Providing services to citizens is integral to the mission of government offices, but many are failing to meet expectations.  According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, government satisfaction ranks lower than every private-sector industry and has been falling for the past few years.  The fundamental requirement comes back to communication with constituents.

How can your office buck the trend?  According to Deloitte’s 2020 Government Trends, focusing on treating citizens like customers drives massive increases in satisfaction, efficiency, and effectiveness.  But what is “exceptional” customer service?  According to the Forbes’ Micah Solomon, every interaction with a customer is an opportunity for either improving or diminishing the customer experience.  There is no middle ground.

Timely and relevant communication

Poor customer service can destroy any business, one only needs to look at cable companies’ falling subscriber numbers.  When staff are still struggling with manual spreadsheets and handwritten notes or locked into poorly adapted software that relies on tribal knowledge to keep running, it becomes impossible to provide exceptional customer service.

This causes valuable staff time to be wasted as communication is time-consuming and ineffective. The backlog continues to grow, and constituent relationships become dissatisfied and disengaged. This is not inevitable. The situation can improve. We have seen private companies develop focused tools to address this problem using AI to provide instant 24/7 responses to customers.

New tools for government offices, like Ascendant, can help staff to more effectively manage processes, people, interactions, and content to meet ever-higher citizen expectations.  Incoming communication can be categorized and tagged so that their topics are identified with a designated response.  Using an approved message list, 80% of constituents’ texts and emails can receive personalized responses that address the specific topic of the incoming correspondence without intervention.  This changes the whole paradigm.  Constituents receive on-point responses immediately, enhancing their satisfaction and improving communication with the office.  It also allows staff more time to focus on building long term solutions that will benefit and provide value to the office through improved outcomes for citizens.

A picture showing people looking at a laptop displaying charts of communication on a desk with more people on the background
Identify trends with actionable insights

With engaged citizens and timely communication, a whole new realm of customer service can be developed.  Private companies use customer feedback to improve products and services so that future delivery is improved.  Safelite, an auto glass repair company, used direct customer communication to determine what they needed to work on, such as sending a text message when a technician would arrive that included their photo and bio.  This customer focus allowed Safelite to double revenue in five years.

Ease of use

Now imagine the potential when all of your staff is able to review and evaluate constituent trends. Identify and segment groups based on interests, engagements, or concerns.  Map and monitor relevant constituent interactions dynamically, allowing you to preemptively attack potential problems before they become headlines.  Identify where and when solutions are implemented to ensure that they are the most impactful.

A key part of all of this is to ensure the solution is designed with your office in mind.  There is no point in tools that are difficult to use or that are unintuitive. Ascendant pairs a design for human interaction with workflow tools to improve the quality of interactions between officials and citizens. Updated interface and visualization tools make Ascendant the most intuitive software yet.  Users can get up to speed and start to use the software immediately.  Many clients develop new insights and start communicating with their constituents within 24 hours of installation.

Your office can exceed citizens’ expectations and improve constituent relationships by focusing on the customer experience with superior communication.  Use cutting-edge technology that is designed for your use, to respond with timely, on-point communication with your constituents.  This saves both your constituents and your staff time, allowing them the information that they need to preempt problems.  With clear data on citizens’ interests and needs, staff can develop solutions that make an impact.

Please reach out and ask how Ascendant can help you meet your goals of improved relationships with Constituents.