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Citizen Service – Customer Service Success Stories from the Government Sector

Excellence in Government-to-Citizen Service

Success Stories from the Public Sector

Citizens today demand greater responsiveness, efficiency, and productivity from their governments. The increase in Internet penetration, proliferation of smartphones, and popularity of online channels has made it crucial for governments all over the world to expand their citizen services across multiple channels such as email, chat, mobile, and social in addition to letter, fax, phone, self-service, and in-person visits.

Even as most government agencies are struggling with lower budgets in the face of increasing deficits, they are budgeting for multichannel citizen service as it promises more effective interactions while delivering significant efficiency savings in the long term. Until now, most web channels have been offered as optional choices. The trend is to make the use of online channels mandatory for several services; this should boost the return on investment in e-government infrastructure. For example, according to a Capgemini study on SEPA adoption, mandating electronic invoicing could save the equivalent of 0.8% of GDP annually in Europe or 238 billion Euros over a period of six years.

Market Trends

Improve citizen responsiveness

Digitize and web-enable citizen interactions. With mobile computing and affordable connectivity, today’s computer-savvy citizens demand better, faster, integrated service through the Web, mobile, and social channels.

  • Electronic filing of individual income taxes continues to gain popularity among taxpayers. 98M tax returns were electronically filed in the United States in (Source: www.irs.gov)
  • One eGain customer, a large federal agency, reported that email communication with its constituents grew by 300% over 2 years.

Worldwide, governments have been investing in these new channels but usability issues, complexity of the website, fragmentation of services, and lack of responsiveness pose hurdles to user satisfaction. The European Union, which made 82% of its public services available online in 2010 (Europe’s 9th e- Government Benchmark Report, 2010), had defined in its digital agenda the need to increase online service adoption to 50% of EU citizens and 80% of EU businesses by the end of 2015.

Improve citizen service efficiency

To achieve efficiency in providing service to citizens that match up to private corporate levels, the governments must:

  • Automate and streamline processes: Automation of service and organizational processes, for example, the processing of applications or routing emails to the right agent, leads to higher operating efficiency, lowered costs, and improved service. It also saves employee time which can then be spent on delivering more and better service to citizens.
  • Offer universal access to information: Provide citizens with access to a single source of government services and information over the channel of their For instance, having thousands of web pages that require multiple authentications will result in abandonment of online sessions.
  • Conduct performance measurement: Government agency officials should have ready access to historical, real-time, and projected activity to help improve performance and There should be periodic assessments to determine what services are most in demand and how to make those services easiest to access.
  • Manage seamless service coordination: Coordinate service requests among various agencies for efficient and consistent service delivery.

Government agencies, on an average, rank low in customer service surveys. In the last American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report, they got a below average ACSI score of 70%. The main reasons cited for citizen dissatisfaction were clunky and ineffective websites. Users can’t get relevant information and find the sites unreliable and difficult to navigate. When more than one-third of users use government websites frequently (a number larger than telephone calls and physical visits combined), effective citizen engagement becomes all the more crucial.

Enhance government transparency and accountability

Change people’s perception of the government. eGovernment is seen as an enabler to transform the public sector. It’s meant to make their service processes more efficient and effective and significantly change their relations with citizens and businesses. It aims to generate greater citizen participation in government. The outcome of this marriage should be less visibility of bureaucracy and red tape, more transparency in operations, and a service culture where citizens come first. ForeSee Results, a market research firm, surveyed 36,000 citizens in the first-ever quantitative assessment of online open government efforts and concluded that the perceived transparency of federal websites drives trust in government. Citizens who believe a site is highly transparent are 46 percent more likely to trust the overall government, 49 percent more likely to use the site as a primary resource, and 37 percent more likely to return to the site.

eGain Solutions for Citizen Service

Comprehensive platform, not a point solution

eCommunication silos are expensive. They cause frustration due to fragmented experiences and high infrastructure and integration costs. With the explosion in interaction channels and touch points, it is more important than ever to take a hub approach to managing citizen communications. An omnichannel customer engagement hub (CEH)—modular applications built on a platform for sharing knowledge, interaction data, analytics, and service processes across channels—is the only cost-effective way to providing the choice and service experience that people expect today.

