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Why citizen services need to improve and how to get there

Public sector citizen services need to improve and utilize a lens that focuses on experiences and process improvements over agency and technical silos.

Celonis' Todd Schroeder, VP of Business Development, Public Sector, recently said in an interview that "our market is largely about front office and citizen impact."

Indeed, Accenture said that government agencies need to think more about experiences across entities instead of transactions. In a report, Accenture noted that a profound shift is underway in government services due to evolving customer expectations.

Making this shift goes beyond portals, digitizing transactions and tweaking touchpoints. It is experience led. It takes transforming strategies, systems, processes, and technologies to deliver consistent experiences regardless of the channel.

McKinsey made a similar point:

Tasks like paying taxes, renewing driving licenses, and applying for benefits are often the most tangible interactions citizens have with their government. Services are therefore critical in shaping trust in and perceptions of the public sector.

Here we'll look at three public sector citizen services—title and registries, public housing and drivers’ licenses—and the returns that are possible to drive better citizen outcomes and efficiency.

  • Title and registries.

  • Public housing services.

  • And drivers’ licenses.

While these processes have multiple nuances the citizen experience is driven by steps that may not be standardized across agencies, states and systems.

At Celonis, we boil down execution excellence in Citizen Services to these following steps.

  1. Receive application.

  2. Assign agent.

  3. Determine eligibility.

  4. Approve service.

  5. Send confirmation.

  6. Provide service.

Depending on the transaction, you can replace service with a document for processes like a title or license.

These ideal processes often have variants and detours because of multiple technologies and often dated systems. Each step has multiple improvements that can be made. For instance, receiving an application can create rework due to bad data and force a restart of the process. Rework will hurt labor productivity.

Meanwhile, citizen satisfaction can fall when process times extend. After all, delayed processing times for things like titles, licenses and housing applications usually aren't received well by customers.

Through process discovery and ultimately execution management, government service providers across multiple levels can improve key metrics. Here are a few:

  • Processing cost per applicant.

  • Manual touches per applicant.

  • Service utilization.

  • Time to deliver.

  • Control adherence.

That list is far from exhaustive but illustrates a key point: Government services have a lot of ways to improve processes and drive citizen satisfaction.

Larry Dignan mugshot 2022
Larry Dignan
Editor in Chief (former)

Larry Dignan is the former Editor in Chief of Celonis Media. Before joining Celonis, he was Editor in Chief of ZDNet and has covered the technology industry and transformation trends for more than two decades, publishing articles in, Inter@ctive Week, The New York Times, and Financial Planning magazine.

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