The City of Hartsville has launched Citibot, America’s first interactive text messaging and customer service solution for civic engagement with government. Citibot is a communication tool for citizens and their governments. Using text messaging, Citibot helps users report a city issue, search a website, send notifications and analyze data. Lauren Baker, City of Hartsville Public Information Officer, says, “We are so excited to launch Citibot and are hopeful that residents and visitors will make use of this new text messaging solution for civic engagement to report issues, ask questions, and so much more.”

With Citibot, citizens of Hartsville can text search words to quickly access relevant city information about business licenses, trash pickup times, permitting info and public meeting announcements, for example. Citizens are also able to crowdsource city issues, including reporting potholes, broken street signs and missed trash pickups, all through an interactive chatbot that responds immediately to a citizen’s text message. When the city fixes the reported issue, Citibot follows up to let the citizen know their query has been resolved.

Based in Charleston, SC, Citibot LLC was formed in 2016 with a mission of making cities and counties accessible for all. Bratton Riley, Citibot’s co-founder and CEO, was inspired by the evolution of the conversational chatbot and its ability to help governments be more accessible and accountable to every citizen.

“Citizens’ expectations of high-quality customer service are ever-increasing,” said Riley. “Cities like Hartsville are leading the way by delivering powerful solutions to maximize efficiency and enhance access to information and vital services.”

To start a conversation with Citibot, Hartsville residents can text ‘hello’ to 843.800.2432.