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Monday, 27.05.2024
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001
According to Accenture, government agencies are ripe for CRM, particularly as a way to deliver better service to citizens; but there's still a lot of selling to be done.

Accenture has conducted a study entitled, "Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in Government: Bridging the Gaps," finding that government agencies are not taking sufficient advantage of CRM to achieve stated goals of better customer service. The structure of the report, and its findings, appear similar to Accenture's weeks-earlier study on selling in a down economy, which also found a gap between stated business goals and the appropriate use of CRM software and services to deliver on those goals. This time around, Accenture is accentuating the result that 92 percent of surveyed government executives consider it either "important" or "very important" to deliver "superior" service but that a whopping 90 percent of the survey base says that their agencies are not yet delivering that superior service.

The conclusion is that government agencies can reach their goal of superior service delivery by crafting a CRM strategy to encompass call or contact centers, a strategy in which Accenture itself could function generally as a consultancy (though a procurement software provider in the government marketplace, Accenture partners with software companies like Siebel on the CRM front).

However, while there's a lot of lip service, government is less than willing to leap into CRM. The report referred to a "large disparity between the positive attitudes toward implementing CRM capabilities and the actions governments were taking to develop those capabilities."

Where customer service in particular is concerned, no less a personage that U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney has conceded that while, "The private sector has made great improvements in customer service ... Government has sometimes lagged behind."

Such a lag is not permanent, according to the Accenture report. "We have identified a growing tendency among government agencies to treat citizens and businesses as customers." That means government will be more open to the idea of CRM, but will also have to go through the significant challenges of adopting this technology: selling it upwards, putting teams in place, going through implementation, and setting up measurement guidelines. Naturally, Accenture envisions a role in leading government agencies down this path.

However, even if government adopts CRM in general and electronic service delivery in particular, how much are average citizens really poised to benefit? Accenture is assuming that the average citizen will be able to properly navigate and use e-government resources, but, in an e-government panel session held in New Zealand in 2001, Michael Bott of the New Zealand Council for Liberties took a different position by remarking that, "Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of one of the leading countries in e-government, has admitted that he has trouble programming a VCR. If [he] has trouble with technology, what about ordinary Mr. And Ms. Citizen?"

Andrew Simmonds, an Accenture CRM partner and co-author of the report, believes that the general public's adoption of the Web means that it can also adapt to e-government. "The Internet is the future," is how he puts it.

That's also true for governments themselves. Simmonds charts a sea change he's personally witnessed. "In our research eighteen months ago [government agencies] were reluctant to embrace the terminology of CRM and didn't regard citizens as customers." Since then, owing to what Simmonds characterizes as "service improvements driven by political agendas," e-government has made significant strides in CRM. He gives the example of Belgium's federal portal ( as being "incredibly customer-centric," to the extent of an online message that reads, "'From now on, you are the customer.'"

"Government agencies are more comfortable talking in terms of customers," Simmonds concludes.

Accenture's study canvassed 140 government agency executives in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Quelle: Line56

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