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Governments Urged to Learn From Businesses

Governments Urged to Learn From Businesses

Citizens are demanding better e-government services from their governments

The Deloitte report concludes e-government to date has largely failed to transform government service delivery as its original architects imagined it would

Citizens used to dealing with leading businesses online are demanding better e-government services from their governments at a time when those governments face significant short- and long-term fiscal pressures, according to a new report from Deloitte.

The study, One Size Fits Few: Using Customer Insight to Transform Government, finds governments are under great and growing pressure to improve the customer experience for citizens accessing public services.

With leading businesses having trained people to expect high quality, personalized services — standards that citizens are now applying to government — the report urges public sector managers to adopt leading customer experience practices to bolster decision-making capabilities, enhance government's ability to execute on major program and policy initiatives, improve service delivery and reduce costs. And it says there is no better time than now to do so.

"Making effective use of these approaches requires public managers to first understand the full range of tools and techniques available to them and how and when to apply them," the report says. "This study illustrates how leading governments are examining the challenges they face from the user's perspective, drawing from a robust customer experience toolkit as warranted, to improve the delivery and effectiveness of public services. Every day more and more examples are cropping up of pioneers who dare to challenge the conventional business model and produce new value for customers."

A quarter of all Australians now conduct the majority of their dealings with government online according to the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) report, Australians' Use of and Satisfaction with e-Government Services, 2007.

And while the most common way of contacting government remains face-to-face, the AGIMO report conclusively demonstrated most citizens would rather contact government through online channels, with 41 per cent in 2007 showing a clear preference for contacting government by Internet.

But the Deloitte report warns in the face of such preferences, governments will need to do much more to satisfy their citizen-customers.

"Customer strategy is at the heart of the next wave of government transformation," says Greg Pellegrino, managing director, Global Public Sector, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. "Fuelled by the success of consumer-oriented companies, more public sector leaders are revolutionizing their approach to service delivery. Those leaders who have set the gears in motion are seeing results from becoming more customer and employee focused."

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