Industries have been revolutionized by technology. Think about taxi experiences through companies like Grab, Uber or Lyft, and travel through Airbnb. The benefits the customers experience keep improving. However when you step back and think about industries that haven't been revolutionized yet, you might think of governments. There is a change happening within some local cities and governments through market research online communities or experience management platforms.
Certain cities in Canada, and Australia have begun trying to improve the experience it provides for its residents by creating online communities for residents. By creating an insight community for a city you can invite residents to join. This can be done by mail outs or social ad campaigns. Members sign up and fill out personal details about their age, occupation, and address among other information. This information can then be used to later send out surveys or discussions to the members that the feedback requests pertain to most.
An example would be that City Q is deciding where to put a new park on the east side of the city. There are two possible locations being decided. City Q can send out a survey to residents in the east side to get their feedback. Perhaps it is overwhelming the votes cast through the survey for location 1. However it is unclear to the council members as to why? The council can decide to hold a private or group discussion from a sample group of the members who voted for location 1. The discussion can be held over a period of days or live. From this style of deep dive discussion the council realizes that the reason why the majority of votes for location 1 was due to the reduced noise and distance from the freeway unlike location 2.
The concept of testing ideas with constituents is wonderful for residents as they feel that their voice is being heard when decisions are being made in their city. City council members also enjoy the process of feedback because they know that they can make decisions with confidence. If you would like to find out more about how communities can help your city please feel free to contact us.