The government is finally making inroads into understanding and providing better customer service. But it faces significant challenges. Government agencies must operate on tighter budgets and with smaller staffs. Many knowledgeable and experienced employees are retiring, further undermining agencies’ ability to effectively serve customers. Today’s citizens and stakeholders demand fast, accurate answers from government agencies, and they will clearly express their dissatisfaction if those expectations are not met. And on top of all of that, citizens now expect to be able to deal with agencies through myriad communications channels, including phone, e-mail, the web, mobile devices, social media and more.
But despite these significant obstacles, government is starting to rise to the customer service challenge. Changes are happening everywhere you look. For one, the federal government has implemented digital-oriented organizations such as 18F and U.S. Digital Services to help agencies build better and more intuitive websites for citizens. Agencies are hiring more CCOs, whose main role is to serve as the voice of the customer and help government make changes. Human-centered designed efforts, in which sites and products are designed based on users’ core needs, are driving government website redesigns across the nation.
With both the challenges and the opportunities in mind, we’ve put together this guide to help you achieve excellent customer service. The Customer Service Playbook for Government is a practical guide that reveals tools, practices, innovative solutions and methodologies that were captured from government agencies that are embracing technological advancements and automation to provide superior customer service.