I recently met with Cynthia, a Senior Government Contact Center Leader, who was at her wits end trying to manage the agency’s initiative to transform and modernize the contact center as part of her performance expectations. Cynthia was familiar with the buzz words around “customer experience” but was struggling to decide how to prioritize and build a business case for change. She didn’t know what “specific problem she was trying to solve” but knew she had to show she was doing something to improve the customer experience. “Journey mapping, multi or omnichannel communications, CRM, IVR, data visualization, AI, knowledge management, etc. What should I do?”
My Response: Step back and begin with a Contact Center Audit, Assessment, and Benchmarking initiative to roadmap where you should start the contact center’s transformation and modernization journey,
I explained to Cynthia that it’s critical to understand the current contact center customer experience environment and the future (vision) environment to identify gaps in the operations. In addition to understanding customer experience operational gaps in the contact center, benchmarking other government operations to improve their customer’s digital experience and agency’s service delivery performance.
Let’s discuss why benchmarking is important
For an agency contact center to transform and modernize, there is a need to evaluate the performance against that of other government contact center establishments. Although a government may not be in competition with regards to the citizens it cares for, there is a need to benchmark the performance of a contact center against another.
As such, government contact centers can quantitatively evaluate the difference in performance level with other reputable call center agencies. Consequently, government contact centers can set customer experience goals and objectives which can serve as motivation for employees to work to the highest standard.
The importance of benchmarking government contact centers includes:
- Evaluate the success of your customer experience improvement initiatives: What is the point of making improvements in certain areas and not having to know whether it was successful? Benchmarking helps to create a status quo towards which the success of a government contact center is measured against customer service standards and to understand your position against world best practice.
- Gain an insight into other government contact center standard practices: A government contact center trying to compare its success with that of a corporate contact center is futile. It is a lot more beneficial to know what other governments are doing, especially those setting the pace. The failures and successes of a government contact center may help others learn and improve their policies and procedures.
- Rate customer experience channels performance objectively: Conducting customer surveys and using certain operational metrics speaks volumes about the performance of an organization. However, it is not enough since a government contact center may not be performing up to international standards. Hence, benchmarking leads government contact centers to rate their performance about similar organizations, rather than having the performance score based on internal assessment tools alone. The findings from a study indicate that institutions that pay more attention to great customer experience will have a 30-50% more chance to get recommended by its customers. This metric is subjective and it is derived by requesting that customers complete a survey where answers have scores ranging from 1-5, 1-10 or Very Satisfied – Not satisfied.
I also recommended for Cynthia to work independently certified government customer experience professional. They bring industry experience and knowledge to the table, enabling her to navigate the assessment process in record time by supporting management. They are experts at identifying and anticipating opportunities for growth, staff development, cost reductions, increased productivity and technology improvement within your organization. Ultimately leading to cohesion within teams and customer service delivery support, they add tangible value to the assessment process.
Next Blog: What’s Included In A Government Audit and Assessment Report
Author Rosetta Carrington Lue is a pioneer in the field of Government Customer Experience Management and has devoted an entire career to bettering the lives of everyone around her through her work. She is right at home as the CEO of GovCX Professionals (www.govcxprofessionals) where she spends her time focused on building a welcoming, innovative, and engaging government customer experience.
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