For local governments, civic duty come in many forms. In order to be effective in governance, they must listen, answer, and respond to their constituents. There has never been a larger number and diversity of channels citizens want to utilize to contact their local leaders to make requests, inquiries, and ideas in an age when people expect the conveniences of on-demand, any-device connection from businesses, government institutions, and services.
With civic participation increasing to 51% upon implementation of digital solutions, more government offices are turning to software to improve their community engagement (Facini, 2021). Modern 311 and citizen request software are making it easier for local leaders to handle and attend to residents’ inquiries without the need for time-consuming paperwork and follow-up procedures.
In the majority of public works agencies, citizen request software is utilized to transform service requests into actionable reports that are assigned to the relevant field workers. Automating workflow, creating queues and prioritizing tickets, and keeping track of service requests are all possible with the help of these government software platforms. In an effort to help government organizations improve their civic services, this guide explores the best citizen request software on the market. In this way, finding tools to invest in is much simpler.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated digital transformation efforts across various sectors—and government agencies are no exception.
With a whopping 93% of American adults using the internet since the outbreak (Pew Research Center, 2021), the demand for digital services from the government has also grown. In fact, a survey showed that three-fourths of government officials admitted that digital technologies are disrupting the public sector (Deloitte, 2021). What is more, 96% of these officials reported that its impact on their department has been significant.
Fortunately, it seems that the public sector is up for the challenge. In the third quarter of 2021, transaction volume for government technology (GovTech) deals reached approximately $2.2 billion. (Cook, 2021).
In addition to the increased investment in GovTech, agencies have also been beefing up their digital infrastructure and underlying processes. A report showed that since the pandemic, 60% of government agencies have been developing their digital maturity. Meanwhile, 13% are a few more steps ahead in their digitization efforts (Deloitte, 2021).
Source: Deloitte, 2021
The public sector has been working towards digitization well before the pandemic, albeit slowly, with 52% of their accessibility programs being over seven years old (Level Access, 2021). However, it seems they are far from making online services fully accessible to all constituents.
According to a study by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, 48% of the most popular federal websites did not pass the accessibility test on at least one of their most frequently visited pages (Johnson & Castro, 2021).
The silver lining here is that 50 out of the 72 federal websites tested were able to pass accessibility for their homepage. Among the websites leading this list are the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, and the White House.
Source: Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, 2021
These ratings have become important now more than ever considering that citizens are increasingly preferring to access government services and information online. To illustrate, before the pandemic, only 16% preferred online services. However, five months into the outbreak, this number steadily climbed to 67% (Center for Digital Government, 2021). We can expect this to further increase in the coming years.
Source:Center for Digital Government, 2021
With the above-mentioned in mind, the public sector is primed for customer experience improvement.
According to citizens, the government could take plenty of measures to improve online services. Chief among these are to make information easy to find (56%), make support available (46%), and make it simpler to process and complete all government-related requirements online (44%) (Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., n.d.).
Source: Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.
In addition, government agencies can also accommodate the different access preferences of their constituents. For instance, 36.41% of citizens want to complete digital transactions using their desktops or laptops while 27.99% prefer speaking with a person on the phone to do the same (Carahsoft, 2021). Mobile vs desktop usage statistics also show that there are fractions of the population that prefer to do self-service using their smartphones and tablets.
Source: Carahsoft, 2021
However, the process of meeting these demands can be daunting for agencies. This is where having GovTech like government procurement software and citizen request software can come in handy. These tools enable you to convert citizen requests into tickets that can be routed to the right employees. In turn, it can greatly improve online service delivery for governments.
To help you further understand what these platforms can do, the list below outlines the leading citizen request oftware on the market. It also discusses the key features of each one so you can have all the information you need before investing.
Using the CivicLive Citizen Request System, citizens can easily submit requests while also benefiting from powerful reporting and monitoring capabilities for the issues important to their communities. When it comes to a wide range of issues, such as parking structures, potholes, and everything in between, the public can rest assured that their concerns will reach the appropriate authorities. Residents can submit concerns using a web page or mobile applications for Android and iOS devices. The availability of optional location information gives agencies the ability to get pinpoint precision while also ensuring that problems are reported exclusively inside the jurisdiction in question.
The GovOffice Service Tracker gives local government agencies access to all service requests that are being processed within their respective communities, as well as progress updates on those requests. Service Tracker was designed with the public administrator in mind, and it is equipped with features that will simplify all of the public’s demands and promptly alert those accountable. Administrators will have access to all requests and status updates in real-time, and they can do this from their desktop computers or mobile devices.
