OpenCounter is always striving to better connect citizens with the regulations that govern them. It’s in our name, our logo and our branding. It’s why we’ve always put a ‘Need help? Contact city staff’ link on every page in the application.

This email announces some changes we've made to our inquiry system, a key part of how out platform connects your jurisdiction with the public.

Change 1: Richer inquiry notification emails

Our inquiries seem simple, but are a big improvement on an unstructured email or phone call. Associating free-form questions with a standard set of contextual information saves everyone time going back and forth. This brings us to our first change: more of that context is now present in the email itself:

Change 2: Subscribe to only those inquiries you care about

As our company grows, our product reaches more departments within City Hall, such as special events, residential permitting, business licensing, and more. This expansion has, frankly, outgrown the “on or off” settings for inbound user questions, which mean users either receive all questions or none at all.

So, as a result of discussions about this with our users, we have created the ability to subscribe to inquiries either in the ‘scoping’ or ‘application’ phase of a project.

Additionally, you can drill-down to the specific context of the inquiry, and subscribe to specific portals and specific application types depending on the processes you administer.

Change 3: display an inquiry’s “source” site-wide

We have also made sure that this new concept of the “source” or context of an inquiry is reflected throughout the platform. For example, the list of inquiries has a new column called “source” which tells you at a glance what the inquiry is about.

Questions and comments

We hope you find these new features useful, whether you are using OpenCounter to save time explaining requirements during the discovery phase, or using our platform to process and issue permits.

We are continually releasing new improvements to the site and as always, we look forward to any feedback from our clients. We can always be reached at support@opencounter.com.

Thanks again, and have a great day!

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