In David Moody’s article titled “The Emergence of the Digital Citizen,” (PART 1, PART 2, PART 3) he boldly, yet I believe very accurately, predicts that by 2020 phone-based communication will represent the lowest percentage of government interactions.
A key trend that supports David’s viewpoint is the rapid transition from “basic” mobile phones to smart phones. In March 2012, Ofcom reported that smart phone represented 48% of UK phone sales. In May 2012, Nielsen reported that 50.4% of U.S. consumers use smart phones. In Australia, CeBIT states that smart phones are now a whopping 65% of the market. Additionally, tablet sales are still in their infancy, despite the fact that Apple is on target to sell 100M iPads this year.
Why is all of this hardware data important? Simple. The devices we use to create and consume information are intrinsically linked to the software we use. On smart phones and tablets that means mobile and social media applications. For example, Reuters reported earlier this year that 55% of Twitter’s over 100 million monthly active users access its service over a mobile phone.
The “Unheard” Majority
KANA’s Lagan Open311 product is an implementation of the Open311 standard and supports connectivity between different Open311 compliant applications with the existing underlying processes within the same government organization’s CRM implementation.
These types of mobile applications are great for 1-to-1 conversations whereby the digital citizen has engaged directly with local government. However, there are more people that talk about your services via social media than talk directly to you.
For example, here are a couple of tweets that I easily found searching on Twitter.
These are valid concerns voiced by digital citizens, but they likely are not being heard by their local government. However, these tweets are potentially influencing everyone in their network of followers.
Listening for Needles in Haystacks
One approach to finding these needles in social media haystacks is to leverage Lagan Experience Analytics. In addition to popular social media forums such as Twitter, Facebook and Blogger, Lagan Experience Analytics can also source text-based communication from direct channels including chat, email, and web feedback forms.
Our listening technology analyzes the large quantities of constantly generated online commentary in real-time. Depending on the criteria you set, important comments can be routed to the 311 contact center—or to any department for follow-up—via email or to the Lagan Agent Desktop.
Not only is all the chatter analyzed, segmented and categorized into themes and issues, but users can also conduct root-cause analysis within specific areas of customer praise and dissatisfaction to get to underlying causes and opinions. With qualitative and quantifiable insights at your fingertips, you can identify insights that will have a wide-ranging and positive impact on policy-making and service delivery.
Real World Examples for Our Customers
I have the privilege of working with the early adopters deploying Lagan Experience Analytics. Some of the topics that cities are listening to include:
• Test, validate and monitor public sentiment without media, political filtering or “spin“
• Respond to inquiries and complaints voiced by citizens using social sites
• Use social listening to help shape digital government strategy for how citizens want to interact with the government
• Monitor real time event related social chatter to organize and plan city response and deployment of resources
Listening to Ourselves
• Monitor social media sites managed by various city departments
• Analyze potential public threats in order to optimize deployment of resources in order to improve public safety
Here is an example of a Dashboard report for the Public Safety topic.
Some of the insights that have been obtained with these early adopters range from the predictable to very interesting. A city council member resigns, so the City Council category dramatically increases in volume for a few days. An elected official’s family issues become public and our Emerging Topics capability identified and captured the content and raised an alert even though we were not looking for that type of news. A city festival was held and public sentiment about the city improved. And it seems every city where we are monitoring has social media chatter about police officers talking on their cell phones or texting while driving. If I had a penny for every pothole comment on Twitter…well, I might be able to buy a nice breakfast bagel…for everyone in the world!
Like the entire KANA team, I appreciate your feedback and welcome any thoughts that can spark a conversation. Please comment!