Anyone working in public sector customer service will know there have been significant changes in the way government agencies have digitised their interactions with citizens and embraced this new digital era.
The digital era has had a huge knock-on effect on all levels of government, particularly local councils. Many local councils are now building a more resilient workforce through transforming operational efficiency, service delivery, and sharing of data.
This transformation is designed to make it easier for the customer to interact with government organisations at all levels.
First step to achieving a customer-centric culture
So the big question is, where do government agencies begin?
It all starts with a more profound understanding of the customers and public they serve, taking into account all demographical considerations such age groups, lifestyle, cultures, socio-economic groups, geographic location and most importantly, access to technology and computer literacy. Each group of people has a very different preference for how they want to interact with the government, which demands an omni-channel approach to customer service.
Government agencies need to be flexible in allowing their customers to communicate with them via a variety of channels. They need to enable them to speak to them on the phone, via email and via a service desk or help centre. They also need to allow enquiries to come in through social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook. They need to be very much present where their customers communicate. In addition, live chat has become a beneficial channel for customers to receive instant responses to any queries or problems.
If an organisation adopts the use of live chat for customer service via their website, they will reduce the clutter of requests submitted through their web forms.
Making it easier to find answers
If government agencies in Australia can make it easy for people to communicate through various platforms and find answers to their queries, they will have gone a long way towards improving satisfaction levels among the public they serve. It’s the first, crucial step towards proving that you understand citizens’ needs.
The next Enhancing Public Sector Customer Service conference takes place in Melbourne in February 2017. Attend to develop strategies for measuring and meeting changing customer expectations.