19 March 2020
How social are you as a local authority?
Two score and five years ago, or more simply, 45 years ago, no one would have imagined that society would be reduced to communicating almost exclusively with a 6-inch screen, just about the size of their own hand. People might have given you some funny looks if you described our reality to them. Yet, this is how we progressed and in 45 short years, we have morphed from the limitations of postage to the impatience of an instant message reply.
If you had a problem with a local authority back then, you would either have to write a letter to them, hoping it would be read, or make an appointment which may have taken weeks. Today, if you have a problem, you tweet about it or put it on Facebook to air your frustration before contacting the responsible parties. For better or worse, we unknowingly crowdsource our argument with a local authority before we contact them.
Theoretically, ’Brian’ has to contact his local authority about a pothole that he has hit a couple times while driving at night. The pothole’s visibility is drastically reduced after sunset and it’s in a place where it’s virtually unavoidable. He has been meaning to ring his local council to let them know about it, but hasn’t had the time with job and commute. One evening, he hits the pothole badly, nearly wrecking his wheel. Frustrated, he jumps onto social media, lambasting the council and the imagined damage to his car. The words do not match the reality as they are written from a place of frustration, but they spark engagement with his friends and other residents, starting a flood of comments in solidarity. This small hole on a residential street went from a minor annoyance to an overnight public relations nightmare in less than 140 characters. How could this have been avoided?
Keeping up with the millennials
Social isn’t the first thing you think of when you hear ‘local authority,’ but why not? Some would argue that a local authority needs to be social since they deal with a large portion of the public, especially when it comes to customers like Brian. Social media is such a key facet of daily communication with this generation. Avoidance is not an option, since the public is already there whether you exist there or not. However, if you are there, and you, as a local authority, could join in the conversation about your designated area, then you would be viewed as being progressive and more inclusive, developing a rapport with those online.
What if Brian just sent a message directly to you rather than create a public post? The issue would have been resolved in a private way with virtually no damage control required for the council’s customer service team. This is where being social, and having an effective social media communication strategy can benefit a local authority. Some local authorities even have a WhatsApp account, giving the public a direct, one-on-one method of communication that they are familiar with, right in the palm of their hand.
Integrate for maximum productivity
Social media can be daunting with all the instant messages coming in. Click4Assistance foresaw this and developed a seamless integration with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, so that all your instant messages are all accessible from the fully customisable desktop dashboard. Not only does this increase productivity, but it also ensures that you never miss an instant message again.
But why stop the productivity there? By enlisting the help of artificial intelligence, you could immediately engage all users without direct human intervention, increasing your customer service satisfaction rate, productivity and efficiency without hiring more staff. Artie the chatbot does not sleep, so he is available 24/7 to greet users, answer basic questions, assist with website navigation and even respond to Facebook messages for you, keeping that response rate within seconds. And, Artie can speak with an unlimited number of users simultaneously, making him your most productive and efficient customer team member.
As with everything, there are pros and cons, but with Click4Assistance, we help decrease those cons and get ahead of the game. Being more social as a local authority will make you more progressive and establish you as a forward-thinking authority, gaining respect from the millennial generation. Improving communication only has benefits, and those benefits are reflected in your customer service satisfaction rates, which will skyrocket once you meet the public in their sphere. When you choose to take the plunge, remember that live chat, social media instant messaging, and an artificial intelligence chatbot are all available in one simple solution with a sleek desktop dashboard.
If you’re interested in deploying Click4Assistance, the UK’s premier GDPR compliant live chat software solution, to increase your local authority’s productivity for 2020, give us a call on 08451235871 or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our experts will be with you right away.