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Top 5 Predictions for Government and Public Sector Customer Service

Almost a year ago, I made some predictions for what would take place in government and public sector customer service in 2015. Now that we have moved into 2016, it’s time to take a look at how I did.

I’ll review each prediction and give it a grade (on a scale of 1-10, with 1 meaning I totally missed on my prediction, and 10 meaning I was spot on).

1. Customer experience becomes strategic for government
My prediction was that government and public sector organizations would increasingly approach customer experience in a more strategic manner, just like their private sector counterparts, including capturing customer feedback systematically and taking action on it.

It has indeed become more strategic—I’ve seen improved customer experience being incorporated as one of several digital-first strategic goals. Furthermore, I’ve seen more examples of government organizations measuring it quantitatively. Score: 7/10.

2. Government digital services will take an important evolutionary step

2015 was definitely the year that government digital customer engagement strategies crossed the chasm from “early adopter” into the “early majority.” Almost every procurement now incorporates a customer or citizen portal as standard. However, there is still a focus on “getting stuff up there.” I predicted we’d start to see a move toward helping to ensure citizens and customers actually consume the newly available digital services.

While there is definitely a widespread acceptance that no one has delivered on their planned digital-first engagement strategy goals yet, there isn’t a common understanding of what is needed to get there, such as providing support for digital customers through the use of live chat and co-browse. Score: 7/10.

3. Despite a cautious start, the government outlook will be a lot cloudier

We have seen a huge shift in this direction in both the U.S. and the U.K. with most procurements now requesting cloud deployment at the very least as an option—and an increasing number actually deciding to deploy in the cloud. That said, there are definitely those who still prefer to stay on premises. Score: 10/10.

4. Government use of social media will transition from tactical to strategic

While social media is certainly being embraced by the vast majority of government organizations, it has yet to be fully exploited to achieve the kinds of benefits I outlined in my prediction, such as to better manage demand in the contact center. Score: 2/10.

5. Government organizations will look to simplify through software rationalization

I shared some specific software rationalization examples that I have seen, such as rationalizing simpler back-office software systems into the main customer service software system. We’ve also seen an additional and somewhat surprising example. The digital-first agenda has driven the review of existing government web content management systems, as well as demand for functionally-rich customer ‘my account’ portals. As a result, we’ve seen joint web content management and CRM procurements. I believe we’ll see more of these in 2016. Score: 8/10.

Overall, government and public sector customer service in 2015 seemed to progress pretty much how I saw it in my mind. What does 2016 hold for government and public sector customer service? Be on the lookout for my 2016 predictions blog - coming soon - to find out.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Information Daily, its parent company or any associated businesses.

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