Special Events Satisfaction Survey
A municipal client required follow-up satisfaction surveys for each of the 6 categories of people involved in various community events throughout the year. This data would be useful for future event planning but the volume of surveys and time required for coordination became time-consuming.
Instead of creating and managing a total of 36 surveys, one survey was designed and programmed. It contained all questions to be asked for all respondent categories. It contained all of the necessary questions including asking respondents to identify which of the 6 categories they belong to (ie. vendors, performers, advertisers, community groups, food services, other). Similar questions were displayed within the survey while a couple of categories with unique questions were solely displayed for those category’s respondents.
A single survey provides significant cost and time savings during both the execution and result phases. Instead of organizing several individual surveys, management and results analysis can all be done in one place. The single survey eased the email invite process considerably and enabled the municipality to view the survey’s overall results or filter by categories.
After each event’s survey closed, the survey was updated with the next event’s name and details. All results were presented separately and cumulatively throughout the year. We input results into a Power BI dashboard with various filters and data views enabling the special events team to easily gain significant insights from all the data.
Converting Social Media Subs to E-Newsletters
Many municipalities have jumped on the social media train and acquired a high volume of followers. Unfortunately, social followers do not always translate into well informed, educated and motivated residents. Curating strong awareness of programs and opportunities to get involved in with the community isn’t as easy as posting on Facebook. Social media is not intended to be a stable, reliable medium for in-depth news and program information.
Many municipalities are turning once again to e-newsletters as a method to combat audience shifts among various social media channels. We work with municipalities who are faced with converting their social media followers to e-newsletter subscribers.
Industry numbers prove that social media followers can successfully be engaged to subscribe to e-newsletters. Those who have already opted into following on social media are likely engaged residents seeking to learn more about their community. An example of cross-pollination between platforms is using a very basic prize draw incentive and messaging for a short period of time to convert Facebook followers into city e-newsletter subscribers.
Content is a key driver to engagement. Due to the ability to provide in-depth content, e-newsletter subscription shows increased awareness and motivation to participate in current programs and activities. Gatekeeping content on social media in exchange for an email is an effective and value-driven method for converting social followers to e-news subscribers.
Newsletters For Community Engagement
Many of us understand and use the term community engagement. While we understand its importance it is not uncommon to practice community re-engagement instead by starting and stopping true engagement for every term-defined municipal project.
The key to consistent engagement is to avoid the start and stop approach and build off of the momentum of separate defined-term projects to effectively build community engagement capacity. We’ve helped various municipalities overcome this.
Community engagement works best as an ongoing cumulative process enabling long-term
relationships and strengthening trust over time. Each engagement event needs to be planned and designed with this in mind to contribute to the overall longevity of the engagement process.
Inviting a community member to engage with the municipality is the first step in establishing an ongoing permanent relationship. It is useful to create subscriber lists based on immediate interest, but it is equally important to encourage subscribers to participate in other categories of interest. Otherwise, once a single project is over, your list will be lost. Residents are often interested in more than one category and appreciate the opportunity to learn more and contribute.
We typically add a dedicated segment to existing public consultation or general e-newsletter and use a subscription widget to identify subscribers related to each defined-term project or program. We grow a strong subscription base for existing e-newsletter categories by connecting residents to specific projects. By leveraging resident subscribers across multiple projects of interest we also grow the municipality’s community engagement capacity.
1000 to 5000 average growth rate for our public consultation newsletters over the past 5 years.
Recreation Services Customer Feedback
A municipality switching over its recreation services management system engaged The W Group to help it triage the volume of complaints, concerns, questions and compliments received. Issues commonly pop up in any facility, but the way a municipality approaches and resolves complaints can be its moment to shine. Coordinating feedback is a stepping stone to implementing long-term solutions.
We designed a multi-channel, paper and digital submission form process that
automatically routes complaints and concerns to business unit managers. It then identifies and addresses systemic issues and collects evidence for future program build-outs.
