Making Better Government Customer Service Pay Off


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It’s been some time in the making, but both industry and government entities have realized that customer service investments can and do pay off. “Those in customer care have been struggling for years to prove that customer service isn’t just an expense item, said Ken Landoline, principal analyst at Current Analysis. “Businesses now actively promote multi-channel customer service as a way to make money and improve their financial position.”

Proactive and budget-conscious government agencies are now following the lead of their private sector counterparts that have effectively shown you can have it all by reducing costs, yet improving service through tools such as self-service knowledgebases, 24/7 online support, centralized multi-channel service desks, customer satisfaction surveys, and reporting on key performance, satisfaction and other related metrics. “Because it’s always had trouble getting funding for these investments, the federal government is referencing business successes that prove that providing good service actually reduces expenses and improves revenues,” says Landoline.

When enterprise retail executives were recently asked which areas they believed would be the biggest drivers of their company’s revenue growth in the next three years, customer retention and customer acquisition were numbers one and two with other factors such as improving economic conditions, new pricing strategies, product innovations all taking a back seat. (See the other expansion drivers for the retail industry.)

The Power of the Portal
A good example of an agency putting private sector customer service tools and best practices to use is the National Park Service, which oversees nearly 400 national parks and affiliated areas, which generate billions in revenue from visitor services, oil and gas drilling leases and other activities. Among its effort to drive constituent satisfaction for continued revenue streams, the agency has deployed online self-service portals. One service enables visitors to register for camping permits and view site availability, among other items, online, turning what was once an onerous mail and email based task into a simple real-time offering.

Accelerating Evolution

In a recent Gartner local briefing in Reston, VA, analyst and Managing Vice President Rishi Sood discussed how the use of technology and the impact of both budget constraints and the Nexus of Forces (mobile, cloud, big data and cyber) will continue to drive change and the marketplace, with the 20 to 25% of agencies considered as “proactives” already seeing results, driving the trends and motivating and moving other agencies in the right direction.

Sood compared “reactive” organizations, around 60% of the current agencies, to dinosaurs, saying that extinction could be imminent without hastened evolution.

The Financial Impact of Customer Service

Not yet a believer in the extreme financial impact improved customer service can make? Click here to view The Financial Impact of Customer Service infographic to view the costs and the potential pay offs.

For more government customer service best practices and advice from leading analysts, download Parature’s latest whitepaper, Multi-Channel Service: Elect to Serve Your Constituents, covering key topics in government customer service and constituent engagement including:

  • Providing ‘no wrong door’ access
  • Moving to the cloud
  • Capturing voice of the customer feedback
  • Using service to drive revenues and compete with the private sector
  • Leveraging cloud technology simplicity to attract, retain and maximize IT talent.

Click here to download.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tricia Morris
Tricia Morris is a product marketing director at 8x8 with more than 20 years of experience at technology companies including Microsoft and MicroStrategy. Her focus is on customer experience, customer service, employee experience and digital transformation. Tricia has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader, among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow, and among the 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow.


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