I am very proud to be the daughter of a retired steel mill worker. Throughout his career, my father worked long, hard hours doing shift work. This meant that one week he would work from 6:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., the next week could be from 3:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m., and then another week could be from 11:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. Many times, he would work a double shift and sometimes, even a triple. The life lessons I gained from my father are many, and include:
- Respect everyone – everyone puts their pants on the same way;
- Work hard – you will value your accomplishments much more;
- Never give up on your goals – which is why at a later age I’ve earned the political science degree I’ve always wanted;
- Stand up for what you believe in – to this day, I will never cross a picket line; and
- Always be willing to help others.
This last lesson – my father’s desire to help others – is what has driven my passion for both technology and government. Contrary to some stereotypes, government employees are some of the highest-integrity, hardest-working people I have ever known. Most people in public service truly want to make a difference and help others. This is why Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) is so important to government organizations.
Constituent communication is the lifeblood of good government – and by managing the communications more effectively, many benefits can be gained. Government organizations have very unique CRM requirements. Government has a monopoly on their customers; the customers don’t really have any choice (they can’t cancel their dog licenses and opt for another government).
While private sectors focus on keeping customers happy, government focuses on two other things: Government has to be both the watchdog from a regulatory perspective, such as ensuring income tax has been paid, and vehicles are properly registered. Secondly, government also has to fulfill requests for voluntary services such as health programs, recreational activities, and ordering copies of vital records such as birth and death certificates (certifications and licensing fall under both headings).
A different customer service approach is required for each role. A regulatory approach requires constituent service that is fast, efficient, and respectful, while a voluntary approach requires personalized constituent service – more like services provided in the private sector. By taking a digital approach to CRM, government can improve productivity – while at the same time reducing costs. Government can improve both employee and constituent satisfaction by being able to offer guided and contextual interactions for both parties that show them the next best action.
Finally, CRM can help government prepare and respond to the more demanding constituent – who is always on, and wants to be able to interact with government through any channel. CRM can help public servants to do what they do best – help people.
And that’s something my father would appreciate! Happy Father’s Day, Dad, and all fathers, too.
Learn how digital innovation has helped government agencies enabled changes that appear small on the surface, but which have had a monumental impact on customer service and efficiency. Download The Future of Digital Public Services today.