Study: Agencies compete with industry for service delivery

The government agencies that lead the public sector in customer service are working to create technologies to interact with users and conduct transactions that rival those found among the best commercial organizations, according to a new Accenture report.

The study shows that agencies are reworking their customer service delivery efforts to build greater trust with users. Examples Accenture found include:


  • Municpalities in which drivers can pay for street parking via a mobile phone.

  • The use of text messaging for alerts on missing children.

  • Installation of interactive kiosks to provide localized information about city events and nearby places to eat or shop.

The study, called "Leadership in Customer Service: Building the Trust," covers the United States and 20 other countries, including Canada, Singapore, France and Australia.

The successful agencies enact new modes of operation that can be radically different from previous ones, and engage in continuous simplification, business re-engineering and consolidation efforts, and experiment with shared services, according to the study.

However, in 20 of the 21 countries -- all but Singapore -- citizens who used the services felt the private sector was doing a better job than government. The United States had the largest gap in positive perception between government and the private sector, at 27 percent. In America, 65 percent believe the private sector does better.

Bill Conner, president and chief executive officer at security firm Entrust, said more people will use government services online when they believe they are secure.

“This report shows that citizen trust is the catalyst to moving more services online, and that’s where security comes into play," he said. "Governments will be able to do more for their citizens online as their security solutions rise to the occasion.”

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