We launched our LoveLewisham app back in 2005. Since then, lots of councils have embraced this kind of technology. Much of the focus has been on making it easier for residents to report problems to the local authority, usually promoted in the local press with a ‘We’ve got an app for that’ story. These apps are increasingly being used as part of the ‘Channel Shift’ agenda. Shifting residents away from call centres to report environmental problems can certainly save some money, but I don’t think this approach exploits the transformative potential of mobile technology.
Why wait for citizens to report things that our own staff and partners might have driven past several times already?
Is there ever a scenario where it will actually cost less to deal with a problem the longer we leave it? Graffiti attracts more graffiti, rubbish encourages more dumping etc. Refuse & recycling collection crews typically drive down every street in the borough at least twice a week, usually early in the morning. Getting them to use the LoveLewisham app helped us reduce call centre traffic by over 30% and drive-up satisfaction with our services. I’m convinced that we can take these ideas much further and go well beyond ‘Channel Shift ‘.
I’m looking forward to sharing some of these ideas at the Service Design in Government Conference. I shall present case study called ‘We’ve got an app for that’ is old hat! Going Beyond Channel Shift With LoveLewisham”
For Twitter users the hashtag for the conference is #SDingov @sdingov