When Customers are Citizens
How a new focus on building relationships is helping government agencies improve citizen engagement and satisfaction
Although this paper is all about helping government agencies improve the ways in which they interact with citizens, to improve citizen engagement and satisfaction, it’s important to begin by recognizing one simple fact: every citizen is also a consumer. And as consumers, they have increasingly high standards for responsive and convenient commercial interactions.
Not surprisingly, those commercial experiences have raised their expectations when it comes to dealing with government agencies. As a result, government offices around the world are beginning to take advantage of today’s most sophisticated business techniques and enabling technologies to help improve their productivity and the services they provide. In fact, many of those techniques and technologies are the very same ones businesses are using to better understand and respond to the needs of their customers. For example, while retailers regularly manage and analyze mountains of customer data to help gain insights into everything from brand preferences to geographical differences, government agencies can use similar techniques to learn more about what citizens want and how and where they want it.
Consider also that today’s bank customers have come to expect that when they log in to check an account balance, they’ll also be able to make a loan payment and edit their contact information without being forced to log into another site or provide personal details that the bank already has on file. Likewise, they now expect that when it’s time to renew a driver’s license, the department of motor vehicles clerk will be able to tell them when their car registration is due for renewal. And government agencies can now make that happen. At the same time, government agencies are now able to consolidate enormous quantities of data and use sophisticated analytics to learn more about everything from housing and transportation issues to possible causes of high disease rates in specific areas. The result? Public programs that are becoming far more effective in meeting citizens’ needs.