Government departments have better customer experiences than most brands: survey

Citizens rank public government agencies higher than private-sector companies when it comes to delivering customer experience, according to a recent survey.

In research conducted by Ovum and commissioned by technology firm Pegasystems, Australian and New-Zealand citizens rank public government agencies higher than private-sector companies when it comes to delivering customer experience (CX).

More than 60% of respondents say their experience in dealing with government is better than private sectors including banking, retail shopping and telecommunications, the study, which polled Australian and New Zealand respondents to understand their experiences and attitudes when interacting with government services.

82% surveyed said they found resolutions within one to three interactions with a government agency. Email and website rank as the top two channel choices for interactions with government. Mobile app usage follows closely behind. 81% of respondents look to government websites to find information and conduct transactions before consulting live personnel.

Ovum’s analysis suggests government agencies tend to be more consistent than the private corporations. “While it is true to an extent that best practice citizen experience has been set by the private sector, it is by no means ubiquitous when dealing with commercial entities,” says Al Blake, principal analyst, government technology, Ovum.

“The ability of government agencies to solve complex user problems through digital services is becoming extremely effective. Real-time, digital first engagement strategies that are citizen-centric, rather than program-centric, are the way forward for government services,” says Scott Leader, managing director, ANZ, Pegasystems. “Private businesses could learn from these results and reexamine if their customer service approach truly puts customers first and meets their unique wants and needs.”

The report drew on 152 responses to a survey conducted in May 2016 in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Generalising across all markets surveyed, 67% of respondents said dealing with government departments is equal or better than other sectors.

Pega Ovum government CX figure 1

Source: Ovum


The report’s recommendations for government agencies need to shift the focus of their strategies to the citizen and away from a program-by-program basis.

“The historical approach of using multiple point solutions to target each individual program delivery capability will not help governments to deliver a seamless service,” the report’s authors write. “Agencies need to develop a citizen engagement strategy that is citizen-centric rather than program-centric. This will facilitate a view of the customer across programs, agencies, and jurisdictions, allowing multi-agency services to be delivered without inter-agency demarcation being frustratingly obvious to the end user.”

But while Ovum suggests acceptance of the benefits of information sharing between agencies is slowly increasing, there remains a widespread mistrust of government’s use of citizen data and, as such, selecting suppliers and solutions with a clear government track record and strong audit, regulatory, and accountability capabilities is essential.



Image copyright: stockbroker / 123RF Stock Photo

Ben Ice
BY Ben Ice ON 26 October 2016
Ben Ice was MarketingMag editor from August 2017 - February 2020