Mobile survey company OnePoint Surveys has been selected by Cumbria County Council to conduct its mobile phone research activities. The OnePoint solution has been used initially as a response mechanism within public consultation programs, and to gain feedback from employees. According to one point, the mobile phone proved to be a very popular way to vote, with more people choosing this method than online and post combined. Another significant advantage was the speed in which the mobile votes were received, providing an early indication of public opinion.
OnePoint mobile surveys enable us to offer an alternative way for our various stakeholders, specifically the public, to engage with us, which is a key focus for the council, as involving the public in our work is an integral part of the policy-making process, says Cumbria County Council Corporate Research Officer, Kieran Barr. We were impressed with the simplicity of the service, yet the real pluses for us were that with OnePoint, survey participants dont incur any costs, as the text messages are free to send and receive. Also, we have the ability to view the results instantly as soon as they come in, allows us to keep our finger on the pulse, which aids quicker decision making."
The council recently launched a major public consultation about the future development of the Longtown area, and for the first time residents were given the option to register their vote via mobile phone as well the more traditional methods of post and online. The free and anonymous mobile survey was designed to be simple, taking less than a minute to complete. The survey asked the respondent to indicate which of the four development proposals they preferred, their comments on any of the proposals, their age and gender.
The council plans to build on this success by rolling out a mobile phone consultation survey across the wider Cumbria community. From late July, posters and other advertising across the county will invite the public to share their views on how they feel the council can make a difference in the area in which they live by texting the word Together to a designated number, which will trigger the sending of the survey to their mobile phone.
The council has also used the OnePoint solution to gather feedback from employees with regard to what they liked about their internal newsletter. Employees were asked to text the word Newsroom to a designated number to participate in the survey, which triggered a short, two-question survey about how they rated the councils staff magazine.
The use of mobile phone surveys within local authorities offers significant benefits across many different areas, says OnePoint Surveys Managing Director, Neil Jessop. Response rates are higher and faster than other methodologies, and respondents continue to favour it as a way of communicating, as responses can be given at a time and place that is convenient to them.