Best Practices for Excellent Customer Service in Government

GovLoop Research Report: Re-Imagining Customer Service In Government

GovLoop is proud to announce our latest resource, The GovLoop Research Report: Re-Imagining Customer Service in Government. In this report, experts in the field provide insights and best practices to improve customer service in government. This is our fifth and final post, but be sure to check out the home page to view additional resources related to customer service.

In the guide we aimed to identify common challenges and best practice tactics for overcoming those challenges. In addition to those, we have highlighted five valuable lessons learned for improved customer service.

1.Design with the customer in mind

It is important to understand from the very beginning who your customers are, and then develop a solution that meets their needs and expectations. Although it seems obvious, organizations often design customer service programs without really listening to their customers. By continuously listening to and engaging customers, organizations can test new service initiatives and gather timely feedback. This also ensures there is a human element involved. As one person noted, agencies need to make “customer service a personal responsibility of every single government worker.”

2. View customer service in context of the mission

For new customer service initiatives to succeed, support and buy-in needs to come from all areas, but senior level support is most important To gather senior level support, it is essential to develop a strong business case for improved customer service and tie it into the mission of the agency. Furthermore, leaders should develop standards for various departments so every employee understands the business case for improved service and what is expected of them.

3. Share resources across the agency

Currently, there is a decentralized approach to customer service. However, to improve customer service in government agencies need to collaborate, share best practices, and learn from each other. By sharing information within and across agencies, government can effectively move people to lower-cost, higher service channels.

4. Tie customer service to open government initiatives

The same goals of government becoming more transparent, participatory and collaborative can be applied to customer service. As agencies begin to share more information with the public, there also needs to be some context and human element, otherwise “it is just dumping data on the internet.” By tying the two together, agencies can leverage existing programs to get better information to the public more efficiently.

5. Consider lessons learned from the private sector

Obviously, government has very different objectives than the private sector. However, the public sector can leverage many of the tools and innovations developed within the private sector to improve service. One notable strategy is the use of personalization within government. Personalization allows users to set up unique accounts so their information can be saved. This encourages customers to come back to the site and would be an enormous benefit for customer service initiatives.

View the Guide Below or Download the PDF

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Carol Davison

Don’t forget to invite the customer to help you develop the page. Its much more effective and efficiently to design with them than to redesign to fit customers.