The GOGov Citizen Request Management software was designed to streamline administrative processes for people, workers, and elected officials alike. The platform acts as an all-in-one CRM, 311, helpdesk, and citizen engagement software, which can increase citizen satisfaction and make government institutions work more efficiently. Additionally, the vendor offers branded mobile applications for citizens to download, through which they are able to report problems and access essential agency information in a centralized place. This enables quick submission of service requests as well as access to services and information around the clock through a knowledge base where they can search for public information and services easily.
Accela Service Request Management is a branded application that can be used on mobile devices and the web. It assists the government in keeping up with the changing needs of its citizens and makes customer relationship management easier. Users are able to view information and make requests whenever and wherever it is most convenient for them. In addition, agencies have the ability to guarantee thorough case management while having limited resources, which enables them to quickly answer requests and provide better services.
AccessE11 is a municipal government system of choice for Code Enforcement, Citizen Request Management, and Citizen Issue Tracking. It provides a consolidated solution to all concerns, allowing teams and departments to view and update information from a single source, which helps to enhance productivity. AccessE11 is a web-based application, which means that users may access the system from any location and using any device they want. There is also a smartphone app available to employees out in the field.
eMunicipality is an out-of-the-box system that enables municipalities, cities, and towns to handle all areas of public administration from a single location. There is no infrastructure that needs to be purchased, installed, or maintained—all you need to do is log in to access administrative management tools, which can range from information to participation. It streamlines the process of providing municipal services online and makes them more accessible to citizens. The solution offers a quick, simple, and cost-effective approach to enhancing the day-to-day interactions that take place between individuals and public agencies.
CentralSquare Citizen Engagement software fosters civic and community engagement with an interactive and simple cloud-based platform that provides convenient self-service alternatives. It gives individuals access to information and payment choices 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and makes use of the information they provide to guide the appropriate response. It enables residents, contractors, and suppliers to rapidly access information, report problems, pay bills, and contact city personnel over the Internet, among other things. Residents are able to effortlessly connect with their communities when they have access to a modern citizen experience. This allows governments to identify patterns, allocate resources, and promote early actions when issues occur.
With GovPilot‘s GIS-powered Report-a-Concern and GovAlert tools, towns can monitor and react to their residents’ requests and complaints immediately. It makes it easier for constituents to report concerns that do not need immediate attention using their Android and iOS mobile devices. They can take a photo of the issue, along with a description of it, be it a pothole, overgrown vegetation, a broken street sign, or anything else that is not an emergency. In addition to this, sophisticated GIS mapping provides precise monitoring of dangers as they are reported and updates as they are remedied.
ONEVIEW provides leaders of the community with a trustworthy single source of truth for improved resource planning. When combined with ONELINK and several other apps that are specifically designed for citizen engagement, the platform offers a comprehensive answer for the handling of constituent concerns. In order to cut down on the amount of time spent training new employees and increase productivity, it enables government organizations to build workflows, automate operations, and interact with current IT systems. Administrators are able to handle any request and guarantee that concerns are effectively and quickly resolved across all departments that interact with the public.
SeeClickFix by CivicPlus® is a 311 platform that gives citizens the ability to report problems, determine which repairs are needed, and share their opinions with their local government officials. It provides local governments with the capacity to run processes that are effective and transparent, therefore creating accountability and confidence. The end result is shared experiences of collaboration between local governments and inhabitants, which result in the co-creation of communities that are clean, safe, and joyful. It makes it easier for staff to react quickly to questions and requests from residents and gives community members the ability to work together with local leaders on projects to enhance their communities.
CityView provides a comprehensive collection of software for development, code enforcement, licensing, and other regulatory service needs. Comprehensive permits, inspections, reviews, and approvals, together with online processing and payments from citizens and contractors, save time and money while engaging residents. It also eliminates inefficiencies in request processes. By enabling individuals to submit service requests online, the platform allows local governments to better communicate with their constituents and deliver superior levels of service. Users are able to submit requests about road and park maintenance, waste collection, and general inquiries whenever it is convenient for them to do so, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using the device-adaptive CityView Portal.
