Re-Centering Citizen Engagement Around the Digital Experience
By ImageSource Team on April 14, 2023
For years, the nature and quality of digital transactions were shaped by the needs of online retailers. Changes in design, user experience, and process automation were all focused on making it easier for businesses to reach customers – and for customers to complete purchases.
The pandemic-response shift to remote work inspired other sectors to follow the lead of eCommerce and move operations to the cloud. Though the speed of digital transformation was driven by necessity, government agencies especially realized the benefits of offering constituent services through digital channels.
Here are five ways that digital experiences enable government agencies to serve constituents better:
- Increase Accessibility – By using digital platforms and online experiences, agencies can provide constituent services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without the requiring in-person interaction. This allows constituents to access government services from the comfort of their homes, reducing the time, cost, and logistic hurdle of visiting an agency’s office.
Online experiences support everyday transactions such as renewing licenses, paying taxes and fees, and accessing government benefits. AI functions like chatbots can help resolve common issues outside of traditional office hours. If a more complex issue requires human attention, a citizen can begin a claim at any hour that is directed to an appropriate staff person for response.
- Streamline Processes – Digital platforms enable government agencies to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. By automating manual processes (such as data entry and document handling) agencies can significantly reduce the time it takes to complete tasks.
Workflows also allow agencies to better use information by routing it through processes or to appropriate roles for review. This enables agencies to process cases and resolve outstanding issues faster, speeding up the delivery of citizen services and benefits.
- Enable Visibility – A robust digital experience lets constituents both initiate and track the progress of their case, claim, or process. Transparency allows government agencies to manage public expectations and bolsters confidence that processes are moving through channels.
Self-service information access leads to more positive public sentiment about government agencies. Constituents who can independently follow the status of their case or claim are more likely to feel satisfied that the agency is working on their behalf – and less likely submit complaints or negative reviews.
- Make Data-Driven Decisions – Digital interactions generate a large number of records that agencies can leverage to improve services. Data analyses of demographics, transaction types, and sentiment allow agencies to identify trends and adapt processes in response.
For example, data analytics can be used to track the performance of government programs, identify areas for improvement, and predict future demand. This approach helps agencies allocate resources and improve outreach to underserved populations.
- Improve Security – By using secure digital platforms, agencies can strengthen the security of government data and systems. Measures such as two-factor and biometric authentication protect against breaches, cyber-attacks, and other security threats. Selecting partners with certifications such as AICPA SOC2 Type II ensures that the highest security standards are maintained when dealing with protected and private citizen information.
User-friendly digital experiences improve both sides of the services exchange between government organizations and constituents. Agencies must continue to embrace process innovation to meet expectations in an increasingly cloud-based, online, 24/7 environment. The payoff is smoother service transactions that contribute to citizen satisfaction and increased trust in public institutions.