Thursday, August 11 2022

More than 80% of respondents to a survey of customer experience in the Australian and New Zealand public sector think government agencies need to up their game.

Phillip Bland, Industry Advisor for Public Sector Solution Strategy

the research conducted in November 2021 by US market research firm Qualtrics, is based on information from 1,500 respondents from Australia and New Zealand.

Most respondents, 83%, said government agencies needed to improve the customer experience.

“In particular, people wanted to see customer service, communications, and the ease of use of products and services improve the most,” the report said.

Sixty-six percent said customer experience also influenced their decision to get a Covid shot, and 53 percent said their experience affected how they voted.

Digital transformation

According to research, going digital is a way to improve the customer experience.

“As government agencies seek to design new and improved experiences for 2022 and beyond, digital is going to be critical in helping residents find information and engage with services.”

Most of these changes have come as a result of the pandemic, with evolving needs, behaviors and attitudes of residents and staff.

“For most residents and staff, this is a new way of operating. And as the world continues to move forward, few will want to go back to the old ways of doing things,” the report says.

“It’s a reality that means the coming months are critical for public sector organizations as they continue to navigate and adapt to the changes caused by the pandemic.”

Almost half of respondents, 47%, said they now expect to access government services digitally most or all of the time, with 36% saying at least some of the time.

“Digital adoption for the public sector is good news, given that a third (32%) of respondents say they are more satisfied with the use of digital services.”

COVID-19 services, including proof of vaccination status, contact tracing and registrations, came out on top when respondents ranked government services by satisfaction.

“It has raised the bar for how government agencies interact with residents and opens the door to changes in other services, from health and education to transportation and infrastructure,” the report said.

However, going completely digital is not the way to go, according to the report.

“While digital platforms are important in helping to improve the resident experience, they should not be the automatic default for every government agency.

“The type of interaction will likely determine residents’ preferred channels. Therefore, adopting a hybrid approach – in which residents get the same experience regardless of how they choose to interact – should be a key consideration in the digital strategies implemented.

Talent retention

Talent retention within the public sector is also an issue, according to the research.

Although 86% of public sector employees said they were engaged at work, 40% said they planned to leave their jobs this year.

Respondents said they were unhappy with the recruitment process, with 38% saying it fell short of their expectations.

Some of them, eight percent, would no longer apply for a job in the sector, and 12 percent would not recommend people apply for a job in the sector.

Phillip Bland, industry advisor for public sector solutions strategy at Qualtrics, said competition for new talent is increasing, and in the public sector, candidates and employees are all citizens too.

“It is therefore particularly vital that the public sector gets the right experience for both groups, especially since we know that negative experiences can have repercussions,” he said in a statement.

“By understanding and delivering the types of experiences people want at work, government agencies will be in a better position to attract and retain a high performing and motivated workforce.”

Somewhat surprisingly, salary was not a deciding factor for most respondents.

“The opportunity to do meaningful work is the top factor when applying for government office, followed by flexible work arrangements,” the report said.

“Working with great people, reputation and office location are also considered more important than salary.”

To improve the hiring process, Qualtrics recommends implementing a feedback process.

“By collecting feedback from applicants throughout the process, government agencies can identify what is working, what is not, and what can be done to drive continuous improvements. »

The study’s findings build on Qualtrics’ recent 2021 Consumer Trends Study, in which customer service support, communications, and ease of use of products and services were highlighted as the top areas for improvement for public sector agencies.

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