What Strategies is Kansas City Using to Improve Communications with Residents?
The Council Goal for Customer Service is to: Create an internal culture that operationalizes the focus on the customer across all services provided by the City.
Below are the objectives from the current Citywide Business Plan that outline the specific strategies that the City is pursuing that relate to communication. These objectives provide insight into the departments that are involved and the actions that are being taken.
City's Communication Efforts - Citizen Satisfaction with the availability of information about city programs and services
Elected City officials and appointed staff recognize that there is a constant need to ensure that citizens are up-to-date on city programs, services, and policies because of the potential impact these have on the quality of citizens' lives. When there are changes to trash collection services, road closures, upcoming events, and other important city news, it is the responsibility of the city to spread this message. A true commitment to communication requires that information is clearly broadcast using a variety of methods. This is why the City engages residents through its website, KCCG-Channel 2, the City's newsletter KCMOre and social media.
The below chart shows citizen satisfaction with the availability of information about City programs and services, which is a helpful measurement to determine if the communication efforts the city is using are reaching the intended audience - the citizens. Satisfaction in this area has remained relatively stable over the last four years. However, satisfaction has increased about 10% over the past 10 years.
City's Communication Efforts - how citizens prefer to receive information
In FY2013, a question was added to the citizen survey that asked citizens to chose their preference for receiving city information. The chart below shows that the City's website was once the favored method of receiving information, the City Magazine, KCMOre, has recently risen to similar levels of popularity. This data is a good reminder that while efforts to enhance digital communication are necessary, there are citizens who prefer traditional methods of communication.
The City's Website
As the chart above indicates, the city's website is one of the most preferred methods for citizens for receiving information from the city. In 2013, the city launched a reinvisioned, search-based, mobile friendly website. KCMO.gov allows website visitors to search for services or programs and scroll through results, instead of needing to navigate through several pages. The look and feel of the website have also been updated to reflect current city branding.
Citizen Satisfaction with the City's Website
With the launch of a new website, it is now more important than ever to know if it is useful for citizens. Citizen satisfaction with the usefulness of the city's website has increased two percent since FY2013. The FY2014 figures only reflect a small amount of time after the launch of the new website. The initial increase in satisfaction with the new site has been slowly wearing off, despite no major revisions to the site. This may be due to the "shininess" of the new site wearing off, and that expectations of what a good website should be continue to evolve.
Do Citizens visits the Website?
In addition to a question about usefulness, the citizen survey also asks citizens to indicate if they have been to the city's website in the last year. Even before the launch of the new website, there was a steady upward trend. The last three fiscal years show that more than half of citizens have visited the website.
KCMOre, the city's biannual magazine, launched in 2011 to enhance strategic communication and engagement with residents. It features stories on city services, and city innovations in technology, community resources, sustainability, public safety, and development. Physical copies of KCMOre are distributed for the fall issue in targeted areas of the city, while the spring version is primarily found online, which can be found at www.kcmo.gov/kcmore.
The below chart shows citizen satisfaction with the content of KCMOre.