eGain, rated a “Leader” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for web customer service several years in a row, is the industry’s only unified customer engagement and knowledge management software suite. Built on a 100% web-based customer engagement hub platform, eGain OpenCEH™ Platform, its applications combine 360-degree citizen context, intelligent process guidance, and actionable knowledge to enhance every interaction. Several government agencies in the US and Europe have used its comprehensive platform to power their marketing, sales, and citizen service initiatives. The solutions support multitenancy by which the organization can expand and leverage the underlying infrastructure and capabilities across geographies and departments, if need be, at a fraction of the cost and time of silo deployments.

Omnichannel citizen engagement management across web, mobile, social

As value in citizen engagement management shifts from information to transactions and interactions, public service organizations have had to widen the interaction net to include the web, mobile, and social. Your people can contact you from anywhere within and outside the 9 to 5 shift over their channel of choice. In the scenario, Customer Engagement Hubs are fast becoming the basis for delivering exceptional citizen service. Multichannel communication tracking ensures that nothing falls through the cracks when moving between channels. The solution can consolidate all citizen interactions, knowledge, rules, workflow, and analytics on a common platform so that the organization is always aware of the interaction history and citizens do not have to repeat context.

Common knowledge base to drive consistent, correct responses across channels

Just as communication silos are a no-no for citizen service, so are silo databases. A knowledge base should be an omnichannel resource, controlling the responses that callers and website visitors receive from the organization and maintaining response quality regardless of the channel of engagement.

eGain solutions not only support a common omnichannel knowledge base that drives down knowledge maintenance costs but provide multiple content access methods to improve user adoption. Knowledge stored outside the eGain system can be tightly joined up through Gain Adapters™, which provide certified integrations with leading business, call center, content, email, and social media software, and facilitate data sharing across organizations and geographies, a very real issue today. A knowledge base is more than a bank of informative answers to anticipated queries; it is a repository of best practices, and a tool to guide your greenhorn agents into becoming experts. As John Kost, Group Vice President at Gartner, says, “There are clear benefits to being able to solve many problems using a centralized database, that has no physical boundaries.”

Analytics to identify and optimize hotspots across citizen response processes

Government agency officials need ready access to historical, real-time, and projected data to help improve performance and accountability. In eGain applications, real time and scheduled performance reports, dashboards, monitors, and alarms are available to the supervisor to help identify and fix “hot spots”—across the telephone, web, mobile, and social. Any combination of metrics can be run and analyzed to get a better understanding of citizen engagement trends and pain points. In fact, the citizen facing employees can take the path of self- correction by reviewing their own performances. Organizations are also offered web-based survey capability that can be attached at the end of a successful interaction through most channels and is a crucial and proactive way of evaluating an organization’s performance.

Proactive, agile interaction to inform and transact

Leverage interactive, real-time technologies such as chat, cobrowse, click-to-call, and intelligent offers, to connect with citizens where they are, instead of passively waiting to be contacted. Monitor citizens’ opinions about your agency and services from social networks, offer rule-based schemes and discounts (e.g., student loans, car tax) on the website, send proactive notifications and alerts to citizens about upcoming offers, schemes, premium payments, etc. These are inexpensive but effective ways of promoting and disseminating information among people, as well as initiating (even completing) a transaction.

Flexibility and scalability

The tools you deploy should hold well under manifold increase in contact pressure, online or offline. Layering on top of existing communication channels is costly and can be avoided by employing vendors trusted by others in your field. The eGain customer engagement solution suite has been around for more than a decade and has proven its benefits in measurable terms.

Also, eGain is the only vendor to be equally successful in cloud, on-premise, and hybrid implementations. Today, budgets are constrained but service innovations are at their peak. eGain’s cloud solution enables organizations to get their digital operation up and running quickly so that they can prove its business value before moving to an on-premise version, if they so wish.

Proven Business Results

Here are some business results that eGain solutions have delivered to companies:

  • 500% improvement in response time.
  • No staffing increase for email support even though online customers increased from 75,000 to 400,000.
  • 300% improvement in agent productivity.
  • Training time for agents reduced from 8 hours to 45 minutes.
  • 30% call time reduction and 96% first time Productivity increased by 70%. Customer satisfaction jumped from 88% to 97%. Each agent now handles 22 products.
  • 40% reduction in supervisory Yearly saving of £1.8 million or $2.5 million.
  • 36% reduction in service calls; saved 20 engineer visits a day
  • Savings of approximately £1million ($1.5 million) in staff costs in the first 53% reduction in escalation.
  • Hold times reduced threefold even though call volume increased 44%.
  • 55% of customer interactions voluntarily moved to the web.

Success Stories

Case Study 1: Centralized, guided access to online information saved start ups time and money

Objective

The agency’s goal was to enable start ups and small businesses to have centralized access to critical government regulatory information to make it easy for them to:

  • Register the company with the Revenue department.
  • Ensure compliance with all elements of employment law, such as health and safety issues.
  • Obtain licenses for certain types of businesses.

The agency wanted to eliminate the need for small businesses to dig out vast quantities of information from a number of departments on an individual basis.

Solution

The agency implemented eGain KnowledgeAgent™ to provide businesses 24- hour access to the answers they need using a simple conversational interface that guides them to the solution.

Results

  • The solution provides a single, intuitive interface to government services across multiple departments.
  • It has eliminated the need to contact each department separately, a time consuming and expensive process.
  • The solution has reduced the burden of regulatory compliance for citizens that are starting new businesses.

“This service will make it
easier for customers to find
the information they need
from us, and consequently
make their experience of
dealing with the government
much less time consuming
and frustrating.”


Strategic Project Manager

Case Study 2: eGain helped to create “intelligent” government portals

Objective

  • The local government wished to offer a citizens’ portal service through which citizens could access multiple local services without having to go to different government departments.
  • These “intelligent” portals would have the ability to reason out citizens’ requests based on the information they provided in the past.
  • They had to be accessible through web kiosks, HDTV, and wireless, as well as through intermediaries like call center agents.

“eGain is helping us to
realize our vision of the
citizen as our customer,
enabling them to access a
wealth of services at their
convenience through a
standard Web browser. We
are able to simplify
traditionally time
consuming and complicated
processes that have required
face-to-face contact with the
customer, and translate that
into a self-service and
assisted solution that is
intuitive and quick and easy
to use.”


Program Manager

Solution

The government implemented eGain Knowledge+AI™ in their call center. They also deployed eGain SelfService+AI™, with which they were able to pull together services offered by over 20 different agencies and create an integrated service map. In addition, they were able to leverage all the existing local government knowledge bases without duplication of effort.

Results

  • Seamless and consistent levels of customer service across a range of national public services through the Internet and call centers.
  • The project is a foundation for developing government-citizen relationship online and will be extended to all local governments and councils in the country.

Case Study 3: A revenue department in the US maintained service levels even as email traffic multiplied

Objective

As part of its eGovernment initiative, the revenue department wanted to enhance citizens’ ability to communicate with it by offering email-based service in addition to service over the phone.

Solution

The department needed an email management solution that could support its rapidly expanding email communication with millions of citizens across the state. For this, they chose to implement eGain Mail™.

Results

  • Email response time reduced by half.
  • Consistent processing of emails, faxes, and white mail through common workflows.

Next steps

As a solution provider committed to helping businesses differentiate themselves through best-in-class customer interactions, eGain offers a complimentary, no-risk, no-obligation assessment of your current customer service and support operation in the form of a Best Practice Assessment Study (BPAS). Based on your priorities, the BPAS can be focused on the specific topic of this document or your broader contact center and customer service operation. If you found the content of this document to be useful, we are confident you will benefit from a BPAS engagement with us. To qualify, send us an email at info@egain.com. We will contact you to set up a mutually convenient time to conduct a BPAS.

Related white papers in the eGain Library

Our white papers reflect the expertise we have gained from hundreds of successful contact center and customer service software deployments at blue-chip companies around the world. You can view our best practice white papers and innovation briefs at www.egain.com/resources/white-papers/.