Who's the best at customer service? This question is asked often in the business world primarily because many company philosophies are based on how well they serve and retain their customers, and how well they keep their profits flowing. Knowing who's the best and how they do it is highly sought-after information.
Until recently, customer service had less priority in government - no one attempted to rank the best or learn how to best serve citizens. This isn't the case today, however. Citizen-centricity way is the new mantra, and the public sector is plowing huge investments of time, labor and taxpayer money into the issue.
And the stakes couldn't be higher. Citizen demand for quality services is at an all-time high, and willingness to pay for these services through taxes and fees is dropping. At the same time, citizen trust in government continues to erode.
For nearly a decade, Accenture has tracked government customer service around the globe and ranked the top performers. The company found four pillars to quality public sector customer service:
- a citizen-centered perspective in which "necessary" information is organized around the citizen;
- cohesive multichannel services that are fast, efficient and convenient regardless of the chosen channel;
- fluid cross-government service at the local, regional and national levels, in turn providing integrated services; and
- proactive communication and education, which ensures that citizens are well informed about government services.
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