Two feedback streams were created; one for registered program participants and one for facility visitors, regardless of activity. Both streams send a survey invite through email after participants complete their program or following a visit to the facility.
The results provide detailed levels of satisfaction categorized by facilities, recreation programs, facility activities, etc. Statistics import into a dynamic dashboard along with other service data to provide in-depth views of recreation operations.
60% Of customers completed the feedback survey
Multi-Phased Project Engagement
Gaining momentum for resident engagement can be difficult during a lengthy project. Multi-phased projects like major parks, master plans, new facilities, or transportation plans require extended periods of communication. We have worked with many municipalities to manage community engagement for projects like these.
To streamline communication management we design and program a set of 3 community surveys per project. A segmented e-newsletter subscriber list informs interested residents throughout each project of progress, status updates, and important decisions.
In the face of COVID-19, we ensure some recruitment filter questions are added to each of the surveys to identify residents who may be potential candidates for online discussion/focus groups.
The set of 3 surveys are as follows:
1. A ‘Blank Sheet of Paper’ style survey asks for broad ideas and opinions on what should be considered as part of the project. This survey includes primarily open-ended questions.
2. A ‘Survey of Community Residents’ provides a set of options for project development and includes mostly closed-ended questions. Questions may discuss project features such as amenities for a park, facility or plan and then measures their level of support.
3. A ‘Final Touch Base Survey’ presents the final project details along with the proposed implementation plan and measures the residents’ level of support. Understanding the level of support does not necessarily affect the decisions made, but it does influence priorities and timing.
A Few Vocal Residents & A Silent Majority
Municipalities are under increased pressure to incorporate public opinions as a factor in a greater number of projects. Collecting balanced feedback in a timely manner can prove challenging. A small community came to us after seeking public consultation for their progressive thinking but were constantly challenged by the same few vocal residents. To make a decision fairly quickly they were required to have an understanding of how the majority of residents feel within a few days.
The W Group helped the City create a Community Engagement Research Panel (CERP) consisting of a representative sample of 750 residents. This made it possible for staff and council to conduct surveys providing a representative analysis of all viewpoints. The intention of larger-scale results is not to dilute the opinions of the few vocal residents but to understand if their opinions truly represent the silent majority.
50% response rate received
90% of all completed surveys received within 72 hours
Privacy Training During a Pandemic
Confidentiality is a priority especially for municipalities who deal with sensitive and personal information on a daily basis. Many municipalities, like the City of Surrey, require a Privacy Awareness Course for all staff to complete an annual basis. Deploying an annual course to a high volume of staff has many challenges including the high cost of implementation, time away from work, and standardizing each class.
As a long-term solution, we designed and programmed a mandatory course for all staff to complete annually. This eliminates a lot of training time and staff downtime while ensuring that each staff member receives the exact same, standardized training. E-learning also prevents the spread of COVID-19 by eliminating the need for all of the city staff to come into a shared classroom.
2500-3000 staff needing training
100 classroom expenses saved
400 hours of teaching time saved with 2 instructors per class
Digital Forms | Paperless Pet Protocol
The Surrey Animal Resource Centre facilitates pet care through adoption, donation, and volunteer work. In general, day to day operations call for in-person contact between staff and prospective pet parents.
COVID-19 safety measures including physical distancing restricted residents from entering the facility to complete manual paperwork. These mandatory limitations discouraged residents from wanting to adopt or place a pet up for adoption. As a result, the intake of pets needing adoption services unfortunately plummeted.
Shifting to a contactless system for managing pet adoption information was fundamental to achieving zero physical touch with increased efficiency. We began by converting all existing paper-based forms and fillable PDF forms into completely digital online forms. Virtual submission reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission because it is accessible from home on all devices from desktop to mobile.
Digitally-connected forms eliminated the process of manually repopulating information. For example, any information entered on the intake form automatically populates the pet adoption form. This process also addresses privacy concerns by eliminating the need for the resource centre staff to re-enter pet information, in turn protecting the identity of the previous pet owner.