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
We’re really pleased to be working with the fabulous community crowdfunding site Yimby ["Why are we called Yimby? We're the exact opposite of that moany Nimby (not in my backyard) lot. We're the people who don't take no for an answer and make good stuff happen. Oh and we’re from the people behind JustGiving. Think of us as the noisy younger sibling."].
The LoveLewisham app will help residents identify local Yimby project proposals. A new ‘Yimby Propsal’ category will be added to the LoveLewisham app soon. This is part of a wider hook-up with the LoveCleanStreets system, which of course all started with LoveLewisham, so we’re really proud to pioneer the Yimby partnership!
These are just some of the reports from one of our refuse workers using our LoveLewisham app this morning. The first report was posted at 6.40 am. Each one of these reports is a potential resident call to our Contact Centre or, worse still a piece of costly complaint casework.
Since we’ve been using LoveLewisham, Environment-related calls to our Contact Centre have dropped by over 30%, saving £500 in Contact-centre costs alone. Lots of councils are rightly thinking about the savings that can be gained by channel-shifting resident reports from Contact Centres to the web or mobile web forms. Our experience points to a higher prize. Using our employees and partners to get to the problem first, using a richer, ‘work anywhere’ app like LoveCleanStreets to Channel-Avoid.
This video shows how Lewisham MP, Heidi Alexander uses LoveLewisham & LoveCleanLondon to help keep her constituency clean. It also show how Heidi uses the app to manage some of her constituent casework. This approach can be more effective, and save the council money in handling MP casework.
You can find more information about the cost benefits of using the app for casework here.