Technology has always pushed our world forward. Today, we live in a realm of connectivity, social media, on-demand inquires, and quick responses. And while most people use these new technologies for entertainment and leisure, businesses and governments apply them to extend their hand to their customers, partners, and citizens.
This post deals with a technology that aims to improve the lives of everyday people in a very simple and easy to use way. That technology is Citizen Relationship Management.
The Birth of Citizen Relationship Management
Citizen Relationship Management is one in a series of many governmental e-programs. Modern governments have realized that their old modes of operation can no longer meet the demands of their citizens, particularly young citizens.
Today, many people use the Internet to access information and find data that is essential to them. They don’t want to make calls or appointments and wait in lines so that they could find information that, according to them, should have been available online.
The US government started the E-Governance program to tackle these issues. The purpose of this program was (and still is) to transform the way governments communicate with their citizens and partners. The idea behind the Citizen Relationship Management is simple – develop a program that enhances the relationship between governments and their citizens.
It needs to be said that Citizen Relationship Management derives its inspiration from the better-known Customer Relationship Management, a program initiated by companies that wanted to improve the relationship with their customers.
The Purpose of Citizen Relationship Management
Citizen Relationship Management aims to strengthen and improve the relationship between citizens and their cities, states, and countries. More importantly, it encourages people to participate in their community actively, to speak their minds and share their thoughts and needs.
From a philosophical and political standpoint, Citizen Relationship Management encourages transparency and is a significant shift in the way governments and companies work. On the one hand, citizens will have a better understanding of how their communities work, what decisions are being made, what programs and plans are under development, and so forth.
Furthermore, Citizen Relationship Management is also transforming the way citizen reporting works, by enabling citizens to report issues as soon as they see them. These reports are then processed and resolved more rapidly than they would be via traditional methods of reporting.
From Outdated to Smart Cities
The world is full of smartphones, smart homes, smart TVs and refrigerators; but what about smart cities? Shouldn’t this technology be used for something much more impactful? It can, according to the supporters of Citizen Relationship Management systems.
With Citizen Relationship Management, citizens are able to share and access city data much more efficiently. They can explore, innovate, communicate and resolve. It also allows citizens to report issues much more comfortably and efficiently.
Citizens are also able to learn and discover new information about their city and community. They are able to store and uncover treasured stories about the city and community, stories that would have otherwise been forgotten. And all this is available on demand via their Citizen Relationship Management smartphone app.
Of course, cities will also need to make sure that this data is safe, and that their citizens have a secure method of communication. Everything would need to run smoothly and efficiently, with little to no functional hiccups. Because of that, cities will need to either create such apps using internal teams or outsource them to experienced software development firms.
How Does A Citizen Relationship Management App Work?
A Citizen Relationship Management app needs to have both iOS and Android versions. Furthermore, the app needs to function 24/7 to meet the needs and demands of citizens.
The app needs to be connected to the right city systems and personnel to automatically fetch and submit data, thus eliminating additional or duplicate work by city employees to support the app. Also, with automatic submission and routing of reported issues, city employees who used to process reports manually can now focus on other needs.
The Citizen Relationship Management app needs to include adequate connections with Public Works, Public Good, and Public Safety systems. The system also needs to provide on-demand and real-time access to all data, for all participating department personnel.
Our Citizen Relationship Management Solution
We launched our Citizen Relationship Management solution with the City of Ontario, California in Spring 2018. Since its release, the myOntario app (iOS or Android) has proven to be a huge success for the city, allowing better interaction between the city and its citizens.