Organized Constituent Records Can Transform Your Agency
Many cities are bogged down by disorganized constituent records processes that lead to lost paperwork, slow turnaround, and miscommunication — all of which can negatively impact interactions between constituents and their government.
However, this is starting to change. Thanks to resources made available by partnerships between the private and public sector, cities are getting their record-keeping up to speed. Many are expanding online offerings to include payment and applications as well.
Constituent records may seem like a major challenge for local governments, but unified data can make everyone's jobs at City Hall a little easier.
What Does Unified Data Mean for City Hall?
For local governments, the most important part of “going digital” is getting public records organized. But what about tracking all interactions with constituents, so you can always pick up right where you left off?
Big companies have tools designed for just this purpose. Customer relationship managers (CRMs) are used for managing interactions between a company and their customers. A CRM keeps a record of interactions with a customer, including sales and customer service contacts, contact info, service issues, and other useful data. All this valuable information is stored centrally and organized for easy access.
If this kind of centralized record keeping sounds valuable for governments, that’s because it is. Unfortunately, CRM systems aren’t cheap, which has historically kept them out of reach for local governments.
A Government Relationship Manager for the 21st Century
Historically, governments have had to custom design and build their own websites from front to back. Now, partner organizations have built easy-to-use turnkey solutions to get local governments up to speed without the fuss (or the massive expenditures). For both IT and communications departments, an easy integration like this frees up vast amounts of time to work on other projects.
Here’s how better organization can improve interactions with constituents:
Automate Access to Records
Digital record-keeping enables people to access their records anytime from home, rather than spending an afternoon downtown at City Hall.
Online submission portals help constituents stay up to date on local tax payments, tickets, and utility bills. People love when you provide them with a one-stop shop to do what they need to do — it’s part of the reason why Amazon is so popular!
Online records submissions also help prevent human error in document processing. Plus, citizens can track their applications through the approval process, getting updates without having to contact the clerk’s office.
If they do have a problem, the GRM gives City Hall a record of their submission, as well as their previous history with the process, in order to speed up resolution.
Make Real Connections
It’s difficult to make a real connection with someone when you’re trying to figure out their history on the fly. Customer service is a skill, one that requires some essential skills. Few things infuriate people quite like having to call back a second or third time, only to discover there’s no record of their previous conversations. Detailed constituent records on the GRM allows clerks to say “I know where you’re coming from, and we’re going to get this sorted out.”
Advertise Valuable Services
Schedule follow ups, announce new services and offerings, or just reach out to local voters and get feedback on how local government is working for them. Organized constituent records help City Hall tackle problems creatively, improving services for everyone in their town.
A well-organized digital platform can help you generate and process feedback to get a better understanding of the on-the-ground problems your constituents face.
Constituents should be able to easily interact with the institutions that represent them. Using technology designed to make interactions between individuals and their government easy shows your constituents that City Hall is in their corner.
What can better constituent record processing do for your agency?