Engaging Constituents Using Every Channel

July 17, 2019 Christine Quinn

Why Omnichannel Communications for Constituent Engagement

Whether shopping, working or accessing government services, digital interactions play a central role in our daily lives. U.S. consumers are tech-savvy and their digital attention is increasingly divided across multiple devices and channels.

This explains why leading consumer brands have created dynamic, ‘omnichannel’ communications to better engage with their customers by delivering:

  • Dynamic, digital composition – using variable and personalized communications from multiple data/input sources.
  • Message management – to help manage content in real time via a web-based tool or modify existing content with an interactive module.
  • Traditional print and fulfillment – for high-volume printing and mailing services, sophisticated technologies, secure facilities, high integrity processing.
  • Repository and presentment – digital storage of all communications with comprehensive search and auditing features as well as presentment portal services.
  • Services integration – integration with contact center, inbound, customer relationship management (CRM), or other tools that provide real-time customer account visibility.
  • Multichannel delivery – for output across multiple channels, including print, mobile, web, email, SMS/text, based on the user's preference.

Now it’s the public sector’s turn to fully realize the value of omnichannel engagement.

In the 2018 Citizen Experience survey completed by CDG on behalf of Conduent, more than half of those surveyed said they want to interact with government organizations and access government services through their mobile devices.

Government agencies must meet and engage with constituents where they are — on multiple channels and devices — to create a seamless, integrated experience that makes interactions easier, more efficient and more personal. While focused on the end user, omnichannel communications can also help streamline the delivery of services, improve administrative operations, and reduce costs.

The private sector has invested heavily in omnichannel engagement and set a high bar for customer expectations. Now, everyone looks to government agencies for the same level of flexibility, convenience and efficiency. Many people have embraced these communication opportunities and find it limiting when they cannot access government services and complete transactions via their smartphones, tablets and other devices.

The Conduent Government Solutions Citizen Experience survey demonstrated exactly how this happens.

  • 40% of citizens prefer to access government services through a website
  • 18% indicated a preference for phone calls
  • 17% preferred office visits
  • 12% opted for emails

These results demonstrate rising demand and the need for government agencies to engage with constituents across multiple channels. Most everyone now expects government agencies to be present on their devices and preferred channels. And they also expect that presence to be intuitive, responsive and personalized.

And meeting constituent expectations isn't the only reason government agencies must embrace an omnichannel approach. Improving communications across channels means improving the end-user experience. More immediate, individualized and intelligent experiences result in higher satisfaction and better access to crucial information and services.

An omnichannel approach also delivers new efficiencies for government agencies, improving operations and reducing administrative costs. Omnichannel communication helps get the right information to the right person at the right time, but also provides powerful insights to improve services, integrate data across departments and streamline service delivery.

What does this look like? Using mobile technologies, for example, constituents can use their devices to quickly find needed information, apply for services, submit supporting information, or reach government representatives, whenever they want, from any location. For a government agency, this mobility is also more convenient than traditional modes/methods, and enables efficiencies in administrative resources and ease of delivery.

Government agencies must strive to provide seamless connectivity and efficient management across multiple channels — enabling web, mobile, phone, chat, email, text and social channels to deliver a cohesive constituent experience. While challenging, this is a worthwhile endeavor.

And government agencies are starting to see the value of this opportunity. If an agency can create an informed digital strategy and execute accordingly, constituents will respond as they do any of their favorite digitally-savvy brands: with consistent interaction across channels and devices. It's a matter of having the right guide as you venture into omnichannel engagement.

Check this video to see how Conduent is helping organizations tap the potential of omnichannel communications. You can also download our ebook, Citizen Expectations in the Digital Age, to learn how your agency can better engage with constituents.

About the Author

Director of Business and Market Segment Development, Public Sector, Conduent

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