INTERVIEW WITH ICT MANAGER JUSTIN THOMAS
Noosa Council, Queensland
Most Popular Reports
We wanted a better user experience for those sending us reports from out in the field. Previously we had some capabilities on our website but they weren’t mobile-friendly and so we were missing an opportunity for people who are actually encountering things to do the reporting immediately.
Snap Send Solve has provided an easy-to -use communications channel to customers for their requests. It is a turnkey software-as-a-service solution that we could implement quickly and that didn’t rely on internal IT resources or infrastructure. It’s designed with the end-user experience in mind, allowing people to easily do things like attach a photo and capture the address and contact information and to send that through to us.
Snap Send Solve has definitely increased the number of reports from the public – in February 2018 we were doing about 150 requests a month, and that’s increased from about 40 a month the previous February, so it’s more than trebled.
We’re also finding it’s popular with our councillors, who use it to raise requests with us. They find it’s an easy way to contact us about things they see or that ratepayers report to them.
Previously we were constrained by the limitations of our old system which allowed people to only select from a known address or places like parks. It just wasn’t good information. So the mapping capability of Snap Send Solve allows us to identify exactly where an issue is, which saves time and avoids confusion.
This is important on a beach, for example, so we know which end of a beach the issue is rather than just being ‘on the beach’.
The photos are particularly helpful as well. They make it very clear what the issue is and allows us to do an assessment of its severity so we can prioritise it.
For instance, if someone sends us a picture of a footpath that looks obviously dangerous we can prioritise it over a minor crack. We can do this while still in the office, which means we don’t have to go out to see it.
Also, one of the main advantages of the app is that it can be used in multiple local government authorities – it’s not specific to Noosa Council – so we can have visitors using it as well. We have some people who are habitual users of the app. They’re like patrol officers, checking things for us and highlighting issues as they encounter them.