Government organizations continue to face increasing pressure to improve customer service and operational efficiency. To date, almost every organization has embarked on some type of program ranging from 311 call centers to CRM projects in an effort to be more responsive. However, these initiatives may be only scratching the surface of what is needed to achieve real improvements across government.
The CRM boom 10-15 years ago in retail, banking and service industries was largely driven by an intense desire to grow business. But, it is important to remember that in these commercial enterprises, it was actually a very balanced initiative. Customers and business both benefited. Customers got better service, more access to information, less wait times, etc. Business got better intelligence about their customers, more customer loyalty, better insight into product expansion opportunities, and ultimately high profit. Thus, a win-win for the customer and the business.
For government customer service improvement efforts, the win-win scenario has not been so clear. Citizens have more access to information, more transactions and interactions can be done online, and access to government is streamlined, at least in some cases. Certainly government has realized some benefits from this automation in terms of economy of scale or operational efficiencies, but not enough.
Today, advances in technology coupled with program innovation are fueling new hope for government organizations that they can in fact achieve the win-win scenario. Forward-thinking governments are leveraging a 360° View of the Citizen approach to improve customer service, meet the increasing demand for transparency, reduce improper payments, waste, fraud, and abuse, impact better program outcomes and drive positive policy changes.