Government agencies have websites to avoid actually talking to citizens

Sometimes you need to talk with a real live human being to solve a problem. You have reviewed the literature, read every page on the agencies website without finding the information you need. You call the phone number listed on the website after drilling down through 3482 layers of “contact” information listing every page on the site (which you have already checked) and the phone rings. A recorded message comes on, informs you that this is indeed the correct agency and the correct office and they have a website, (which you are currently on), that will answer all your questions. The phone then disconnects.

And we wonder why the general public has less than a positive opinion of government agencies and their employees.

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Adriel Hampton

Then perhaps the public needs to stop electing the same type of people. This is a leadership issue, plain and simple. Private companies with high-traffic customer service sites often have a “chat with us now” feature – that works. Or it is easy to reach a person when you need one. Leadership – that’s what drives good customer service.

Eric Erickson

I understand your point, however perhaps you could present a solution or a possible approach about what government agencies could do to better serve citizens. Some agencies do interact directly with people. In our office, we use our primary website to drive people to social media sites, where we answer their questions and provide them with information. A lot of people probably agree with you point, however simply complaining is not constructive.

Carol Davison

While I develop websites to prevent me from having to speak to all of my 3,000 customers, I am available by email (preferably) and phone too. I prefer email because I get similar questions and can pretty much forward 20% of them repeatedly. Sometimes in telephone discussions I say “Let’s go to the website located at http://www….. See the competency models listing? The 343s are the third one down…” to teach them to use the website to free my staff to provide individual attention when necessary. However as someone looking for a developmental assignment, too many agencies don’t even have a phone number listed on their webpage. They receive a failing customer service score in my book.