Industry Research : Local Authorities Embrace Technology to Link Citizens with Services
Over a quarter (28%) of senior decision makers in local government claim that improving the way they link citizens to the correct person or department is either their top priority or one of several priorities, according to research by Qmatic.
Published in a report, called "Citizen Flow in Local Government" which was conducted on behalf of the provider in customer flow management (CFM), almost a third (30%) claim it would enhance their ability to closely match public demand to available resources and better plan for services. A third said it would allow them to reallocate staff to assist areas in demand and 30% pointed to better use of skilled staff.
David Anahory, UK CEO at Qmatic explained, "Almost half of the surveyed local authorities say that they have plans to address this and that they expect to improve public satisfaction as a result. Improving citizen flow is a win-win initiative, because it not only improves overall service but also translates into very real cost and efficiency gains."
Citizen or customer flow services can range from barriers, through to both independent and networked virtual and linear queue management systems, to mobile phone applications, kiosk systems and new media.
A third of respondents in the Qmatic survey say that a lack of technology is a hurdle when it comes to developing ways to connect the public with appropriate government staff. Of those currently developing ways to get citizens to the correct person or department, the most common method to be worked on is the use of skills based routing; selected by almost two thirds of respondents. Almost two in five said they are planning on using digital media to direct members of the public.
Swindon Borough Council uses CFM to improve citizen service and in particular, the handling of face-to-face customer enquiries. Nichola Williams-Dyton, One Stop Shop and Reception Manager at the Swindon Capita Partnership said, "It enables accurate management and measurement of wait times, records volumes and helps us assist with managing demand. It also means we can drill down to what our customers want and why they visit us. This provides meaningful management information to feedback to our service areas within the council."
The Qmatic research was conducted by IT market research consultancy, Vanson Bourne among 30 senior decision makers in the 433 local government agencies in the UK; which represents almost 15% of the potential national market.
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Published: Friday, March 16, 2012
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