This article discusses the following key points to help you build a more modernized government contact center:
- Innovate with modern, cloud-based digital communications systems
- Centralize the citizen experience so you can better monitor and manage all facets of citizen engagement with government operations
- Enable your employees to deliver cross-channel access and communications as expected by citizens
- Improve employee morale so that your contact center reps can offer optimized, consistent experiences
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Technology has advanced a great deal in the last 10 to 20 years, but many government contact centers have not evolved as quickly. The hesitancy of government innovation in comparison to the more modernized private sector has been even more apparent during the pandemic.
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If government agencies really want to improve the citizen experience for their citizens, as the federal government has mandated, they must develop more modern contact centers. The following is an overview of several critical requirements to modernize your government contact center to set a future-forward course.
Digital innovation is essential to a modern government contact center. In particular, your tech infrastructure needs to leverage increased broadband access for communities along with the advantages of cloud-based systems.
A cloud-based system is more nimble, cost-effective, and secure than antiquated on-premises systems. It also allows you to scale your costs based on the number of users and needs, as opposed to making large upfront investments in physical hardware that you must then maintain.
With a cloud-based infrastructure, your agency is better positioned to take advantage of innovations such as artificial intelligence, machine and deep learning, and analytics. It is easy to integrate cloud-based applications to develop a comprehensive, holistic system for communications management.
Federal mandates in recent years have directed local and state governments to prioritize improvement in the citizen experience, or the level of service provided to constituents.
Segregated support and service activities put a huge burden on typical governments to meet growing CX demands. Governments have not adapted to centralized CX management as quickly and effectively as the private sector. Siloed operations are frustrating for citizens who feel like they have to talk to five different people to get five related pieces of information. That perception is problematic to your efforts to build citizen trust and encourage citizen engagement.
Instead, identify all aspects of your typical constituent experience with government. Develop a centralized hub to manage the experience across all connected offices and agencies. Empower each representative with the necessary visibility and tools to answer questions and resolve issues.
An important complement to centralized user experience management is cross-channel enablement. Society has advanced digitally to a point where typical people have high expectations for accessible, efficient responses across all popular methods of communication.
One way to centralize your CX is with a citizen’s communications system designed as a seamless center for cross-channel interactions. A cloud-based, multi-channel Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) enables your contact center employees to handle outbound and inbound interactions with people across all channels. This approach is much more efficient than having reps dedicated to support on single channels.
This type of communications system is why the shift from “call center” to “contact center” has occurred. This subtle transition in phrasing and thinking stems from the objective of treating each interaction the same regardless of the channel.
It is not just citizens you need to please in a modernized government contact center. You must care for employees as well. In fact, the only way to optimize the citizen experience is to optimize the employee experience. Happy employees provide better and more efficient support.
Historically, government agencies and contact center employees have accepted cultural failings as the nature of the environment. However, private sector contact centers have worked to improve work culture and morale, and it shows in improved customer experiences.
Government agencies can achieve similar morale improvement in their contact center. Access to innovative communications systems is a critical way to boost employee morale as it helps them effectively and efficiently perform their key job functions. A higher rate of happy citizens means fewer frustrations for contact center reps.
The following are other ways you can improve morale in your contact center:
- Accept and allow for the human experience: Flexibility and adaptability to unexpected life events show support to your employees and give them peace of mind that their employer cares.
- Offer proactive stress management: A quiet, safe space for a cool-down, meditation, or other self-care helps an employee prevent a bad interaction from snowballing.
- Continue to coach, but stay positive: A positive tone combined with continued coaching is a powerful synergy.
- Match worker skills to tasks: Skill-based contact routing with a CCaaS allows citizens to connect with reps who have the requisite knowledge and skills to help the first time they make contact.
Government agencies simply cannot afford to wait any longer to innovate. The more nimble private sector was forced to evolve even more rapidly than normal in response to the pandemic and digital communication requirements. Thankfully, rare relief and infrastructure funding has been dedicated to upgrading technology and broadband access, making now the time for government agencies to prioritize modernizing their communications systems.
RingCentral for Government has best-in-class, cross-channel benefits designed for modern government contact centers. See our government solutions and discover why RingCentral is the best way to move your contact center ahead.
Originally published Jul 12, 2022