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Digital transformation has arrived at many government contact centers, bringing opportunities to meet rising expectations for service and resolve complaints faster. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are at the forefront of this technology, and early adopters are already seeing the results in improving citizens’ experience and overall efficiency.
Low Tolerance for Bad Experiences
The number of connected devices—now estimated at 100 billion worldwide—has led to constituents expecting that your agency will have history and an understanding of all interactions across all channels.
When constituents engage with government agencies, they’re not comparing an agency-to-agency experience. They’re comparing their current interaction to their most recent good experience, whether it was with a retailer, healthcare provider or another business. And while your constituents usually don’t have the option of going elsewhere for service, there are serious downsides in not meeting those expectations.
You’re missing opportunities to offer the best support in the first engagement. In addition to the costs of multiple interactions, it can lead to “negative advocacy,” or word of mouth, which has become increasingly important with social media. Resolving problems on the first engagement also challenges the old belief that phone calls should be as brief as possible. Longer calls are not necessarily bad when you can demonstrate that during that long call, you’re eliminating follow-on calls.
Discover Your Limitations
Going online and going paperless are often the start of a digital transformation. But there’s much more opportunity to reduce costs, improve citizen experience and have a greater digital presence to help them get what they need faster.
Once you know how constituents want to engage and on which channels, technology silos can impede your ability to meet these expectations. The first step in overcoming this lack of omnichannel integration is identifying those stand-alone channels and who is managing them. Seek out colleagues who are also trying to consolidate systems and looking for complementary technology. Pairing up can help you build a case for digital transformation that benefits more than just your own department’s constituents.
Make Better Decisions With AI-Powered Analytics
The amount of data available today is massive—from constituents, coworkers, other agencies and even relevant public information—and it can have a major impact on the actions that agencies take. Integrating that data and using AI, often voicebots and chatbots, enables you to leverage it for better outcomes.
Bots are better at data collection than humans and they free agents for deeper engagement on phone calls, for example. When you add machine learning into a bot automation strategy, they can become more strategic in anticipating and responding to constituents needs. This reduces the cost of manual research and intervention, and these machine-learning bots can also spot problems, such as website navigation, before they have a major impact on constituents.
Automating processes and simplifying interactions with citizens is a much easier transformation with a cloud model. Upgrades and new initiatives are fast to deploy and can be done when you’re ready for them. Up-front costs are low and you have more flexibility for seasonal changes and scalability for future data requirements.
Payback arrives quickly for those who jump into new AI technology. For example, it opens opportunities for coordination or collaborative partnerships across departments and agencies. It also empowers agents by letting them take on more complex tasks and giving them career growth opportunities.
Build Better Experiences With Your Constituents
AI-powered automation can take a big load off agents, but most people still want the option to engage with an agent. Partner with a vendor who can help you understand this expectation, including what bots can and can’t do, and how they fit with privacy and compliance concerns. Embrace the shift to digital and get ready for the big rewards that await agencies and their constituents.
You’ll hear from Melanie Turek, Vice President of Research for Frost & Sullivan, on how your peers in other agencies are embracing AI to transform citizen engagement.
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