Will Government Organizations Embrace Commercial Contact Center Solutions?
Eventus Marketing Team
Many analysts monitoring the contact center industry have coined this time period as “The Age of the Customer” as more customers are empowered by advances in information technology and the information available to the average customer through public sources. Correspondingly, customer expectations for how companies will serve them have risen, requiring companies to constantly improve in order to keep their highly informed and empowered customers satisfied. Here at Eventus, we have embraced this age with open arms and now believe that it has evolved to include “The Age of the Government Customer.” It is because of this that we believe that more and more of the constituents or ‘customers’ for government agencies begin to expect their service experiences with agencies to be comparable to those provided by commercial enterprises. For many, the idea of the government providing customer services is hard to grasp, so we’ve put together a small FAQ sheet to help readers better understand why it’s crucial for government institutions to apply commercial practices to optimize their customer service delivery functions.
Do government agencies really have ‘customers’?
While many government organizations do not have customers in the traditional sense (minus exceptions such as USPS, Amtrak and others), many agencies still serve a specific group whether it’s their own citizens, businesses, the agency’s own employees or other government agencies. It is important for these agencies to realize that while the groups that they serve may not fall under the normal spectrum for “customers” they still rely on them for services, information, engagement and outreach and have become accustomed to the high level of service provided by companies within the commercial sector.
Can better customer service come from cost-effective contact center solutions?
Often times, agencies are more than willing to take steps to provide higher levels of customer service but lack the necessary budget they believe will help them achieve it. It is because of the notion that higher levels of customer service requires an increase in budgetary spending that many agencies are unable to take advantage of cost-effective multi-channel customer interaction solutions. In reality, new customized technologies have the ability to increase efficiency at a much lower cost than believed, allowing budget-constrained agencies to improve customer service while saving money.
Can these commercial practices and technologies be directly applied to government agencies?
There are numerous different applications for different technologies today that are extremely relevant for today’s government agency. Knowledge capturing technology can be used to help organizations preserve information that otherwise would be lost as senior members retire from the workforce. The knowledge captured by these technologies can then be used to empower an agency’s workforce to provide higher levels of service while using fewer resources. This is just one example of many different practices and technologies that directly apply to government agencies and their customer service needs.
As the general population becomes more accustomed to higher levels of customer service, government organizations have a significant opportunity to apply commercial contact center solutions in order to enhance their service capabilities. Even though many agencies serve and interact with their ‘customers’ in different fashions compared to private enterprises, there is still a need to further engage with and provide information and customer service for their constituents. Eventus Solutions Group recognizes the shift many government organizations have made toward a modernized customer interaction process and continues to work with clients in the public sector to implement these changes.
It can be hard to fathom a life without customer service in it. Before remote desktop support, live chat and other contact center solutions, there were complex phone trees and outsourced call centers and before that there were buggy IVR systems and telephone switchboards connecting you to the store you purchased the product from.
The past few decades have seen the business world sway multiple times between call center outsourcing and internal call center operations.