Citizen demand for better delivery of public services has put digital transformation at the top of the agenda for many public service leaders. While some have cited tight budgets, staffing shortages, and legacy systems as top barriers to making the switch, many others have pulled it off with tremendous success.
Take the state of Minnesota, for example. It has adopted a human-centered design for its digital transformation initiatives, leveraging cloud-based solutions to deliver better access to its state benefits, make data-driven decisions on issues that matter most to its constituents, and more. And Minnesota is not alone. Many other states have followed suit.
Not only have these digital transformations made it easier for government offices to provide better citizen experiences, but they've also been able to drive cost savings, improved productivity, and better staff retention as a result.
So how are these government offices transforming the citizen experience? What technologies are they using? And what’s the best way to get started? We answer these questions and more in this blog.
How Governments Are Transforming the Citizen Experience
Digitalizing the Appointment Experience
Long wait times paired with a lack of transparency have long been a point of frustration for citizens visiting government offices. One way public service leaders have been tackling this pain point is by digitalizing the appointment experience using an automated appointment queuing system like Qmatic’s.
An appointment queuing system uses cloud-based and mobile technologies to enable citizens to schedule appointments online or via their smartphones. This enables citizens to take control of their experience as they can specify the date, time, and service they’re looking for when booking an appointment with a government office.
Since the purpose, time, and date of the citizen’s visit is captured in the appointment queuing system, government offices can allocate resources to better meet demand — reducing wait times. in addition, it enables staff to deliver more personalized experiences, thereby improving the citizen experience.
Another benefit of this solution is the availability of mobile ticketing. This enables customers to check themselves in when entering a government office using their smartphone. Once they have checked in, the system provides citizens with their wait times, the location of services, and the name of the representative they will be meeting when they arrive at the office.
Delivering Stronger Communications
Communication is key to enhancing the citizen experience. Citizens often feel left in the dark when interacting with a government office. They're uncertain about how long the appointment will last, who they need to speak to, and what to expect.
Using an automated appointment queuing system changes that. After an appointment is booked online, the system confirms services and next steps via email or SMS text. It also provides automated reminders, which reduces missed appointments using the same digital channels.
Another solution public service leaders are using to improve communication is electronic queuing, like self-check-in kiosks and mobile solutions on-site to improve citizen flow and bridge the digital and physical experience.
Public service leaders are also taking this solution further by combining it with digital signage onsite to further extend the digital experience in person. Doing so can improve wait time management.
Not only does digital signage offer another way to direct people to specific areas of the office to receive services, but it can also be used to provide citizens with additional information, such as new services or public service announcements. Additionally, digital signage can be used to provide visitors with entertainment, which reduces perceived wait time.
Enhancing Services Via Digital/Virtual Solutions
The pandemic pushed many government offices to reimagine how they deliver services to their constituents. Quite often, this meant using digital/virtual conferencing solutions to better meet citizens where they were. As a result, the use of these technologies has become a preferred way for citizens to engage with government offices.
For example, one way to combat wait times and deliver exceptional experiences is by using video calls or chat to communicate with citizens. Integrated as part of the appointment scheduling solution, government offices can leverage the same scheduling, resource planning, and automated notifications as in-person visits. But since it's virtual, it further minimizes wait times.
How to Get Your Digital Transformation Started
Like any investment, getting started with a digital transformation initiative requires a clear understanding of the main areas of your office that need improvements. This can be achieved by doing an audit and executing a customer journey mapping exercise to identify areas to focus on first.
Likewise, getting feedback from your staff and constituents can go a long way to pinpointing improvement areas in service delivery and operations. With clear insights into where you can drive the most impact, identifying what kinds of solutions to implement first becomes easier.
When looking for a provider, it's important to see how you can best meet your goals using one solution. After all, the last thing you want is a patchwork of tools. A great way to get all the services you need, such as reducing wait times, improving citizen experience, improving staff retention, and more, is to look for a citizen journey management platform.
Through a citizen journey management platform, you can obtain the above capabilities in addition to business intelligence tools. Having data and analytics built into the software you use will give you a true competitive advantage by giving you real-time data that enables you to shift resources based on demand, identify areas of improvement, and more.
The time is Now for Digital Transformation
At the core of a digital transformation is understanding how a government office can best interact with its citizens. That means taking control of citizen flow and mapping out service times, optimal wait times for services to be rendered, and matching staff with the complexity of the service requested.
As the private sector continues to evolve in its delivery of exceptional citizen experiences, closing the gap in the public sector will become paramount to retaining trust and relevance with constituents today.
Interested in learning more about how you can transform your citizen experience using a citizen journey management solution? We invite you to download our citizen journey management guide to learn more.