2020 was a year like no other. Perhaps you’ve heard it described as unprecedented, unusual, or even chaotic. At the very least, we can certainly say this year was different. Especially in the ways local government needed to support, inform, and engage with their residents.
Amidst all the craziness, Rock Solid has continued to help local governments and their communities work as one. So let’s focus on the good! Here is a look back at 2020 at Rock Solid.
New Rock Solid Customers
We are always excited when new local governments move towards more collaborative citizen engagement experiences for their communities. These are just a few of the cities, towns, counties, and municipalities who went live or joined the Rock Solid family in 2020.
|Addison, TX||Allen, TX||Auburn, AL||Canton, MA||Cape Canaveral, FL|
|Delaware, OH||El Paso, TX||Helena, MT||Independence, MO||Key Biscayne, FL|
|Lewisville, TX||McAllen, TX||Mesquite, TX||Nacogdoches, TX||Pasco, WA|
|Savannah, GA||St. Cloud, FL||St. Johns County, FL||Tuscaloosa, AL||West Valley City, UT|
Citizen Engagement Success and Creativity
This year, our customers got a lot done. 2020 did not hold back on delivering challenges that required local government response. But difficulties beget innovation on many fronts.
To help combat Coronavirus and deliver critical information to citizens, cities like Independence, Missouri and Dublin, Ohio turned to mobile when physical access became impossible. They were among the first cities to add COVID-19 information buttons to their OneLink mobile apps to meet citizens wherever they may be during the early lockdowns.
The Neighborhood Services Department in Mesquite, Texas saw increased usage of the myMesquite app among its community members. Over 600 of the city's 1,266 total complaints between July and September 2020 were filed on the app, exceeding the total number of complaints submitted over the same time period last year. “As residents become more aware and utilize more of the myMesquite app, there is a lot more response to those types of complaints,” said Maria Martinez, Director of Neighborhood Services.
We saw amazing achievements in service delivery as well. The Public Works department in the City of Cranbrook, British Columbia, for example, resolved service requests faster. In 2020, over 70% of all requests were completed within a week. That adds up to a 36% improvement in service request resolution times since implementing Rock Solid!
And of course, we saw many new apps launch in 2020. One great example is Savannah, Georgia’s new SAV311 app, of which District 4 Alderman Nick Palumbo is a big fan according to the Savannah Morning News. “I believe the new 311 system is the most impactful upgrade we've made here at the City of Savannah in 2020 because it empowers every resident with the superpowers of the City of Savannah right at their fingertips," says Palumbo.
Product Updates: More Ways to Connect
We’re always hard at work to make our products help cities do more. That’s part of the value of working with Rock Solid—we take care of updates and additional features so your team doesn’t have to worry about development. In 2020, we brought exciting upgrades and capabilities to our customers. Here’s just a sample of what’s new:
A trendy and functional new look for OneLink apps
If you live in a community with a OneLink app, connecting with your local government has never been easier. We released the latest version of OneLink’s mobile and web interface, which provides an even more beautiful and simple way for citizens to submit service requests, see important city updates, and so much more. For cities, the configurable features and look and feel make having a presence on the ever-important mobile channel simple.
Better citizen communication with the Messaging Module
Joining our lineup of configurable modules this year was the Messaging Module: a new way to reach out to your community via mobile, text message, and email directly from your CRM. From local updates to critical news, the Messaging Module lets your agency send targeted mass messages to your citizens’ pockets.
Messages can be scheduled in advance to send to specified segments of your residents. You’ve got all the right options to engage with the right residents at the right time:
- With lists, community members can subscribe to the topics that interest them about your city. Lists can cover any topics that interest your community: trails and parks updates, local events, volunteer opportunities, and, lately, Coronavirus updates are popular examples we see being used. This allows your agencies to get specific messages out to the people who care most.
- Geofences allows you to send a message to anyone subscribed within a specific customizable boundary. Upload your city’s geofences and communicate with citizens within one or more areas. This can be useful for communications relevant to specific neighborhoods, trash collection zones, water service areas, and more.
- Messages can also be sent to people within a specified radius. For example, if a park is closed for maintenance or a water main breaks, you may want to alert anyone who lives within a certain distance of that occurrence. Just choose a location on the map, set a distance from that point, and send for highly-targeted communication.
En Espanol, por favor!
Got Spanish-speaking residents? How about employees? We’ve added functionality that will automatically and intelligently detect users’ language preferences and display OneView or OneLink in Spanish.
For your citizens, this means your app can display in Spanish if the user’s phone has Spanish as their primary language. This also extends to messaging. You can include Spanish translations in your sends that will send the right email, push notification, or text message to the right person automatically alongside your English language send.
Text Message service requests, reminders, outbound messages, and more
Whether it’s a resident submitting a service request to your agency, getting updates on the status of their request, receiving reminders about upcoming trash pickup, or receiving news alerts from your city, texting is a great way to keep your community members engaged. Citizens can send or opt-in to receive texts for a wide range of services. For local government staff, sending and receiving happens within your existing CRM.
Take a pulse on your community with Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys
Once an issue is closed, citizens can automatically receive an email asking them to rate their service. Scores and comments are included in your metrics allowing you to gauge satisfaction by Service Request Type, date of issue close, or geographical boundary.
New Research and Resources to Drive Engagement
The holidays are a great time to do some reading and binging. If you’ve got self-improvement on the mind and want to boost your citizen engagement chops, our resources center is a great place to start. Check out these fresh additions from the last year:
What Citizens Want: Research from the Center for Digital Government, ELGL, and Rock Solid
Did you know that 62% of citizens prefer to use a smartphone, tablet, or PC to connect with their local government? There are so many ways to connect, and citizens expect you to meet their needs.
We partnered with Government Technology’s Center for Digital Government and Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) to survey over 2,000+ U.S. citizens to discover their expectations for the accessibility of services. Check out the report to learn how citizens want to access local government services, how preferences vary by age, and which services your city, town, county, or municipality should prioritize.
CRM + Mobile: The Winning Formula for Unifying Governments and Citizens
Citizen-centric design is the way of the future. Do you have a strategy to put citizens at the forefront and cater your systems and services towards your community’s needs? That’s where CRM and mobile really come together, building better resident relations without straining government resources.
A CRM creates lasting relationships between local governments and residents when citizens can opt-in and engage. If you want to boost engagement and connectivity with citizens, grab your popcorn and watch this on-demand webinar to learn the secret formula.
How Lewisville, TX Transformed Citizen Engagement from the Inside Out
Transformation can be extremely difficult in local government. But the City of Lewisville, Texas got it done when they implemented a new 311 and service request intake system and process. As part of CSWeek 2020’s virtual event, members of Lewisville’s Public Works department shared what it took to transform their organization to support holistic citizen engagement.
From the initial ideation to implementation, staff training, and ongoing support, you won’t want to miss this real-world glimpse into the process of improving citizen relationships without burdening internal staff. You can also check out a summary of the session with these five key citizen engagement lessons from Lewisville.
More Citizen Engagement in 2021
As we enter the final days of 2020, taking time to look back at the year we’re leaving behind is a worthwhile exercise. Especially in a challenging year, spend a moment or two to celebrate your wins too.
We’re grateful to have been able to work with such intelligent, forward-thinking, and downright amazing people in local government in 2020. These are the people who are creating the agencies of the future, no matter the circumstance. We’re looking forward to even more new partners, insights, success stories, customers, product enhancements and beyond in 2021!