Across a range of countries, McKinsey has found that public services users rate government services on average at 5.5 to six out of a maximum ten points but private industries that best satisfy their clients enjoy an average score of about eight out of ten. Smart use of automation can enable governments to provide outstanding levels of customer experience. McKinsey’s global surveys reveal that customers care most about simplicity, reliability, and consistency when they employ the services of government. Here’s what governments can focus on:
First, minimize inaccuracy and mistakes like entering data incorrectly or making calculation errors. Australian citizens strongly approved of their highly automated tax-return process that is easy to fill out without a tax agent and with information already pulled from other sources.
Second, allow ways for civil servants to offer more complex, empathic customer service. Use automation to relieve them of mundane, repetitive tasks so they have more time to have an empathic attitude towards citizens and help them navigate through intricate processes, resolve complex cases, or make decisions on difficult applications, e.g. helping an unemployed person not only with formal service but provide some encouragement. (Of course, this will require reskilling for many civil servants.)
Third, provide personalized service delivery, including human-like AI-enabled services, for example, chatbots that offer a calm, friendly, reassuring experience and providing recommendations based on patterns in their databases of similar customer interactions, like Netflix or Amazon does.