The ACT Government is deploying on-demand CRM software from RightNow Technologies in the next phase of its Canberra Connect initiative, designed to automate and unify its communications with constituents.
The CRM solution will help agencies ensure that customers will receive consistent answers to queries without having to interact with multiple locations, web sites, email addresses and/or telephone numbers.
"To meet our quality goals and deliver a growing range of services across both traditional and digital channels, the government of the Australian Capital Territory must aggressively transform our communications and transaction management environment," says manager of customer services at Canberra Connect Anthony Polinelli. "RightNow offers a powerful, well-integrated portfolio of CRM solutions for performing that transformation, which we plan to take full advantage of for the benefit of our 330,000-plus citizens."
The Canberra Connect initiative was launched in March 2001 to provide the public with a single point-of-access to all ACT Government agencies. Polinelli says on demand CRM software will significantly increase both the quality and consistency of the essential government services Canberra Connect can provide to citizens, businesses and other agencies.
The software has already provided a major boon to the Urban Services department, which had 187 separate listings in the White Pages under "ACT Government - Department of Urban Services" three years ago but expects that number to drop to three or four at most in the next directory.
"Being able to integrate our call centres and the RightNow product will be absolutely brilliant in being able to link up that knowledge across all of our centres, so whether it's a motor transport query, or a request for general information, all of our staff will be able to read back and deliver that information consistently," Polinelli says.
The next trick is to make sure - in an administration which delivers a complex mix of both State and municipal functions - that the answers to customer queries are the same across all agencies, whether the request comes in via the call centre, shop front, or through customer self-service.
"It really gives us that ability to provide a knowledge base across all of our channels on the questions that people want answers to, as opposed to information on everything," Polinelli says.
RightNow's use of a common knowledge base, database and workflow engine across all communication channels; the ease and speed with which it allows non-IT staff to manage content and functionality; and RightNow's on demand model, which is enabling the ACT Government to reap the benefits of RightNow's technology without the costs and intensive IT workloads associated with implementation and ongoing ownership of conventional CRM software, were all factors in its selection.
Polinelli says it will take several years to link all government departments with the RightNow platform, but the Urban Services, which has made "excellent progress" in adopting the RightNow platform, is eager to assist other departments in their integration efforts.
"We are keen to demonstrate that Canberra Connect as an organization can add value to what other agencies do," he says.
The ACT Government also expects the platform to help it more effectively manage and automate a wide range of transaction workflows, and gain greater visibility into its own operational performance in order to drive further process improvements.
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