Driven by the ‘digital natives’, customers have grown to expect an online, easy experience. How can government agencies keep up?
It is a truism that a government’s community of stakeholders is comprised of people who aren’t just customers or partners of government departments but consumers of services from a wide variety of providers like Uber, Netflix, Apple and Amazon.
Seemingly overnight, areas of government that deal with the public, like licensing and compliance divisions, or claim and application processing agencies, find themselves being compared with digital behemoths with deep pockets and a ‘digital native’ outlook (i.e., not hampered by a legacy of manual processes, old systems and ways of doing things that are sometimes decades old).
What do these digital exemplars of a great customer experience have in common, and how on earth can government departments, stretched to the limit as it is, hope to match them?
In the digital age, good customer experience isn’t just about a great user interface, although that does play a big part.
For government to truly deliver experience like the Apples and Netflix’s of the world, we’ve identified three aspects that need to be covered:
- Timely response. 82% of customers say the number one factor to great customer service is having their issues resolved quickly¹, and more than half of them expect a response from customer service within an hour, even on weekends. Government departments need to be able to provide a fast response, including out of hours. Which brings us to…..
- ….Online/self-service. 86% of consumers expect companies to have an online portal for customer service². For government agencies directly serving the public, self-service is not only more efficient, but delivers much greater satisfaction. Which is all part of….
- ….The user experience. People form 75% of their judgment on a website’s credibility purely on its aesthetics³. In the government world, credibility is a vital factor, driving community trust in the content and processes behind it.
How can government departments meet these criteria?
A timely response to queries and requests is all about having access to the right data from the right place at the right time. We find that what holds agencies back from this aim is data held in disparate, unconnected systems, making data outdated, uncoordinated and inaccessible. By using world-class low code technology and best practice methodologies, we’ve been able to provide a single view of all relevant information across existing systems and data sources, bringing it together with automated workflows to enable a rapid and consistent response. Most importantly, we do this without having to migrate data from legacy systems into new ones. This means a much faster, less risky and more economical solution.
Once the necessary data is available in a single view, is current and, most importantly, reliable, it can be made available online. In our experience, one of the easiest ‘wins’ to deliver to customers is the availability of online forms. And depending on the application, departments can process the forms, and even approvals, automatically.
The user experience
As with Amazon, streamlined and automated business processes are only as good as the interfaces and user experiences that deliver them. For example, as part of our end-to-end solution offering, we offer a user experience service. This enables agencies to provide an omnichannel experience to customers delivered on a choice of devices.
With the growth of customer expectations driven inexorably by the likes of Amazon and Apple, it isn’t impossible – it needn’t even be time-consuming or expensive – to deliver a great customer experience to government customers. Automation, based on coordinated, centralised data is at the heart of what can be achieved, and at the heart of what we’ve done for many government agencies: for case studies, visit our online government information hub.