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Technology to the Rescue for Government Agency Engagement

How is your agency operating these days as far as engaging with the citizens you serve? Ideally, you would answer that citizen engagement has been a key priority, so you’ve modernized your contact center and improved the citizen experience overall.

The contact center provides a critical path between constituents and the state workers who deliver customer care. New communication methods employed in these centers enables government agencies a means to improve citizen engagement.

A 2016 infographic encompasses the results of a Governing Institute study, “Citizen Engagement Modernization in the State Contact Center,” showcasing how state agencies are positioned today, along with the technologies and resources that will take them to the next level in citizen engagement.

The research identified areas of need and gaps facing government institutions, as well as ways to better address these issues by modernizing contact center technologies. For example, of the 129 state and government officials surveyed, 72 percent agreed that digital communications are the fastest-growing form of citizen-to-government communication. Yet, a majority of their contact centers don’t support popular digital communication channels like interactive voice response (IVR)/self-service, mobile apps, or online messaging or chat.

The study included a look at how changing societal methods of communicating in the Digital Age have raised citizen service expectations. They expect the same well-oiled machinery of modern communication—instant access to information via mobile devices like smartphones—to be replicated by every service organization with which they connect. This expectation is especially well-formed among millennials (citizens born between 1980 and 2000), who were raised on digital technologies.

These generational and cultural shifts have resulted in the accelerated uptake of technological innovations across a wide swath of businesses and industries.

Study findings indicate that state governments recognize the changing environment and are prioritizing technological initiatives to meet the needs of citizens. These initiatives include comprehensive self-service strategies, engagement through digital channels and advanced knowledge management solutions.

Respondents say they’re improving the efficiencies of contact center staff by employing self-service offerings; however, only 20 percent use knowledge management solutions. And while 26 percent of respondents claim to be making access to internal policies and procedures easier for citizens, 22 percent acknowledge that data sharing capabilities are an unmet need.

If your contact center can focus on just a few avenues for improvement, these three areas are key: digital communication channels, self-service and streamlined processes. Make the moves now to put you in good stead with citizens and customers in the future.

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