The city of Seguin has rolled out a new messaging platform to connect residents to city services.
During a recent city council meeting, city of Seguin public information officer Jennifer Sourdellia announced the new service called TextMyGov. It is an app-less messaging platform that gives residents who register for the service the ability to text message the city at any time on any day with inquiries and issues.
“It helps residents find information quickly, easily — we get to answer questions for them — they can report issues, and they can send messages directly to staff,” Sourdellia said. “Citizens [can] quickly find the information they are looking for, eliminating the need to call the city.”
Signing up for the service is as easy as texting “Hi” to 830-800-8002, in which the response will guide the person through various prompts to get them the information they are seeking, Sourdellia said.
“TextMyGov scans the city’s website for keywords and instantly replies back with an answer, including links for detailed information,” she said. “For unrecognized words, citizens will be provided an email address and phone number to contact our citizen relations coordinator.”
To report issues like potholes, weedy lots, stray animals and issues with garbage collection, text the word ‘Report,’ to the dedicated number, Sourdellia said.
The resident can send a photo with their description of the issue, which will get distributed to the right department to handle the situation, Sourdellia said.
“Animal services will be notified via an email about an animal issue, or the administrative technician and public works will be notified via email about reports of potholes or other public works related issues,” she said.
Seguin Mayor Don Kiel inquired a scenario involving a canine on the loose to better explain the services of the platform.
Reporting the stray pup is as easy as three steps, opening the phone, sending the initial text, followed by a photo and location, Sourdellia said.
TextMyGov also provides the city with the ability to send notifications such as emergency information, road closures, power/water outages, weather related information, and much more to residents who opt in by texting ‘Seguin’ to 91896.
The move to incorporate TextMyGov was based on the prominence and accessibility of texting, Sourdellia said.
“Consumers right now want instant gratification, and this is a great way for us to give them instant answers and information,” she said. “…At least 97% of smartphone owners text regularly according to Pew research. According to a Nielson study, 56% of people surveyed would rather text message a business rather than call customer service.”
For more information on TextMyGov, visit seguintexas.gov .