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Author: Shane Schick

The quality of constituent engagement in government is one of the most important elements in shaping customer experiences that benefit citizens and public sector staff.

When government agencies communicate and engage with their constituents well, they can understand their needs and expectations, can help citizens to feel valued, and can consider their feedback as they develop policies and programs.

When done well, constituent engagement leaves citizens feeling informed and empowered. For public sector agencies, it can help ensure that resources are allocated properly and programs are thoughtfully designed. And it can help staff make informed decisions in the interest of their citizens.

Constituent engagement: Improving customer service in government

Proactive constituent engagement can help government agencies alleviate some of the strain on their service teams.

Great customer service from government agencies requires more than just troubleshooting problems or dealing with complaints. In order to serve constituents well, you must make it convenient and easy.

There are a few key elements of constituent engagement that go into improving customer service in government.

Omnichannel conversations

Engaging constituents starts with actively listening through whatever channel they prefer.

Using a virtual contact center can let your constituents contact you by phone, email, social media or text message—whatever is most convenient for them. A virtual contact center also can make it easy for staff to seamlessly move service issues from one channel to another to provide a more unified experience to help with improving customer service in government.

Self-service options

Citizen engagement does not need to be limited to only answering requests for assistance. It can also help constituents easily solve issues themselves.

Self-service options put people in the driver's seat and free up staff to focus on more complex service issues. Online resource centers with articles and FAQ lists can help residents help themselves. Automated chatbots can be programmed to lead them through common service issues and resolutions. Mobile apps could include features that explain policies and programs or guide people to the resources they need.

Personalization and prediction

Government agencies can learn from routinely listening and learning to constituent engagements. Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation can make sure those learnings aren't limited to what staff can remember.

Weaving AI and automation into the contact center can help agents better serve constituents by drawing on previous interactions and personal information. Agents do not need to make people repeat information and can build on a citizen's experiences.

Over time, automation and AI can also identify trends and patterns among experiences, helping agencies get ahead of issues, improve customer service, and refine constituent engagement strategies.

Foundations for successfully engaging constituents

Engagement efforts can become more credible and trusted when organizations invest in a network with the performance—including high bandwidth, low latency, mobility, scalability and reliability—to support these applications and experiences.

When building a plan that can help with improving customer service in government, there is also great value in drawing on the best practices of experts. A managed services provider with a proven track record in the public sector can help governments move forward with confidence.

Learn how Verizon can support constituent engagement and help public sector agencies modernize.