Using Technology to Better Serve Your Customers


Several conversations with clients this past month have reminded me of a key truth: citizens that have been trained to expect great customer service from companies like Amazon, Expedia, and others want that same level of service from their government.


Yet many of the cities, counties and agencies we talk to are coming from what we call the “Post-It note” approach to the back-end handling and low-tech methods for the intake of citizen concerns; in a digital world, many governments still rely on paper or calls to connect with their citizens.


Innovative agencies have begun to adapt the best practices of leading consumer brands; giving their citizens easy access to information, instant feedback across multiple communication channels and an integrated experience from offline to online to mobile.


Using solutions like Comcate’s eFeedback Manager (eFM) agencies can give their constituents 24/7 information access, cross platform citizen engagement, automated issue logging, issue resolution status and many of the other service best practices people have come to expect.


An article from the Harvard Business Review that that I’ve shared with many colleagues highlights five lessons borrowed from the consumer sector that “governments who really get it” understand:

  1. Scale matters: aim to reach the largest possible audience
  2. Online/offline mesh: promote new digital services in the offline world as well
  3. Single sign on for multiple government services: keep it simple and keep it integrated
  4. Smart segmenting: the right message to an audience boosts engagement
  5. Influencers improve engagement: identify and target people who can help advocate for you

Dave Richmond


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