Customer Engagement | Pitney Bowes

Your citizens are also consumers.

A new focus on building relationships is helping government agencies improve citizen engagement and satisfaction.

Every citizen is also a consumer. As consumers, they have increasingly high standards for responsive and convenient commercial interactions. Not surprisingly, their commercial experiences have raised expectations when it comes to dealing with government agencies.

As a result, government agencies around the world are beginning to take advantage of today’s most sophisticated business techniques. They’re also enabling technologies to help improve the way they serve and engage with citizens.  In fact, many of those techniques and technologies are the very same ones businesses are using to better understand and respond to the needs of their customers.

For example, retailers regularly manage and analyze large amounts of customer data to help gain insights into everything from brand preferences to geographical differences. With that in mind, government agencies can use similar techniques to learn more about what citizens want as well as how and where they want it.

Consider this: today’s bank customers have come to expect that when they log in to check an account balance, they’ll also be able to make a loan payment or edit their contact information without having to log into another site or provide personal details that the bank already has on file. Likewise, they now expect that, when it’s time to renew a driver’s license, the Department of Motor Vehicles clerk will be able to tell them when their car registration is due for renewal. The reality is that government agencies can now make that happen.

From housing and transportation issues to possible causes of high disease rates in specific areas, government agencies are now able to consolidate enormous quantities of data and use sophisticated analytics to learn more about everything. That makes public programs far more effective in meeting citizens’ needs.

Given the growing citizen expectations, government agencies need to achieve significant improvements in both effectiveness and efficiency by:

  • Managing citizen information by cleansing large data sets for accuracy, uncovering contextual relevance and identifying patterns
  • Creating and centrally controlling all citizen communication by delivering the appropriate messages to the right individuals via their preferred channels
  • Mapping geographical data by uncovering insights related to specific locations for better decision making

As the examples in this article illustrate, these business processes can be enabled by solutions and services that allow government agencies at all levels to deliver relevant and engaging interactions across the citizen lifecycle. By doing so, they can increase citizen engagement and satisfaction.

Manage citizen information.

From a few thousand to hundreds of millions of citizens, government organizations are the keepers of vital information. That information can come from a wide variety of sources, including:

  • Income and property tax forms
  • Voter and motor vehicle registrations
  • Public assistance
  • Arrest records
  • Driver’s and professional licenses
  • Court proceedings
  • General correspondence

In fact, one individual can be represented in tens — or even hundreds — of government databases, from the local recreation department issuing swimming pool passes to the national income tax bureau.

Consider this: how can any one agency determine whether the Judy Smith in its database of registered vehicle owners is the same person as the Judith A. Smith, who holds a driver’s license in the same state, or the J.A. Smith who owns a house at 24 Clark Street? And if, in fact, all three of those names belong to the same person, how can one agency (and perhaps others, as well) keep her information accurate and consistent, while streamlining their communications with her?

Improve data integration.

To establish and maintain that kind of accuracy and consistency, government agencies need to focus on integrating their data. Technology can help. For example, a U.S. federal agency had just introduced a new online registration service for its licensing programs. They needed an easy-to-use process for name and address validation to help avoid duplication. Operating under tight budget constraints, the agency was concerned about the number of individuals who may have registered for a license more than once or in more than one state. Without an efficient way to handle address cleansing and de-duplication, it faced potential cost overruns and confusion as a result of managing multiple registrations for the same person.

Taking advantage of Pitney Bowes solutions for geocoding and address matching, the agency was able to streamline its licensing operations and stay within in its budget.

Enhance data quality.

What if you’re looking at a different kind of data problem? What if you have plenty of data, but aren’t able to tell where the truth lies? Social services agencies, in particular, collect vast quantities of information from citizens — often as the result of having asked similar questions on multiple forms.

Because each of those forms may have been designed to help determine eligibility for specific programs, the information supplied on one form may not be exactly the same as on another form asking for similar information. 

That’s where importance of data quality and the concept of building a platform — one that serves citizens across agencies and jurisdictions — comes into play. All too often, information resides in disparate databases, across multiple platforms, agencies and social services programs. In order to integrate this data, you’ve got to be able to match individual data items or records. To match records, you first need to cleanse and validate the information you have.

In fact, a data quality initiative may be the only way to ensure that the data used and shared by multiple agencies and programs will be accurate and actionable. Pitney Bowes data quality software starts by standardizing and normalizing the data you already have. That ensures that fields are formatted and defined in a consistent way. It provides the tools you need to correct and verify names and addresses by comparing constituent information to official postal records. You can quickly highlight where corrective action is required and auto-correct data in real time to help keep questionable information from entering your system.

The examples in this excerpt is representative of the many success stories we can share. To learn more about how Pitney Bowes can help your agency or department become one of them, read the full white paper now.

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