Using CitiNexus, a user-friendly and adaptable citizen management system, local governments can engage their constituents and better understand their requirements via the usage of 311. It is a scalable system intended to help cities connect their residents, empower municipal workers, improve city operations and infrastructure, and revolutionize and drive innovation and opportunity. In addition, CitiNexus has a full online self-service platform with 311 modules to provide customers. This improves the efficiency of the organization’s day-to-day operations while also offering insight into the needs of residents, enabling local governments to establish meaningful connections with them.
Ctzen acts as a link between people and their respective governments, streamlining management and communication processes. People are given the ability to accurately report issues on the platform. These reports are then sent on to the appropriate government department. The hassle-free communication tool gives members of the public the ability to report occurrences directly to the member of the public official who is in charge of the concern. Additionally, the provider collaborates with governmental entities to rapidly and effectively address any and all issues raised by local residents.
Using Gestisoft’s Civio 365 application, local government agencies can implement 311 solutions straight from Microsoft Dynamics 365. It improves the efficiency of 311 workers while also providing superior service to people. Public administrators can use the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform to consolidate information on citizen requests, develop new channels of communication with stakeholders, and provide a self-service platform to citizens, which will help them improve their quality of service.
The iWorQ Citizen Request Tracker is a web application that is simple to use and gives cities and counties the ability to take citizen requests directly from their webpage. Citizens can submit a request, check on the progress of their request, and the city or county can ensure that the right department correctly handles the citizen request. In addition to submitting a tracking request, agencies have the ability to publish frequently asked questions (FAQs) organized by topic and get feedback on those queries. The iWorQ Citizen Tracker also uses automatic email to respond to comments and also allows users to send requests.
Cloud-based program MaintStar helps municipal, county, and state governments manage assets, monitor operations, and keep their communities running smoothly. It serves as an all-in-one software platform to manage assets and expedite development services, and its sophisticated workflow engines help automate difficult operations. The MaintStar Citizen Engagement software records activities in real-time from the point of input all the way through the point of output. It keeps all parties informed, provides automatic alerts, and controls everything from a centralized dashboard.
ShareNet makes it simple for locals to report problems for further investigation. It enables residents to communicate with the authorities in charge of their communities. The program makes it simple to gather, organize, and handle all of the request submissions that come in through the online portal, mobile app, emails, phone calls, or any of the other systems that are already in place in government offices. In addition, requests can be responded to more promptly by staffers if the problems in question have been geo-tagged.
Citizens and customers have a channel for communication with the public works department via Aktivov’s Citizen Portal, which is part of the company’s asset management system for public works. Additionally, the portal offers users the chance to build a positive opinion of the company. The portal is cloud-hosted, GIS-centric, and mobile-ready. On this citizen portal for 311, residents can use any smart device, at any time, from any location, to report problems or make requests. Even non-technical users are able to connect with government officials and make requests, complaints, and concerns, thanks to the user-friendly and straightforward tools that are provided by the platform.
QAlert is a leading solution for citizen request management geared towards local government agencies. The vendor provides custom-branded apps and self-service portals that citizens can access anywhere, anytime. On top of that, it provides multiple communication channels from phone to SMS. These channels connect to powerful staff tools, making it easy for government offices to engage and resolve submitted requests and issues. With its built-in automation, reporting, and integration capabilities, departments and teams can streamline their workflows and provide better services to the public.
The PubWorks Service Requests module, in conjunction with the Citizen Engagement feature, provides the means by which demand maintenance can be monitored, and the community can be kept operating without any hiccups. Service Requests can be tracked by government departments from the time they are initiated all the way through the completion of the work order. It also includes an online service request site and a Citizen App, both of which allow people easy access to various channels through which they may communicate with the institutions of their respective governments.
One of the biggest problems of local government officials is dealing with the sheer volume and diversity of service requests from their constituents. To report graffiti or potholes, people no longer have the option of going to a public office or making a phone call. Instead, they need an easy-to-receive and trackable contactless solution.
Using a smartphone app, residents can quickly and easily submit service and maintenance requests for their neighborhood. To ensure accountability and transparency, civic leaders can turn pertinent communications into trackable service requests for public works and other agencies. Local governments can improve workflow and data management while providing citizens with more transparency and faster service using this concept, which turns resident inquiries into automated work orders. Along with other solutions for the public, such as emergency management software or citizen engagement systems, local municipalities are beginning to take their operations to the digital age.
Luckily, as evidenced by this list, there are plenty of options for the best citizen request software to choose from. All that’s left to do is gauge which one can meet your requirements and keep up with the needs of your citizens.