Tips for addressing service delivery pain points.

Position:News & Numbers

While citizens tend to rate local government more favorably than the federal government, they do share a perception of poor customer service. This is an issue because "poor service results in lack of trust in government and hindered communication with citizens," according to "Tips to Address 6 Common Pain Points in Service Deliver," a new report from GovLoop.The report discusses six common pain points and highlights ways in which governments are working to address them.

Pain Point No. 1 is inconsistent messaging, according to the report. Inconsistencies can make even simple customer interactions painful, and some organizations are avoiding this problem by using digital processes like automatic update tools to ensure accuracy and transparency. Other tips include the importance of knowing where data are--you can't update it if you don't know where (or if) it exists.

Pain Point No. 2 is the organization's ability to connect with the user. The report notes that governments are using the Internet, social media, and sometimes interactive forums to reach out. As an example, the City of Boston's website redesign made the site more welcome and user-friendly, and the city also started hosting monthly "Chief Chats," in-person events where the public is invited to listen to top officials talking about changes or new programs. The City of Bryan, Texas, has instituted regular town hall meetings. In general, to engage citizens, the report stresses that organizations need to understand who their core audience is, and then make messages as targeted as possible. It's also important to provide different ways to connect--"Look at sending out messaging through varieties of platforms, Twitter, your website, and even in-person locations." And once you have your audience's attention, actively solicit their feedback.

Pain Point No. 3 is a proliferation of "cumbersome, complexes processes" that can "drastically reduce a citizen's understanding or engagement with government." Online platforms can be used to simplify services, providing information in an accessible way. For example, Stafford County, Virginia, created an online billing and payment portal that greatly simplifies the tax process for both...

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