4 Key Questions to Enhance Engagement

May 11, 2020 by Meredith Trimble

4 Key Questions to Enhance Engagement

Improving online engagement has taken on new urgency. Governments have had to quickly build more reliable community connectivity not only to provide residents with real-time information but to also ensure continuity of government business online.

For many governments, the disruption brought by COVID-19 has highlighted the need to replace legacy systems, the shortcomings or vulnerabilities of which were laid bare in the crisis. While attending to current and future needs around strong citizen engagement, agencies that make thoughtful investments in modern technology will see returns on investment in all areas of operation as well as in positioning themselves to weather what comes next.

Even in a context that necessitates quick action, selecting new software solutions demands a thoughtful approach. Considerations should include ease of integration with current and future systems, the user experience for staff and the public, and mobile capabilities.

The following are the top four questions to ask when weighing the engagement capabilities of software providers.

1. How can you help us increase engagement?

An ideal provider offers software solutions that seamlessly integrate with public-facing, easy-to-use online and mobile portals. Important functionalities that increase engagement include incident reporting and self-service portals for interactions, from bill paying to permitting to program enrollment. Robust data and transparency capabilities are also important for increased stakeholder involvement and insight.

2. How can you help us prepare for the unexpected?

Core disaster preparedness and security capabilities are critical. The ability to reach residents through multiple channels including social, mobile, email, and phone is a cornerstone of engagement. Look for cloud-based solutions that include disaster recovery, enhanced security, as well as scalability that accommodates remote work.

3. How can your products streamline revenue collection?

Simplifying payments makes life easier for residents and staff. A solution should provide a seamless, centralized cashiering process that allows payments to be processed from any office in the jurisdiction, made for any type of bill, and entered into the financial management system through any application — by the user via mobile app, through online portals, or in the back office by municipal employees.

4. How can your products help us maximize resources?

When financial and community development applications are streamlined and integrated, city leaders, finance officers, department heads, and policymakers can access up-to-date, single-source information that informs smarter decisions and increases public engagement.

The need for enhanced community engagement across government and schools is increasing. Citizen engagement solutions that are built around an ERP system enable continuity of operations and streamlined, remote experiences for citizens and staff.

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