Determined to keep up with an increase in community requests, Santa Monica’s resident-responsive GO App has been put to the test recently with new figures revealing that closure rates are continually outperform projections.
Receiving constant updates since its launch in 2012, recent feedback shows that the City’s reporting and request-for-service GO App is performing well.
Based on City surveys and user comments, Santa Monicans are responding positively to the App that enables communication with the City 24/7, said David Yeskel, GO Systems Analyst, Santa Monica City Information Systems Department.
“We also tend to beat our own service level agreement re: satisfactory closure of GO requests, as most are closed before the self-imposed maximum of 10 working days,” Yeskel explained.
The App is relatively simple to use. After downloading it, users simply open the App, select an issue, take a picture, and tap “submit” – the App uses GPS to detect the exact location and sends the issue directly to the staff member who can fix it.
Users can choose from 19 different categories on the App, or select “other” if theirs is not listed.
The App basically enables instant contact with the City on anything that residents deem needing attention.
Santa Monica is known to be a leader in the use of technology for providing information and services to the public, said Jory Wolf, Santa Monica City Chief Information Officer.
“It’s a great example of how the City is using technology for connecting government with community and for improved customer service,” he explained.
The App can be used to report any issue: potholes that need filling, trees that need maintenance, and graffiti that needs removing.
The GPS and camera features built into smartphones make it simple for residents to alert City officials about issues around the clock while they’re mobile. Residents will know that their issue went to the right person without ever going to an office, making a phone call or sitting down at a computer, as they receive status updates on their requests.
“We encourage residents, business owners, workers and visitors to use either the mobile app or the desktop version of GO to report any concerns, ask questions or to acknowledge a City staff member’s outstanding service,” Yeskel said.
The City said that they are receiving tremendous benefits from this new technology.
“‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ – when a resident taps the send button, their device sends a photo and the precise location directly to the right person who can fix the issue. This efficiency saves the City time and money while improving service,” the City stated.
“GO is another way for us to promote and support citizen engagement,” Yeskel added. “It also gives the community a way to communicate their needs to us at any time, wherever they are – even send in a photo to document their request.”
The App falls under Santa Monica’s Government Outreach Customer Service Center, created to receive and process comments, complaints and service requests.
All requests submitted via GO are automatically sent to the correct staff member, and a tracking number is then sent to the sender. A response is then sent within 10 days – although most requests are handled in less time, the City said.
With the App performing well, the City has aggressive plans for launching new technologies for the public’s benefit including, Jory explained.
“Expansion of our free wi-fi system, additional datasets in our open data platform, installation of 21 new parking advisory signs, traffic signal priority on rapid transit routes, Next Bus trip planner, and the 4th year of our Youth Technology Program,” he highlighted.
Residents are advised to check out GO’s FAQ section or find the related topic of concern in the Category List to see if that resolves the issue first, the City advised. If not, select “Make a Service Request” and submit your comments immediately to the right staff member.
Download the App by searching for GO SMGov.
If the issue is a police of fire emergency, or you are calling to report a downed tree limb in the street, broken water main or a possible hazardous materials accident, dial 9-1-1.