Best Practices for Government Customer Service

Providing an exceptional customer service experience is a key element of running any organization, from large corporations to non-profits to government agencies. Government agencies have to deal with issues raised by the public every day and be able to respond to constituents in an efficient manner. While seemingly a straightforward task, customer relations is a constantly evolving field. Many people now expect a personalized experience through whatever channel they prefer, whether it is by phone, email, web or social networks. By using the most current technology to optimize the customer service experience, organizations can not only improve the way they respond to their constituents needs but also improve their own organizational efficiency and reduce costs.

Using automated and integrated customer service technology is a great way to improve the overall functionality of your organization or agency. Many organizations have outdated customer service processes that are focused predominantly around call centers. Those responsible for handling calls from constituents do not always have easy access to the information they need to work with the caller. By integrating customer service systems, agents can get easy access to all the information they need relating to their constituent’s concern and are prepared to help them on a variety of levels.

Research has shown that an integrated multi-tiered approach to customer relations has many benefits including increased productivity and decreased overhead expenses. Why waste time and money on outdated service methods? To learn more, download this e-book from Nucleus Research, Best Practices for Customer Service with Oracle RightNow.

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David B. Grinberg

Excellent points, Heather. Every agency and organization needs a multi-pronged approach to achieving mutually beneficial customer relations and providing peak customer service.

I would note, however, that some government customers/stakeholders/public still prefer to speak directly to a live person. Such first-person direct communications are integral to improving citizen engagement and rebuilding trust in government as an institution.

Every gov employee should consider herself/himself a goodwill ambassador for Uncle Sam’s brand image — which has taken a beating. As such, we all need to go the extra mile and strive for exemplary customer service during every direct communication with the public, whether via social media, call centers, picking up your office phone, greeting a visitor, processing a public request, and especially by direct personal interaction, as appropriate.

Humanizing the customer service/relations experience with government is critically important to regaining public trust. Thanks for considering this.


Heather Young

I completely agree with you David. While technology and a multi-channel approach to customer service allows for citizens to engage with the government on the platform of their preference, we can never overlook the importance of face-to-face or person-to-person communications.

The technology is only as good as the people that utilize it, I agree that government employees taking ownership and thinking of themselves as “Uncle Sam’s Ambassador” will help to bring a more active approach and positive image to the government and to it’s citizens.