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THE COUNCIL GUIDE TO USING TECHNOLOGY FOR A BETTER CONNECTED COMMUNITY
Building Interactive is a local council intelligent software platform with an infrastructure ensuring it is not only fluid and evolving, but has the ability to connect to third party products. Its purpose is to connect everyone and everything within a local council community. The platform consists of a comprehensive set of 50 plus local council related functions enabling easy data storage and retrieval required for efficient communication between all stakeholders for the life cycle of all the local council assets and its community.
Imagine an advanced technology that enables a city council to provide all the essential services to their local community at the touch of a button. Because of the constant advances in technology, people have come to expect an ease of connection to services and products everywhere, including where they live and work.
Mobile app platforms are no longer just for big businesses or brands’ marketing efforts. Mobile apps are now established as a part of the technological push that faces all businesses, organisations and government agencies. The simplicity of the technology will enable the council to provide a resource that can cater to the needs of users at any time of the day or night whilst improving the customer service and reducing costs. Mobile apps continue to evolve to enable a better and more diversified user experience which will help increase the engagement of a council with its residents.
A well designed mobile platform application can be created to run alongside and even compliment some of the council’s existing software systems and help personnel become more efficient and increase employee satisfaction.
At the end of 2016, mobile overtook desktop as the preferred device to search via Google with 30% of all online searches now voice activated.
At the start of 2017, over half of the world’s population is now connected to the internet and there are almost 5 billion mobile end users.
In January 2017, 80% of Australian internet end users now own a smartphone, with over 36% of mobile subscribers using phones or tablets/iPads to read their emails. Over 45% of mobile users utilise tablets to access internet, read emails, run some of the daily work tasks, watch videos, socialise & connect with others.
Apps now account for 89% of time spent on mobile devices by end users with only 11% of their time spent on websites. People are more time poor now than ever before with the increase in the number of social media and online advertising that is targeted at them. For any council, it is now more crucial to ensure that their residents get a seamless experience on their mobile devices.
It is now more important to keep your residents within an app, as it will be essential to ensure that all the services provided by the councils to their communities are available at their fingertips. The goal then would be for councils to create a mobile platform that allows easy access to their council but also include features that bring end users to their app as often as possible. The future is in mobile ready software that engages the user, provides features that are relevant and has the flexibility to change when required.
It is important to also note that research commissioned by the Commonwealth Bank shows that 73 percent of Australians expect that the mobile wallet will replace the need for cash and credit or debit cards by 2021. Apps then form the platform for the future of all marketing and communication with residents and businesses within a locality.
Communication – Australian banks have taken the lead by making banking and paying for services easier. By adding app platforms the banks and bigger businesses have cut down costs by making all their features available online at times when their clients want
Connection – Loyalty is more important now with the online distractions that are available to people. Councils continue to compete for the time and feedback from their residents. The cooperation of their residents will depend greatly on the customer experience they have not only at the various council locations but more increasingly from the Council’s online presence.
Customer satisfaction – When councils are able to deliver the same or better online experience than that which is provided to residents physically at council locations and events, then their customer satisfaction will be guaranteed to be positive.
Council services – Australian banks have taken the lead by making banking and paying for services easier. By adding app platforms the banks and bigger businesses have cut down costs by making all their features available online at times when their clients want them.
Council services – Australian banks have taken the lead by making banking and paying for services easier. By adding app platforms the banks and bigger businesses have cut down service costs by making all their features available online at times when their clients want them
Technology – Adding a new channel of communication that is always within reach to residents, employees, councillors and local businesses is now easier with the app platform technology. By providing this technology to users, councils can ensure they keep up with changes in technology whilst delivering a great user experience.
Security and community connectedness – In the 1990’s we all knew of neighborhood watch but with the growth and changes in communities, this has been lost. The app platform provides a safe place for users to report on community matters and interact within the platform in a community forum in a safe manner.
Safety and vital information – a city council app can ensure that any warnings, important events and news updates are available internally and externally to all relevant users.
Training and education tools – video training tools can be included for council staff for various aspects eg CPR, emergency training, customer communication, etc. Easily track users access and viewing of staff training videos and include resources for staff review and participation for training. Provide educational resources for residents to learn how to integrate, interact, etc.
Local points of interest – the app has the ability to highlight points of interest for locals and visitors all in one location. The app can then enable users to directly navigate to these locations and if there are any problems at the locations it is easier to quickly update on the app platform.
Promote local events – festivals, grass-root events and social events run by various communities can be highlighted the app has the ability to highlight points of interest for locals and visitors all in one location. The app can then enable users to directly navigate to these locations and if there are any problems at the locations it is.
Voice issues – the council can conduct survey and studies on matters like transport, community hubs, etc through the app to ensure community support and understanding. All this information and their responses can be centrally polled and recorded for future.
Community issues – the ability to provide resources for community issues like family violence, vandalism, homelessness, etc that train residents, inform them of steps and helplines. The app has the ability to add videos, documentation, forms and links to helpful websites for issues that affect residents personally.
Environmental awareness – Users and residents are not happy with the now superseded method of physical notices, which is still unfortunately prevalent in local councils. By adding smarter technology, councils will be able to remove the unnecessarily costly, slow and environmentally damaging use of wasting precious paper. As the communities become more socially responsible they will be appreciative of their local council’s efforts to reduce waste.
A new way for businesses to keep in touch with their communities and clients.
Social media platforms allow people to interact with each other, be invited into business processes and see the more personal side of a business.
Event days can be shown on social media platforms and residents & landlords, consultants, businesses and contractors can share their experiences and keep in touch with council.
With the use of the mobile app platform and a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool the council can grow the email list for its all residents, existing, new and old by integrating with the council email responder service.
The council will be able to easily import contacts gathered from the mobile app into any email marketing campaign and information services.
Automatically integrate all of your shopping store items into a mobile shopping cart feature for merchandise & payment for various city council services.
The payment feature in the mobile app can reduce the debt policy that occurs for businesses as residents/landlords forget to pay in a timely manner for bills and help automate the payments.
Council can easily integrate restaurant’s adjacent their offices into the app by adding a number of food ordering systems for quick ordering by end users and city council employees.
Wufoo allows the city council to create appointments, order, get feedback or create contact forms and much more. Services like Flickr and Picasa allow the city council to display images in a beautiful image gallery format directly from their accounts. Integrate any audio file online to allow for end users to listen on the go from their favorite mobile device with SoundCloud.