Echo Managed Services, a provider of multi-channel contact services, has highlighted what it considers the five key customer contact challenges for public sector organisations in 2014.
While embracing the requirement for online self-service and the increased application of multi-channel, mobile and social technologies, Echo believes that 2014 will also see a re-focusing on the importance of data-driven contact processes that integrate end-to-end customer engagement, both internally across multiple systems and channels, as well as externally through the co-ordination of service delivery between relevant agencies and departments.
Phil Newland, managing director, Echo Managed Services, said, “People are still demanding high quality front-line services, and public sector customer service teams will need to work harder in 2014 to reduce complexity and remove needless processes. However, simply mandating a wholesale switch to digital won’t solve everything, and there will be a continued requirement for specialist contact partners that can smooth demand levels by providing the right levels of support regardless of the channels involved.”
Echo’s five key public sector contact challenges for 2014 are:
- Addressing Digital by Default, without leaving people behind: streamlining costs isn’t as simple as transferring services online. For housing providers and councils in particular, the adoption of Digital by Default requires a balance between intelligent service delivery and reducing digital exclusion.
- Making social contacts cost-effective: supporting social media access to services provides a powerful mechanism for improved community access, and many public sector organisations are excited about the potential for social media as a real time engagement channel.
- Removing barriers to transformation: many public sector bodies find that accelerating their digital strategy is often held up by the technical difficulties of integrating earlier web systems and disparate back-end databases.
- Optimising end-to-end processes: services need to be built around user needs, rather than reflecting internal structures; for example, one local council’s process for parking permits required customers to go through 17 separate stages to complete the process.
Improving the handling of personal information: failure to comply with published encryption and security policies as well as issues with access and responsible use will continue to be a concern for public sector organisations who don’t enforce the correct procedures.