Seamless at Be Responsive: The road to digital local government
We were thrilled to speak in front of a packed house as part of Be Responsive Melbourne this week. Be Responsive is a monthly meetup for people interested in responsive group discussions about the web.
Joining Seamless’ Director of Innovation Alex Gelbak on stage was Kirsty Thomas, Yarra Ranges Council’s Digital Coordinator to discuss their new online philosophy.
With limited human resources and more than 150,000 residents to service, Seamless worked with Yarra Ranges to develop a task-focused, resident centric website.
An audit of the council’s operations highlighted the staggering cost of delivering services and fulfilling resident’s requests offline. Handling each request via telephone cost the council an average of $7 and facilitating a walk-in request cost them an average of $60 per enquiry.
Providing these services offline costs the council an average of $800,000 every month. With a cost of only $1 to service requests online it was evident that a digital revamp would immediately benefit the council’s bottom line, improve their online services and free up much needed funds for additional services that were previously unfeasible.
A customer focused approach
Roughly 40 percent of the website’s visitors were using mobile devices, making navigation virtually impossible on the old site.
Yarra Ranges Council’s new digital hub not only allows visitors to quickly access the services and information they require on any device, but a vastly improved search functionality complimented by reducing technical jargon effortlessly brings meaningful data to the surface.
Now residents can easily find nearby schools, sports facilities, capital works and even events like markets and community group Open Days. With limited resources at their disposal, the council encouraged residents to contribute upcoming events to the website for others to discover.
To date more than 300 contributors have made submissions to the website with frequently changing information such as family day care availability. The local data on the website has proven so popular that the My Neighbourhood page is now the second most visited region of the site after the home page.
A vision for the future
Yarra Ranges Council’s online presence is now more engaging and user-friendly.
Powerful navigation tools mean that traditional modes of interaction like the website’s top menu may eventually be removed completely, a possibility that was catered for during the design stage. This would eleviate confusion and allow the council to continue to grow without concern for content discoverability.
Having refreshed their site, Yarra Ranges are now looking to improve customer satisfaction across all of their digital communications, while also empowering their staff to identify opportunities to bring more services online.
Seamless solves the challenges of local digital government. To find out how you can use SeamlessCMS to deliver a feature rich and valued website, get in contact with us.
See below for the slides from the presentation: