Can Customer Service Management systems benefit the public sector?
Written By: Steve Mamelok
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, businesses were forced to utilise various technologies in order to adapt to the rapidly changing environment.
The surge in WFH meant that businesses needed to be able to communicate effectively
both with their users and within their internal teams, regardless of where their employees were working.
Customer Service Management systems are often associated with large multinational companies. But as consumers living through the global pandemic, we expected the same levels of service from all businesses and across all sectors - not just the global giants.
After all, when the technology is available for one, it’s available for all.
Understandably, with more of us staying at home and within our local area, the pandemic led to an increase in demand on services provided by local public sector organisations such as government and councils.
With more people contacting local services, communication between users and employees has become incredibly important, yet many organisations in the public sector are yet to implement successful CSM systems to monitor, store and control this information.
Why don’t public sector organisations utilise CSM systems?
One point of difference between private and public sector organisations is often in the description of their customers. Whereas private companies understand the need to prioritise good communication and workflow with their ‘customers’, public sector organisations often undervalue how important it is to provide their ‘users’ with good service.
Once public sector organisations begin to view all of their ‘users’ as ‘customers’, the value of CSM systems grows exponentially.
As far as consumers are concerned, communication should be as easy with your local council as it is your insurance company.
Why should public sector services implement CSM systems?
1. Efficient communication is vital.
From organising grants and furlough payments, to arranging bin collections and black bag deliveries, our local public services need to be accessible. As consumers, we don’t want to spend hours sifting through emails to find a ticket number, or being put on hold while we wait for someone in management to chase up our issue.
A CSM system can ease communication both internally and externally.
By logging and escalating queries in the same system, internal employees will find it easier to react and respond to users. By giving customers the chance to choose their preferred communication channel, users feel more in control.
2. Time is valuable.
Public services are stretched, and time is money. CSM systems can minimise the amount of time employees spend regurgitating information to siloed teams and give them more time to focus on resolving issues.
A CSM system will ensure all of the data employees need is easily accessible and in one place. By aligning all departments on one system, and with room to communicate with external teams when necessary, handovers can be quick and painless.
3. Smooth processes will create a long-lasting impression.
When it comes to public sector services, a good impression can go a long way.
A CSM system can signpost users to book appointments in the future, or join online queues. Onscreen displays of queue length and position creates a streamlined process that’s easy for users to navigate.
CSM systems can help local constituents feel more connected to their local councils, government, and community.
Ultimately, a CSM system has the potential to change how citizens interact with public services, and how public service employees interact with each other.
By creating workflows that automate escalation and seamlessly link internal departments and teams, CSM systems like ServiceNow can help ensure external customers or users have an easy digital-led experience, that will help them to better communicate with public sector services.
Not only can effective Customer Service Management tools help to improve the relationship between users and customers, but it can also dramatically reduce the stress of employees. Even something as simple as escalating a user’s issue to senior management could be done within one system, without the need for complicated email threads that often lead to confusion, misunderstanding, a very frustrated customer and employee.
CSM systems can help organisations to feel closer to their users, and perhaps more importantly, can help users feel closer to their local councils and public services.
With a platform like ServiceNow, it can be tailored to fit the current processes of the organisation, and integrated with any number of platforms already in use, a public sector organisation can achieve more streamlined processes, reduce costs, and improve the public’s overall perception of their organisation.
The Unifii team have been working on an eBook to present the importance of good customer service and citizen engagement in the public sector, if you'd like to learn more, you can download this here.