Evenings and weekends, bank holidays or special occasions – there are lots of times when councils and other local government bodies using our street and highway fault reporting service FixMyStreet Pro need to communicate out of hours information with citizens.
On such occasions, it’s important that this information is shared with them before a report is made, to manage expectations, divert emergencies and reduce the likelihood of failure demand.
Happily, doing exactly that just got a lot easier, thanks to a new feature of FixMyStreet Pro, which enables staff to schedule out of hours messages in advance.
This new feature builds upon some existing functionality, which, until now, enabled a message to be hardcoded onto the homepage of FixMyStreet Pro sites, to be displayed at all times, most commonly used for communicating emergency contact numbers.
Now, not only can messages can be easily set up from the FixMyStreet Pro dashboard for both the homepage and reporting pages, a separate message can also be scheduled to display during pre-selected out of hours time periods, to explain, for example, how reports will be handled during this time, when to expect a reply and where to go if the issue is an emergency.
This is especially beneficial to councils and other agencies that have different procedures for handling emergencies within and outside of working hours – procedures which citizens cannot be expected to know off by heart.
For example, your out of hours emergency phone number might be different from the one you want citizens to use during normal working hours.
Messages for both the homepage and reporting pages can be set up by your staff within the admin dashboard of FixMyStreet Pro, with the option to write a different message for each page if required.
During scheduled out of hours time periods, the out of hours message will be displayed to report-makers. At all other times, the normal message will be displayed.
If you only require messaging to be displayed during out of hours, then only the out of hours text box needs to be filled in and a time period selected. Equally, if no messaging is required, then both can be left blank.
There’s no limit to how many time periods can be scheduled, and schedules can be edited or removed easily whenever necessary.
As with most of FixMyStreet Pro’s features, the out of hours message scheduler originated as a great idea suggested by a council using the service.
Although it was originally intended for sharing emergency procedures and out of hours information, the message function can also be used for other purposes.
For example, Bromley Council uses it to advertise its green garden waste service.
To find out more about FixMyStreet Pro, why not request a short demo with the SocietyWorks team?
Image: Frank Busch on Unsplash