The Importance of Citizen’s Feedback in Service Design and Development
As compared to other traditional organisations where the services are designed as per the requirement of the customers, there is a lack of requirement from the citizen’s side in smart city services. There is a difference between other organisations and smart cities in terms of service design and delivery, and the impact of the services that they usually have on customers. This is because traditional organisations are profit oriented and customers pay for the services that they use. Moreover, they have certain number of customers which use those services and these organisations are business oriented. But smart cities are service oriented and therefore it is important to think about the services not for gaining value out of it rather with the aim of enhancing the quality of life for the citizen of the city. Also, in the smart city context one another important stakeholder is Council which gives projects to private companies to design the services. In the smart cities, service providers do not continuously adjust their requirement as per the individual customer and constantly changing needs as compared to the traditional organisations, probably due to the diversity of the people who use the services and also for them the Council is their customer not the citizens.
So now the question is why it is important to involve them in the design process of the services. Answer to this question lies in the main goal of the smart city service which is improving the quality of the life for the citizens of the city. Therefore, it becomes vital that we design and evaluate the performance of the services as per the citizen’s requirement as they would be the end users of these services. For instance, e-parking service which has been designed in different cities of the Ireland with the aim of improving air quality, lower Co2 emission and many more benefits that it has to offer. However, if we see the feedback from the citizens of those cities who have been using these services since so long then we would find that the service itself is not working properly. We can easily identify the functional and non-functional issues associated with the service which has been specifically designed for the citizens. So the question is if the services are designed for the citizens for improving their lives then why do we not have mechanism to value their feedback for further improvement and design of the services. Therefore, we emphasise that we involve citizens in the design and development of the services as they can provide some valuable inputs for designing the better services for the city.