What do the cities of Cincinnati, Philadelphia, San Antonio, and Seattle have in common? Of course, they are all cities in the United States and no doubt wonderful places to live and work, but you may be surprised that they all regularly conduct customer satisfaction surveys.
That’s right, customer satisfaction—not taxpayer surveys. Municipalities large and small want to know if the services they provide are meeting customer expectations and if are they communicating in ways that conform to changing norms and preferences.
The notion that “taxpayers are customers too” is definitely gaining momentum. To find out the reasons behind this and learn what tools municipalities are using to modernize, we spoke with two Verint officials who are closely involved with the company’s municipal markets outreach. David Moody is VP and General Manager, Citizen Engagement, and Iain Daws is Director of Marketing at Verint.
They have extensive experience in service delivery across public and commercial sectors. David and Iain shared that over recent years there has been a growing adoption of the customer experience management philosophy among government entities, largely due to an informed electorate with higher expectations and, of course, mayors and county executives who see superior service as essential to their reelection prospects.
Governmental contact centers face special challenges. Compared to commercial contact centers, the knowledge requirements are often considerably greater. Rather than concentrating on a relatively small and discrete set of products or services, the public service customer service representative may have to respond to a vast variety of queries—everything from stray dogs to property tax disputes.
Iain Daws explained, “The public sector has a very broad range of procedures and delivery requirements which can add considerable complexity compared to the commercial sector.” And to address staffing challenges, municipalities can turn to the workforce management and optimization solutions for which Verint is well known.
Verint has a long history of serving the complex contact center requirements of large and medium-size municipalities. Customers include the cities of San Antonio, Boston, and San Francisco, as well as dozens of others in North America and Europe. David and Iain stressed that three Verint applications are ideal for the complex and ever-changing needs of large municipalities: desktop and process analytics, knowledge management and case management.
Just about everything state and local governments do involves processes. If process management can speed things up, the government saves money and citizens save time. Knowledge management and case management help service representatives get the facts to solve complex problems and understand the history of what transpired with a particular citizen in the past. The result is less stress for employees and more satisfied taxpayer customers.
To help manage communications more efficiently, ensure adequate staffing, and help agents improve their skills, the Region of Waterloo (Ontario) chose the full Verint Customer Engagement Platform for its Service First Call Centre’s daily operations. They have realized significant productivity gains and increased customer satisfaction. The region of Waterloo, as well as a growing number of other governmental entities, understands that “Taxpayers are customers too” and are working hard to earn their continued trust.