Today 2

Yesterday 671

All 39442331

Friday, 31.05.2024
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001
Manukau, New Zealand’s third largest city is three years into an ambitious programme to reinvent citizen service delivery.

> “Customer service is vitally important to us,” says Wayne Goodley, Director of City Services with Manukau City Council. “Three years ago we agreed to a new strategy of citizen, customer and community relationship management – or ‘C3RM’.” This C3RM strategy is part of an integrated solutions package with financial and human resource applications adding up to NZ$16 million (US$11.5 million).

According to Goodley the council is leveraging technology not only to improve the quality of its service delivery, but also to generate information about the nature of citizen-government interactions: “One of the significant values of our new C3RM technology is our ability to record citizens’ service and goods consumption, and over time shape our goods and services to better align to their needs,” he says.

Adopting a more business-like approach to citizen service was not an entirely smooth transition for Manukau. In the past the council was slow to market its services to citizens: “The concept of marketing was not well understood in the public sector,” reveals Goodley. “We didn’t market our services well.”

Again, the council’s investment in its CRM infrastructure helped: the development of the C3RM platform has enabled the council to build its marketing efforts on the data collected from customer transactions. In the process Manukau has become a lot more marketing savvy.

The council now regularly uses radio and newspaper advertising, online promotions, as well as the usual leaflets and brochures, to build outreach to residents. With 45 per cent of the city’s 285,000 inhabitants below the age of 25, e-literacy is very high and a number of campaigns have sought to leverage this: “The council has put a tremendous amount of effort and energy into e-services in our libraries and the use by young people is extensive,” Goodley reveals.

Recognising citizens

Another area where technology has enabled a major breakthrough is by allowing the city authorities to integrate multiple views of the citizen into a single database, giving the council a consolidated ‘memory’ of its transactions with the community for the first time.

“We call this our ‘360° appreciation’,” says Goodley. “The fact that a customer is both a ratepayer, library user, water consumer and has received a parking ticket is all shown on the one screen.”

Whether a citizen makes contact by telephone, in person, email, letter or fax, the council records all contacts made from residents, and tracks qualitative issues regarding the citizen experience.

For example, the CRM system does not just monitor whether an issue is resolved, it also notes whether it was resolved at the first point of contact. In this way the council builds up a picture of its service quality that extends beyond merely processing transactions.

Call centre-driven service

Although council's web site is regularly updated, and all the council’s forms have been placed online, a number of issues – ranging from security, to a lack of central government support have slowed the pace of e-government development in the city.

“We do have limitations around access and payment services,” admits Goodley. “We have been expecting far more policy and incentives for e-government from central government; however their leadership to date has been poor.”

Where online government has been a bit of a letdown, the council’s established call centre has demonstrated the positive impact that telephone-based service can have on accessibility, service quality and citizen satisfaction.

Manukau’s five year-old call centre currently has 29 full time employees rostered to provide round-the-clock service. Typically 20 seats are active during the day, and the call centre is currently clocking up an average of 426,000 calls a year.

“The call centre has made government available to the community at all times,” explains Goodley. “And ultimately helps us realise our service delivery strategy.”

And has the investment of taxpayer dollars made a difference to the way government is perceived? Yes, says Goodley: “The council conducts an annual ‘Citizen Perception Survey’ and the C3RM programme has been delivering results. As a result of the call centre, 79 per cent of citizens interacting with the council are now either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the service they receive.”

Autor: James Smith

Quelle: Public Sector Technology & Management, 07.03.2005

Go to top