CivicPlus Adds 311 Capabilities to Integrated Solution Suite

CP Connect works with any online CMS or other communications channel of a citizen’s choice, including phone, text, email, social media or other websites.

One of the gov tech industry’s most prominent website builders and integrated communications software providers has added 311 functionality to its platform.

Based in Kansas and boasting more than 3,500 local government customers, CivicPlus launched the new citizen request management (CRM) tool, CP Connect 311, on Monday. The company’s Director of Platform and Technology Ben Sebree described CP Connect as an add-on to the existing CivicPlus platform. This allows it to handle non-emergency service requests and communicate with citizens through any channel of their choice, including phone, email, text, social media or other websites, via a single application.

“It’s a tool for staff to use within the municipality to create efficiencies within their 311 center, and it can be used with other departments as well,” he said. “It allows you to have that two-way communication with the constituent without having to jump around between siloed systems.”

Sebree said CivicPlus’ APIs allow CP Connect to work with any online content management system (CMS), so citizens can contact their local government through their preferred method of communication, and all requests will be automatically connected to the right department.

“The way we look at constituent engagement is very similar to the way municipalities are looking at it, and that’s with an equity lens. We really want to be accessible to all constituents, and municipalities do too, so they don’t want to use technology that requires just one form of communication,” he said. “It consolidates the workflows for the municipality, so when you get that request in from the 311 center, we’re able to automatically, through the CP Connect software, turn that into a service request for something like a pothole that comes in, and that is automatically assigned to the team in public works, so they have to follow up and do that.”

Sebree added that the tool can also give governments a way to study response rates and other data related to 311.

Although CivicPlus acquired several CMS platforms in three buyouts over the last two years, Sebree said CP Connect is an in-house product. He acknowledged the company has a lot of competitors in this space, including GovQA and SeeClickFix, but he thinks CP Connect has a leg up in communications functionality.

“The main difference between us is … we have so many different channels of how a constituent can engage back and forth with a municipality through CP Connect,” he said.

Andrew Westrope is managing editor of the Center for Digital Education. Before that, he was a staff writer for Government Technology, and previously was a reporter and editor at community newspapers. He has a bachelor’s degree in physiology from Michigan State University and lives in Northern California.
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