Citizen Expectations of Government Services: A New View

March 27, 2019 Vishnu Nanan

What do your constituents want? The question is always looming, and it may have many answers, but one of those answers has become increasingly clear. Living in the digital age is elevating constituents’ expectations. Accustomed to one-click ordering and online access to customer service from everything from airlines to supermarkets, constituents now expect the same breadth, speed and quality of services from government agencies.

Also, smartphones have become the default tool for sourcing information and accessing services for younger adult generations, namely millennials and Generation Z. These generations now outnumber both Baby Boomers and Generation Xers, and their preferred interaction channels are gaining traction over more traditional in-person and telephone-based service delivery.

Driving Services to Digital

A recent Center for Digital Government survey, sponsored by Conduent, revealed some interesting trends in constituents' expectations for interacting with government entities for information and services. These included:

  • Government portal/website ease of use and user experience
    • 31% of all respondents said state government websites need usability improvements, and 14% said the website wasn't mobile friendly.
    • 27% said online services were too tricky to navigate, and 19% said online services weren't functioning at all.
  • Smart home hubs and virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa - 22% of 18-34 year-olds are enthusiastic about these services, while over 50% of those 65 and over are either uninterested or opposed.
  • Cybersecurity concerns were top of mind for 51% of respondents, who feel government entities are prime targets for opportunistic hackers.

 

Trending in the Right Direction

Although respondents to the survey mentioned various concerns, more than 60% of those surveyed said online services are easier to use than they were three years ago. Providing services online has multiple benefits — self-service saves state government organizations time and resources and satisfy the 40% of constituents that say government websites are their preferred method of accessing resources.

According to data from Statista, the percentage of worldwide web traffic through smartphones has been hovering around the 48 to 52% mark for the past several quarters, and is likely to increase. State governments should prioritize making their websites mobile responsive, as approximately 72% of respondents would like to access state government digital resources through their mobile device.

What It Means for You

What can you do with these and the other findings from the Citizen Experience survey? Take a look at the video below for next steps.

 

 

You can also download the full report “Innovation, Ease of Use and Trust: Improving the citizen experience with digital government services” here for key takeaways, trends and findings.

About the Author

Vice President, Conduent Government Solutions

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