Engaging and serving the people in your community is more complex than ever before. Citizens have increasingly come to expect modern and intuitive public sector interfaces, but the need for better solutions doesn't stop there. Services have expanded, and legacy systems have created information silos, resulting in barriers to efficient processes.
An effective customer engagement solution helps you simplify all of this: connecting your systems, making your data more accessible, and empowering efficient, automated processes.
More specifically, the 3Di Engage software platform provides a customized set of solutions depending on your needs — from higher voter turnout to faster permitting processes.
Let’s take a look at some community engagement examples to see how cities can improve interactions with the public.
1) A centralized hub to foster civic participation
Online portals can provide a centralized online space where citizens can, among other things, access information about upcoming elections or public meetings. Here they can learn about the issues being discussed and the ways in which they can get involved.
This helps make the voting process more convenient and accessible for citizens and makes it easier for them to learn about (and participate in) public meetings and town halls.
3Di Engage also provides online tools and services that allow citizens to easily share their ideas and feedback with local officials. For example, the platform can enable forums, surveys, and other interactive tools that allow citizens to share their thoughts and suggestions with local leaders.
Tools like these can help to create a more open and transparent dialogue between citizens and their elected representatives, and make it easier for officials to gather feedback and input from the community.
And if your government wants to provide an easy way for citizens to see how their tax dollars are being spent? The portal can also host public records, budget information, and other data in a single location, allowing for greater transparency and public trust.
2) Digital 311 and service request management
In West Palm Beach, Mayor Keith James wanted to ensure that the city government could deliver city services to the community in an effective and prompt manner. Connecting these residents to the right people in the City Hall and City Council was imperative for the success of the City services.
3Di worked with them to build WPB Key to promote community engagement. This focused in part on a Service Request Management solution for seamlessly connecting multiple departments with the public through a web and mobile portal, and powerful backend capabilities for managing citizen relationships (CRM).
Now, whether the residents want to report a problem (such as a pothole), or request a response to a question, WPB Key helps them connect to appropriate experts in the government who can address the request and provide them with solutions faster than ever.
The West Palm Beach government agencies now have access to a live dashboard, which showcases the status of various reported issues across the system.
The best part is that residents can see which steps have been taken to resolve their problems, tracking the progress of their case.
For another example of service request management solutions for local communities, see our recent work with the LA Housing Rights Center.
3) Digitized permit application process
From organizing an event to getting a new pet, the reasons for requesting a permit or license are cornerstones of living in a city. However, permitting and licensing processes are often a pain for citizens and governments alike — especially for complex requests that require multiple departments or external institutions.
With 3Di Engage, the permitting and licensing solution helps you ensure the public’s wellbeing without adding unnecessary work for your team.
All within a user-friendly online portal, your community can now request permits and pay relevant fees as easily as if they were shopping online.
On the backend, you have the tools you need to manage permitting processes more efficiently, so data is synchronized for all parties, and you can easily track the status and progress of the permits as they move through the system.
And with a public-facing portal, your community members are able to submit these applications remotely, without having to take time off their 9-5 job to visit the physical city hall.
Citizens love 3Di’s online permitting because they can check up on their permit status, and even get custom notifications in a timely manner as their permits are handled. This kind of transparency builds trust in government and helps avoid the frustration that comes with the “black box” citizens often experience after submitting an application.
4) A One-Stop-Shop for All Government Services
From handling reports of graffiti to involving residents in infrastructure projects, cities need a reliable way to manage communications to and from residents.
This became especially true with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many cities in the spring of 2020, the City of Pico Rivera, California found itself operating in an entirely new set of circumstances. The city suddenly had to find ways to maintain essential services and operations while supporting its residents, businesses, and staff in a drastically different environment — without relying on in-person interactions.
3Di helped them establish a central hub for all information and transactions with the city: a Virtual City Hall. As a result, the public can now enjoy increased access to services any time and from anywhere through a single user-friendly portal. Meanwhile, city staff can conduct their work in an intuitive system that’s specifically designed for their needs.
This Virtual City Hall empowers businesses and residents to easily interact, communicate, and access city services at any time, from any location, without the need for in-person interactions. Community residents can now easily engage with the government via desktop or mobile devices across multiple channels, even outside of business hours.
While pandemic issues have faded, US citizens have grown to expect this kind of easy and responsive online experience, even under normal circumstances.
Improving your community engagement with 3Di Engage
3Di Engage is a comprehensive community engagement solution that provides a growing list of customizable tools to help your government provide superior service — without outrageous development costs or massive learning curves. It integrates seamlessly with all your existing software, so you won’t be forced to abandon the tools you know and love.
With complete solutions for civic participation, communication, permits, service requests, municipal code enforcement, and more (all available via web portal and mobile app), 3Di Engage helps your municipal government serve your community more easily than ever.