Originally published on InContext, a Lexmark website. 

Anyone who’s enrolled in a government program or applied for eligibility for government benefits knows how time-consuming and frustrating the process can be. With shrinking budgets and increasing demand for government services, doing more with less has never been more critical for government agencies. Long wait times associated with paper-based, manual processes are often frustrating for your constituents.

Government agencies today also face the challenge of interacting with different generations of people who have different expectations of how to interact with government agencies. Some of your constituents are more comfortable with paper and in-person meetings, while others prefer to apply for programs anytime, anywhere from their computer or smartphone.

Transformation through capture

You need a way to capture information from, and communicate with your constituents using their preferred type of interaction, while also breaking down processing hurdles to improve customer service. New technology can help enhance your efficiency and make enrollment and eligibility easier and faster for your constituents.

Some agencies are already using technology to provide faster service, lower operational expenses, and improve citizen enrollment, eligibility, and claims. Online registration of motor vehicles and online applications for healthcare or unemployment benefits are a few examples of innovation. Yet, there’s so much more that can be done to improve.

Four ways you can use new technologies to transform citizen enrollment, eligibility, and claims

1. Streamline your enrollment, eligibility and claims processes

New technology now allows constituents to submit applications using mobile, web or traditional paper-based channels and offers integration with an agency’s current systems to speed processing, streamline correspondence and improve operational efficiency.

For example, the County of Ventura, California employed multi-channel capture, workflow, and analytics to digitize and automate the processing of applications. Using a phased approach, they first digitized the application process online and are now introducing multi-channel customer communication management (CCM). Within three years, they expect to see a 29% ROI.

In addition, Sacramento Superior Court automated the processing of citations, reducing cycle time from half an hour to just minutes per citation.

2. Create superior customer experiences with smart apps

According to the 2013 Forrester Wave™ report: Smart Process Applications, Q2 2013, SPAs support a wide range of government processes in three major areas:

  • Service requests
  • Incident management
  • Investigative

Smart process applications (SPAs) delivers benefits such as superior on-line constituent experiences and build the foundation for on-going constituent relationships. More government agencies are beginning to embrace these technology innovations to better satisfy the demands of their sophisticated, connected and increasingly mobile citizens.

3. Change the game with mobile apps

Early mobile adopters in government are now beginning to leverage the unique capabilities of mobile devices. Some have launched programs and strategies and brought personal devices into the workplace.Mobile apps make it easier for constituents to sign up and access their accounts. Consider offering your constituents free mobile apps that let them obtain support and assistance right from their smartphones or tablet devices.

For example, The State of Arkansas now delivers government services via mobile devices. Citizens can access a wide range of services, including secure payment processing for real estate taxes, voter registration status, employment opportunity search, and others. The services are available on any smartphone operating platform, including iPhone, Blackberry, Google Android, Windows Mobile, and Palm.

The New York State Department of Transportation also offers a 511NY Mobile Web service and a 511NY  Mobile Web app for up-to-the-minute, real-time information on traffic, transit, and travel conditions. The mobile Web app provides traffic and transit information, and a trip planner, as well as incident, construction, special event, and speed information. Users can access cameras, weather forecasts, and alerts, and get travel times for bridges and tunnels.

4. Maximize efficiencies with analytics

Analytics are another way to maximize efficiencies and keep constituents happy.  Analytics obtained through your interactions with citizens help you gain insights into their behaviors, and into areas in your agency that may need improvement.

Analytics help you classify greater volumes of content at the first introduction, as well as harness new ways to drive growth and profitability.  Advantages of analytics include improving the speed at which you meet citizen requests and identifying fraudulent claims faster than before.

By implementing digital solutions, you can transform the way you serve both your internal customers and external constituents, and successfully build a platform that grows with your agency’s ever-changing requirements.

 

Sources

Digital Government Strategy

Forrester, “Smart Process Applications Fill a Big Business Gap” 2012

Government in a Mobile World

USA.gov mobile apps page

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