What the U.S. Government Could Learn About Customer Service

How key customer service business practices could help bolster the Federal brand

1. Personalization Makes People Feel Connected
From our double mocha, half-caf, non-fat lattes to personalized logos for family stationary to customized news and suggested shopping items online—Americans are nuts about personalization and expect it in everything they do. New technology has made personalized communication possible and affordable when it is delivered through the right methods. Data programs have made it possible to predict what it is that people need before they say it. The government should be better at analyzing critical data to help personalize communications to citizens as a means to improve the experience with government.

2. Continuous Improvement of the Customer Experience is Paramount
Too many organizations set their customer contact strategy and then forget about it, and this is certainly true of government as well. In fact, most government websites appear to have been built 10 years ago. However, the key to achieving and sustaining a strong customer experience is continuous improvement. This begins with aggregating “customer” (citizen) interaction data. Government officials should keep in mind that customer interaction data is the voice of their constituents. It should be considered as valuable as receiving daily focus group results. It can reveal what issues matter the most, how constituents prefer to communicate, and more. Then, government can leverage this data to adopt a proactive, quantitative focus on consistently tweaking the customer experience.

3. Create a Pleasing Experience and Save Tax Dollars With Self Service
People interact with a contact center because they want to get something done. Research shows that self-service options such as interactive voice response, online, or even SMS solutions can lead to high rates of satisfaction because customers can get what they need more quickly and with less effort. This has been proven across all income brackets, ages and demographics. Best of all, self-service solutions can save the business—or government, in this case—money by preventing additional calls from having to be handled by live agents on the phone or in person.

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