Recap: The Changing Face of Customer Service – Government Case Studies

Yesterday, GovLoop and Oracle presented a webinar on current customer service strategies in government. Widely discussed in the business realm, customer service is becoming a key focus area in government. Agencies are increasingly looking to customer service strategies via social media, mobile apps, call centers, and various other mediums to engage citizens and fill gaps in service.

Missed out on the live online training? Catch the recorded presentations and resources.

Customer service is an area in which agencies can get creative in how they interact with and communicate to citizens. The speakers in government and industry demonstrated their enthusiasm and innovation in crafting approaches to customer service. We heard from the below experts from local and federal government and industry:

Rosetta Lue, Chief Customer Service Officer & 311 Director for the City of Philadelphia

Lue spoke about the Philly311 Contact Center, the non-emergency customer service gateway for city government public services. Launched in 2008, Philly311 works toward the city’s strategic goal of ensuring an efficient, effective and responsive government. Residents, businesses and visitors in Philadelphia are able to connect with Philly311 in every possible way imaginable: phone, email, fax, mail, website, walk-in center, social media and the mobile app. This broad accessibility enables Philly311 to reach the city’s 1.5 million citizens of diverse ages, preferences and lifestyles. The initiative is also complemented by grass-roots and education campaigns.

Nicole Callahan, New Media Analyst at Federal Student Aid under the Department of Education

Callahan talked about #AskFAFSA Office Hours, monthly Q&A sessions on Twitter, during which students can tweet their questions to the @FAFSA team and receive live answers. Each session focuses on a particular topic, such as financial literacy, budgeting for college and, of course, completing the FAFSA form for financial aid. #AskFAFSA Office Hours is a great example of how an agency can play off its mission theme (e.g. university education) and target a particular audience through social media. Federal Student Aid also maintains a Storify account for students to access previous Office Hours session. This way, students can access the answers to hundreds of answered questions on their own time.

Scott Frendt, Senior Director, Public Sector, CRM Solutions at Oracle

Frendt first outlined a few important survey results shedding light on recent public perceptions of government service. For example, 96% of the public think government service can improve. He then showed several leading examples of successful customer service initiatives across government. These examples ranged from an Air Force Personnel Center to the New York State DMV to State Health Insurance Exchanges. Frendt’s industry insights showed how customer service coupled with the right technological solutions can result in increased savings in budget, better-informed citizens, self-service enablement and broader, more streamlined information sharing.

I encourage you to check out the presentations for yourself to access the detailed and inspiring expert tips on customer service in government. Lue, Callahan and Frendt provided some great ideas on how to incorporate technology and overcome challenges to implementing a customer service strategy.

Also be sure to check out these resources:

Communications and Customer Service Resources Hub

GovLoop Guide: Innovating at the Point of Citizen Engagement

GovLoop Guide: Re-Imaging Customer Service in Government

Oracle offers an optimized and fully integrated stack of business hardware and software systems that helps organizations overcome complexity and unleash innovation. Check out their Optimize with Oracle group on GovLoop.

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