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Government Success: HSO Helps County Government Coordinate Services and Strengthen Citizen Connections
One of Virginia’s largest and most digitally advanced counties strengthened the community and improved citizen services with Microsoft Dynamics 365
This County is governed by a Board of Supervisors. Critical to its success and effectiveness is a strong connection with its citizens—which it seeks to accomplish via two methods: responding to issues, requests, inquiries, and information provided by citizens; and proactively communicating county activities and initiatives to citizens to keep them informed. Although the Board encouraged this two-way communication, it operated reactively rather than proactively. Processes were neither efficient nor consistent, and because each district was using multiple legacy systems that were disconnected, lacked required functionality, and would be cost-prohibitive to upgrade, it was nearly impossible to implement different processes.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides the tools needed by state and local governments to engage with the community in a proactive manner rather than being stuck in a continuous mode of responding to complaints and issues. The County solution included several critical components:
Citizen Relationship Management. A master contact list shared by the County is sourced from inquiries, newsletter lists, and other resources. The Board and other agencies use these lists to keep citizens informed, so it is critical to track contact information as well as citizens’ relationships with other organizations and how each citizen is active within the County. With more information tracked and shared in an organized, centralized fashion, the County is able to gain a fuller picture of each citizen, enabling better understanding of them and increasing the quality and consistency of communication and services.
Service request assignment and tracking down to the project level. This capability would ensure more thorough tracking and follow up on a request or issue. Often, different agencies and employees within those agencies might be working with the same citizen on different issues at the same time. With everyone using the same system, visibility would increase significantly. The citizen’s open requests would be tracked in one place, addressing the common issue of multiple requests on the same topic from the same citizen. Visibility would also allow for more efficient routing of requests and grouping of common requests into a project. The Board could then view trends in issues, questions, and requests, so it could be more responsive to citizens.
A common classification set and routing system. Each office was filing requests and information in its own way, using Outlook public folders. With no consistency in classification and no way to share information in these public folders with other offices, there was no way to easily view and analyze information across the county. In essence, each office was in a silo. An important piece of this puzzle was figuring out a way keep Outlook—because it is the primary method of communication—but integrate it with the new system so information could be properly classified and shared.
Dashboard reporting. With the common classification set in place, the Board could take advantage of a robust dashboard feature that would help it better understand the types and volume of requests, areas of the county that might have a higher concentration of requests or issues, and spot trends quickly, enabling each office and the entire Board to be more proactive.
The county saw immediate results:
- Requests, complaints, and other communications from citizens are managed more efficiently and consistently—with appropriate approval workflows—resulting in faster, more accurate and consistent response and resolution.
- Standardized data gives the Board a better understanding of the community’s concerns and needs.
- The County will save money through reduced maintenance, licensing, and training costs, as well as the ability to be self-sufficient in managing the new platform.