On the radio yesterday (thanks NPR)
I was thrilled to hear how the city of Boston is making it easy and
convenient for their citizens to give them feedback. They have created
an iPhone application called Citizens Connect that enables iPhone and iPod users to send instant feedback to the city about issues that need attention.
From their web page:
“The application, part of the
brand new suite of online services called ‘Citizens Connect,’ provides
constituents with the ability to send service requests to the Mayor’s
24-hour Hotline complete with pictures and location at the push of a
button. Constituents then receive a tracking number in return as a way
to keep a tab on their requests.”
This is an exciting example of how a
large organization ($2.4 billion annual budget) is engaging their
customers better. Rather than force people to use the phone they offer
them another, often easier, way to communicate with the city. And this
method allows people to track the outcome of their feedback. So they
don’t have to keep calling back. And they know their efforts were not
Customers have a lot of useful information. If we make it easy for
them to connect with us, they will give us all kinds of help managing
our organizations better. In Boston they have now enlisted thousands of
people to help keep the city looking and running better. I the NPR article is any indication, it seems to be paying off.
I hope other cities are paying attention. Maybe Boston will make the
code for this application available to other government units. How
about it Mayor Menino a little help here?