Government Customer Service: Overcoming Communication Challenges Through Omnichannel Solutions

Excellent customer service in the governmental services industry has been largely lacking for many years. Citizens face walls of bureaucracy and old working methods while attempting to receive essential services or file requests. According to ACSI 2020 report, citizen satisfaction with American federal government services plunges to a five-year low in the United States. 

The private sector, on the other hand, demonstrates how innovation can enhance customer service and satisfaction. Service providers worldwide, such as telecom companies, financial organizations, retailers, healthcare providers, and more, are constantly scaling up their capabilities through technology in order to improve customer service and customer experience. 

In 2018, McKinsey launched a customer-experience benchmarking survey of more than 20,000 citizens across 140 government services in 7 countries. McKinsey found that better customer experience can help every agency have a quantifiable impact on the outcomes, including achieving the mission, managing budget, mitigating risk, improving employee morale, and (most important) strengthening public trust.

McKinsey points that every agency can transform the customer experience, given the clarity of focus and the courage to act. Governments need to scale up but face challenges that some are unique to the public sector. 

We’ll take a deep look into these challenges and offer a solution for each. 

Top 5 Customer Communication Challenges in Governments and Municipalities 

1. Growing Demand for Digital Customer Service

Consumers’ increasing use of digital devices led to higher customer service standards for the private sector and governments. Nowadays, citizens expect digital customer service from any service provider – private or public. After all, citizens pay taxes and want good service when they need it. 

Overcoming this challenge requires any government agency to undergo a digital transformation process to enhance its digital customer service capabilities. 

Solution: Drive digital transformation in your organization.

We recently published a free guide that dives deep into this subject: 

Free Digital Transformation Guide

2. Multi-channel Customer Experience

Customers expect government agencies to deliver service digitally, as mentioned. Still, most of them (71%, according to McKinsey) also expect it to be through multiple communication channels that usually use, like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Chat, e-mail, and more. 

Rising customer expectations present a new challenge for governments, which need to provide customer service in multiple digital channels, a complex and time-consuming task. 

Solution: Implement an omnichannel customer communication platform. 

Overcoming this challenge requires governments to implement an omnichannel customer communication solution that can direct all the citizen queries from any digital platform to one smart inbox and manage all customer communication from a single dashboard. Using omnichannel customer communication would generate a more friendly interaction with citizens and provide a unified customer experience. 

Find out more about the CommBox smart customer communication solution

3. Poor Customer Experience 

Citizens face long and exhausting bureaucratic walls and tasks that make it challenging to receive efficient service. Faxing, for example, is an inefficient and wasteful service that was common a decade ago and still exists in some governments. Tax returns is another service that changed – in 2007, only 57% of tax returns were filed electronically. Nowadays, about 90% of forms are filed digitally, according to Deloitte firm.

Complaints agency leaders often receive is that they are too slow. According to McKinsey, it’s time for government organizations to go big on improving customer experience and prioritize it similar to companies in the private sector. The public sector needs to focus on investments that can help public sector leaders achieve better results across the full spectrum of critical outcomes they are charged with delivering. 

Solution: Implement AI and automation capabilities in your operational systems.

Improving response time and customer satisfaction requires any government agency to implement a technological solution that can provide automated customer service from the very first moment. 

AI service bots can also resolve the slow service delivery and responsiveness issue by immediately replying to every initial request and engaging with citizens from the very first moment, without the need for human intervention. These abilities ensure higher customer satisfaction and a unique customer experience. 

4. Budget Issues 

Budget is another major issue in government organizations. McKinsey points that agency leaders often view customer experience as a trade-off with other priorities. As a result, when the budget season rolls around, customer-experience programs are generally subordinated to other efforts and may starve. McKinsey also notes that leaders invest where they are used to seeing the value— whether in mission outcomes, operational efficiency or responding to (or anticipating) public or regulatory pressure for change. 

Solution: Implement AI and automation capabilities to reduce costs. 

Using AI will increase customer satisfaction and therefore reduce future expenses. According to McKinsey, unsatisfied customers are three times more likely to contact the agency hotline, straining resources and budgets.  Automation capabilities will also save resources such as workforce, time, and operational expenses, while simultaneously increasing customer satisfaction. 

5.Trust and Transparency 

Trust matters to government agencies, especially for ones who rate poorly in public surveys.

In 2018, only 43% of the global population trusted their governments, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer. Similarly, the OECD and several international surveys find that trust in government is decreasing – Only 38% of people in OECD countries say they trust their government. In 2006, this figure was around 42 percent (OECD 2017b). 

Achieving better results is through improving transparency and trust among civilians. McKinsey found that reliability significantly affects service satisfaction – customers are 9 times more likely to trust a government agency if they are satisfied with its service.

Solution: Use technology to establish positive relationships and maintain loyalty.

Keep in touch with your citizens through an innovative customer relations management platform. It will automatically inform them of their requests through digital channels and enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty over time.  

© Photomall | Dreamstime.com

Overcome Digital Transformation Challenges Using Commbox Smart Customer Communication Platform 

The described challenges for Governments require an all-in-one solution, a software that can manage customer communication effectively through every digital channel while delivering a satisfying customer experience. 

Meet Commbox – an omnichannel communication platform that enhances customer experience and leads digital service, support, and sales teams to success. 

Commbox helps organizations improve customer communication by using advanced AI-based technology that engages with customers and solves issues more efficiently than ever with a smart inbox implemented in a customer communication platform. 

One popular solution Commbox offers is the WhatsApp API service bot that engages with customers through their app and can do so on many other digital platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and more. Commbox holds the highest security standards and owns GDPR compliance.

How Commbox successfully transforms customer service for governments 

Commbox’s solution successfully transformed leading government agencies such as the Israeli health ministry that successfully replied to millions of requests during the Covid-19 pandemic using Commbox’s AI-based smart customer communication system. Commbox fully digitized more government agencies such as the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the Israeli Employment Service. 

Commbox transforms customer communication in Governments.  © BiancoBlue | Dreamstime.com

5 Reasons Why Commbox is the Solution For Governments 

  1. All-in-one omnichannel customer communication solution. 
  2. WhatsApp API smart bots that provide friendly and effective service. 
  3. AI and automation features that improve customer experience and trust.
  4. GDPR security compliance, compatible for governments. 
  5. Proven success in managing customer service for government agencies.

In Conclusion

Governments face new challenges as digital technologies keep evolving. Citizens expect civil services to become more digital and multichannel, so governments must upgrade their customer service and enhance customer experience. 

Implementing an omnichannel, AI-based, and secured customer communication solution is imperative for any government agency, now more than ever. 

About Commbox

Commbox offers an innovative solution for customer interactions, creating a holistic customer communication experience. By using the Commbox platform, companies and enterprises can automate recurring tasks that are excessively time-consuming, allowing your agents to focus on more important tasks. Commbox paves the way for autonomous business communication, without losing the quintessential human touch.

Commbox’s mission is to pave the way for companies worldwide to become autonomous enterprises, without losing their quintessential human touch.

Learn why customers choose CommBox for their customer communications.

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