More than ever, the public sector recognizes that customer experience (CX) is key to mission success.
Look at the executive order on transforming federal CX. Initiatives like these demonstrate that agencies nationwide want to improve their customer interactions.
How can governments at every level make their operations more customer-centric? One option is cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM). Through cloud-based CRM platforms, agencies can boost constituent satisfaction and trust.
“Everywhere we look, there are policies driving improved customer experience,” said Chris Radich, Vice President, Digital Strategy, Global Public Sector at Salesforce, which provides cloud-based customer engagement tools such as API [application programming interface] management.
Radich described three ways that agencies can modernize their CRM platforms using cloud computing.
1. Adopt a beginner’s mindset
Without a doubt, legacy technology can be an obstacle to better CX. But legacy thinking can be an obstacle as well.
If agencies are still thinking in terms of traditional IT, they might not recognize the opportunities they have to bring real change. “The biggest risk I’ve seen is a legacy way of thinking,” Radich said.
The solution is a beginner’s mindset — learning what is possible with cloud and considering how it can benefit your customers and employees. With multiple SaaS technologies supporting CX functions, agencies no longer need to rely on custom code to meet mandates like the CX EO.
Take New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT). After the
COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, DoITT launched a cloud-based platform for scheduling, administering and tracking vaccinations for New York City’s constituents. Read the full case study here.
2. Rethink the “rip and replace” approach
With modernization, agencies often assume they must overhaul all their technology. While modernizing tools can always provide value, agencies need not do so all at once.
“Sometimes we’re challenged to make improvements because we think it is dependent on modernizing the entire legacy customer service infrastructure,” Radich said.
He cited a federal agency with call center traffic that skyrocketed from several thousand to tens of thousands of customer calls daily due to COVID-19. Rather than replace its entire legacy CRM platform, this agency integrated modern loan intake, processing and case management tools instead with an API-led approach. Deploying these cloud-based tools took the agency only 72 hours.
3. Embrace self-service
Sometimes, the best experiences customers can have is when they don’t interact with people at all. Using cloud-based CRM platforms, agencies can give customers the independence they crave. For instance, cloud-based CRM platforms can enable agencies to offer online self-service options to constituents.
Cloud-based CRM platforms like those Salesforce provides can assist agencies with delivering satisfying products and services to their customers digitally. Ultimately, cloud-based CRM platforms can close the gap constituents may encounter between public- and private-sector CX.
“It is time that customer service becomes an enterprise capability at every agency,” Radich said.
This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s guide “Customer Experience Beyond Memos: A How-To Guide.” Download the full guide here.