Providing services to citizens is integral to the mission of government offices, but many are failing to meet expectations. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, government satisfaction ranks lower than every private-sector industry and has been falling for the past few years. The fundamental requirement comes back to communication, which requires looking at how communication occurs with your constituents.
How can your office buck the trend? According to Deloitte’s 2020 Government Trends, focusing on treating citizens like customers drives massive increases in satisfaction, efficiency, and effectiveness. But what is “exceptional” customer service? According to the Forbes’ Mich Solomon, every interaction with a customer is an opportunity for either improving or diminishing the customer experience. There is no middle ground.
Poor customer service can destroy any business, one only needs to look at cables companies’ falling subscriber numbers. But you can’t expect your staff to provide exceptional customer service if they are still struggling with manual spreadsheets and handwritten notes. Even worse in some ways, they are locked into poorly adapted software that relies on tribal knowledge to keep running.
This causes valuable staff time to be wasted, communication is time-consuming and ineffective. Backlog continues to grow without a plan on how it can be addressed, and constituent relationship become dissatisfied and disengaged. This is not something that is inevitable. There is a way to change this situation. We have seen private companies develop focused tools to address this problem using AI to provide instant 24/7 response to customers.
New tools for government offices, like iConstituent’s CEP, can help staff to more effectively manage processes, people, interactions, and content to meet ever-higher citizen’s expectations. AI tools can be categorized and tagged incoming communication so that their topics are identified for a scripted response. Using an approved message list, 80% of constituent’s texts and emails can be replied with personalized messages that are pertinent to the specific topic of the incoming correspondence without intervention. This changes the whole paradigm. Constituents receive on-point responses immediately, enhancing their satisfaction and improving communication with your office. It also allows your staff more time to focus on building long term solutions that will benefit and provide value to the office through improved outcomes for citizens.
With engaged customers and timely communication, a whole new realm of customer service can be developed. Private companies use customer feedback to improve products and services so that future delivery is improved. Safelite, an auto glass repair company, used direct customer communication to determine what they needed to work on, like a text message when a technician would arrive with photo and bio. This customer focus allowed Safelite to double revenue in five years.
Being buried in the weeds, trying to keep up with call logs, means that you lose what constituents are desperate to tell you. The staff starts to rally “interest” by numbers of calls on a subject, regardless of pro or con, constituent, or from another county. Just imagine where Safelite would be if they couldn’t tell you if a customer liked or disliked their service.
Now imagine the potential when all of your staff is able to review and evaluate constituent trends. Easy to build analytics and performance indicators, that allows you to tap into constituent’s trends and key concerns. Identify and segment groups based on interests, engagements, or concerns. Map and monitor relevant constituent interactions dynamically, allowing you to preemptively attack potential problems before they become headlines. Identify where and when solutions are implemented to ensure that they are the most impactful.
A key part of all of this is to ensure the solution is designed with your office in mind. There is no point in tools that are difficult to use or that are unintuitive. The Constituent Engagement Platform marries human use design with workflow tools to improve the quality of interactions between officials and citizens. It was designed from the ground up with speed and ease of use in mind. Updated interface and visualization tools make the Constituent Engagement Platform the most intuitive software yet. Users can get up to speed and start to use the software immediately. Many clients develop new insights and start communicating with their constituents using the Engagement Platform within 24 hours of installation.
Your office can exceed citizen’s expectations and improve constituent relationship by focusing on the customer experience: having superior communications. Use cutting-edge technology that is designed to actually be used the way you use it, to respond with timely, on-point communication with your constituents. This saves both your constituents and your staff time, allowing them the information that they need to preempt problems. With the data, based on citizens’ interests and needs, that your office is now able to view, staff can develop solutions that make an impact.
Please reach out and ask how iConstituent can help you meet your goals of improved relationships with Constituents.
For more articles visit our blog