comes to interacting with government departments. So when you make life easier for them by providing a digital government solution that makes information available online and reduces their need to wait in line, they will appreciate it.
4. Embrace Easy-to-Use Mobile Apps
With every passing year, more and more people will access your local government’s website through a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Governments can bolster the citizen experience by using mobile apps for frequent in-person interactions, such as scheduling an appointment for a driver’s license or attending a hearing for a traffic violation. Smartphone apps can also be used to report municipal infrastructure issues such as pothole repairs, stray dogs, or tree limbs that have fallen on utility wires.
5. Collect and Listen to Feedback
Through the use of digital survey tools that can be delivered through a smartphone app or SMS text message, a government office can easily capture data about the citizen experience and the opinions and needs of residents. This valuable information can then be used to improve existing services, offer new services, and discontinue services no longer of interest to the community.
From the largest urban metros to rural small towns, local governments of all sizes are gradually adopting the best practices for creating effective digital government solutions. Improving the citizen experience does not have to be an all-or-nothing process. Simply start with the offices most frequently used by residents and build from there. When your municipality commits to placing the needs of residents first, you’ll be surprised by how positive the reactions will be.
Ready for a Digital Government Solution?
The Qless virtual appointment solution keeps residents happy while allowing them an easy way to access the information they need. If you’re looking for proven strategies to deliver government services while managing COVID-19 regulations, contact Qless for a product demo. Take a look at our ROI calculator and watch our on-demand webinars to see how queue management can transform your government offices, reduce operating costs, and boost community satisfaction.