Factors To Consider When Choosing Community Engagement Software
What do you look for in a community engagement software?
Using any kind of software should ease your workload, that's the entire point after all. Ensure the software is intuitive and easy to use for your team.
Include good support, ensure the software provider is a leader in the development of online community engagement software and provides access to skilled support staff, community engagement practitioners and advice.
Discussion Forums: the most transparent form of online engagement, discussion forums are community spaces for "public" discussion, debate and dialogue. Ensure the software allows for multiple themed discussions and includes capacity for your consultation project team to facilitate and distinctively engage in discussion forums.
Let’s be really honest here, you need your software to cost something, otherwise you are going to get a poor product and you will not receive any support. You still want it to be as affordable as possible though and particularly at the entry level for small organizations. With all this in mind, the best situation is a low entry-level cost model that scales as your organization grows or as the scope of your project grows. Other factors to consider include transparency of pricing and no hidden costs.
Capturing feedback from your consultation means you are going to need some form of issue tracking. Best practice includes real-time integrated reporting within the software with the capacity to capture all feedback and activity associated with an individual consultation.
Ensure you have access to comment analysis and tagging functionality for qualitative data, incorporating capacity to search and categorize by keywords or combinations of tags.
Some frequently asked questions from our new customers:
Does the product adhere to the 8 key responsibilities of data protection?
Yes, the product enables these responsibilities, though it cannot exercise control over client actions to ensure that they adhere to them. The key responsibilities are:
You must ...
1. Obtain and process the information fairly.
2. Keep it only for one or more specified and lawful purposes.
3. Process it only in ways compatible with the purposes for which it was given to you initially.
4. Keep it safe and secure.
5. Keep it accurate and up-to-date.
6. Ensure that it is adequate, relevant and not excessive.
7. Retain it no longer than is necessary for the specified purpose or purposes.
8. Give a copy of his/her personal data to any individual, on request.
Is the product encrypted online with SSL certification?
Yes, the dashboard is https and has valid SSL certification.
Is the product mobile or allow staff to access it in the community?
The product is made up of a dashboard and mobile data collection app with a view to mobile field engagement. Information can be collected on mobile and the dashboard can be viewed on a laptop, tablet or mobile devices.
Where is the data held?
The data is maintained in two secure AWS Amazon servers, one in the United States and one in Western Europe. It is not practical to have servers in all countries that we service.
Is the product available in a white label version, ie, with my own branding?
No, the standard branding is the only version available though there is considerable control over all the ‘fields’ laid out within the product such as surveys, custom fields, notes for team members and so on. To this extent, the product can be tailored to a particular organization’s vision.
Do you provide technical and other support to customers?
Yes, full tech support and customer success is available as standard through a variety of means. This support is provided within office hours.
Do you provide training to product owners and team members?
Yes, full training is available by webinar, support manuals or one-to-one, as necessary.
Do you provide resource materials to help with strategy or implementation?
Yes, we have a Voxcitio Academy for resources that community engagement practitioners may use. This is added to weekly and in response to client requests or suggestions.
Does the product provide analytics on the information collected and imported?
All data collected can be viewed in our analytics dashboard by survey response, segmented groupings, issues raised and any other custom fields required. The activity feed keeps a project up-to-date with latest outreach and follow-up work completed and tracks individuals team member’s work.
Does the product provide a variety of options for gathering community generated content in both qualitative and quantitative formats that support your face-to-face engagement methodology?
Yes, information can be collected in qualitative and quantitative formats to mirror the face-to-face engagement process. Survey responses can be collected in these formats and specific issues can be captured in free-text and labeled with #s for easy segmentation and follow-up work.
Can the product be used daily without the need to call us?
Yes, but we are always on hand to help if you need us.
Does the application have an API to facilitate integration with your other systems?
No, but we can build an integration with most major software systems as necessary.
Are there permission levels with the product that restrict the view on data based on a team member’s status?
Yes, our permission settings allow you to set up team members with specific access.
If you want to learn more about how Voxcitio can help you with Community Engagement, why not get in touch below: