As a son of a retailer from Allentown, PA, I witnessed firsthand the importance of providing excellent customer service. It was fundamental to business success especially with a rapidly changing competitive landscape. Rapidly evolving technology continues to hand consumers growing power to choose how and where to buy products and services, pushing customer expectations for superior service ever higher.
Federal, State and Local governments are being called upon to provide more-responsive service, improved collaboration, increased transparency, and more-proactive efforts to improve customer satisfaction. On the Federal level, virtually all previous administrations mentioned the importance of improving government service. Some accomplished great things, some made major improvements, some talked about it, some had minimal impact. The ongoing government challenge is to have the capability to provide similar quality of customer service on par with what citizens encounter in the private sector.
The foundational premise of government is to serve the citizens. Over the past twenty years, DGI’s coverage of the topic took many forms and aligned with the government solution focus of the time. In 1998, eGovernment was the ‘hot’ topic of the day and DGI produced educational programming focused on government websites delivering service to citizens.
Early in the new decade, the focus evolved into Customer Relations Management issues with transitional guidance coming from the Educational Advisory Committee members. This evolved into focusing on the role, capabilities and importance of government Contact Centers which lead to the management and oversight of multi-channel service capabilities. In 2007, working with the Educational Advisory Committee, DGI changed the name of the annual event to the Government Customer Service Conference. As the topic evolves, so does the educational focus of the programming. The focus the last two years was Customer Experience (CX).
Digital Government Institute looks forward to delivering a platform to gather the service excellence community to discuss the policy, technology, and applications to improve government customer service for the next 20 years and beyond.