When the queues of people outside Centrelink offices appeared, every senior public servant in Australia quietly asked themselves a simple, digital, customer experience question.
So how do you pivot in real time? And what does your department or agency need to do next?
It’s no small ask , but in an age when digital transformation and online services are meant to be the default position for public service delivery, few images convey the gravity of heavy lifting that is still needed for the public sector to become as good, if not better, than private sector best practice.
The evidence is in
“Most customers expect government services to meet or exceed the quality offered by leading private sector companies,” recent joint field research by Salesforce and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) observes.
“Approximately 50 per cent of customers expect government services to be as good as the best private companies, and 15 per cent expect government services to match the high standards set by global digital leaders such as Apple and Google,” says the Salesforce and BCG report.
“Nearly 25 per cent expect government services to rival best practice set by the world’s leading digital governments.”
How soon is now?
For many government agencies struggling to shake of the burden of legacy systems, information siloes and the entrenched syndrome of disparate data, the primary concern was often ‘when’ rather than ‘how’.
That scenario has changed literally overnight, and doubly so for a public sector now tasked with delivering massive enhancements, at speed, and at scale, just to keep services running.
There are reams of questions but fewer answers.
At a time when it’s still uncertain what a modern, safe and productive office will look like, what’s clear is the first fundamental step will be bringing government systems up to speed to match community expectations and demand.
What we do know is that rock-solid, commercially proven and benchmark-beating technology that straddles e-commerce to e-government is an immediate necessity.
Some things are just not coming back.
Time to seal the road ahead
The good news is that, in reality, the road to digital service delivery has been travelled before and is well documented. We know where the potholes form, where the edges wear.
Just a few years ago the notion of real-time, automated and highly intelligent customer interactions for government seemed like a futuristic stretch target; yet today the commitment of public servants to their community could soon mean contemporary government systems leapfrog decades of legacy.
Prudently informed, then competently executed, the uplift factor can be huge and genuinely transformative.
Start small, and scalable but start now
With mature, highly secure and sovereign cloud infrastructure now easily in reach for government agencies, justifications for not moving onto more modern customer service and case management software are evaporating.
The public sector is often criticised for not moving fast enough, but the good news is there’s now a solid, clear and tailored-for-government roadmap to digital customer service and management upgrades that allow agencies to ‘pivot’ as they need – as opposed to a forced fit.
In a collaboration appropriate for the times, revolutionary customer service thought leaders and cloud platform Salesforce and solution architects Boston Consulting Group (BCG), have joined forces to create a ‘go-to’ evidence base to enable and effect positive change.
Entitled “The Trust Imperative”, the pivotal research paper pinpoints specific action areas, while still taking a holistic approach to augmenting government service delivery for the public good.
Irrespective of the vendor, the public sector specific research illuminates some essential proof-points that shine a path and revalidate previously successful policy and strategy.
Show me the numbers
The first proof point is by no means a secret: you just can’t manage what you can’t measure. Based on original fieldwork, The Trust Imperative report estimates that for around 85 per cent of people, the quality of customer experience affects their trust in government.
And, at the same time, 65 per cent of customers expect “government digital services to meet or exceed the digital services provided by leading private sector companies”.
With banks, employers and frontline services such as insurers and private healthcare providers now ringing the government’s doorbell across all jurisdictions, the time to answer the call is now.
To find out more download the report here.