San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone announced today that San Francisco residents can now send direct messages via Twitter to the city of San Francisco, @SF311, to complain about street cleanings, graffiti, potholes, abandoned vehicles, garbage issues, noise complaints and more. 311 is the primary contact for city services; residents can call 311 to reach a call center to get answers to questions about city services or submit complaints.
Twitter users and San Francisco residents can simply follow @SF311 (which automatically auto follows) to send and receive direct messages about complaints and questions. The useful part of the new service is the ability to send pictures or video of various offenses, such as a pothole, overflowing garbage can or graffiti. Once you submit a DM to @SF311, you will receive a service request number. Apparently, there is a city staff member devoted to handling and responding to @SF311 Tweets.
San Francisco is also using CoTweet, a Twitter business platform that acts like a CRM, to manage and track these conversations. CoTweet’s platform supports both marketing communication and response-driven customer support via Twitter.
We’ll see if submitting complaints via Twitter helps make the city’s response more speedy. Newsom is a big fan of Twitter and even announced his bid for governor of California via Twitter.