Citizen Experience

New Survey Highlights Contact Center Priorities

contactcenterTop-line findings from a survey of 129 state and government professionals in the United States have been released. Commissioned by Contact Solutions, in collaboration with the Governing Institute and Center for Digital Government, the study examined how state agencies are positioned today and their preparedness for the future in regards to citizen engagement—from citizen to state worker needs and the technological abilities necessary to serve them.

Citizen engagement modernization within the contact center is considered a critical priority for government in terms of opening opportunities in front-end environments where citizen engagement occurs. Back-end operations, where states can capture data, manage processes and streamline worker efforts, also need attention.

Key findings from the study include:

  • 71% of state respondents noted that their agency has prioritized citizen engagement
  • 62% of state respondents believe that the contact center plays an important or the most important role in achieving citizen engagement

The research further prioritizes contact center investments based on the fastest growing modes of communications and expectations influencing citizen needs. As part of this, health and human services respondents identified the following unmet contact center technology needs:

  • 31% responded that data sharing capabilities are the biggest management solution need
  • 20% said that digital help and information are the biggest citizen channel needs

“State modernization initiatives are vast and ongoing, but the challenge lies in determining which initiatives should be prioritized citizen engagement,” says Michael Southworth, general manager, Contact Solutions.

He continued, “In fact, when these governing institutions start to invest in modernization initiatives and technology, they can’t always assume that it’s fully optimized for citizen engagement or for staff process improvements. There’s no one size fits all answer, but joining with the Governing Institute and Center for Digital Government, we focused on addressing these questions and identifying current perspectives and requirements as a first step in the discussion.”

We’ll be discussing citizen engagement at our upcoming workshops in the UK and USA over the coming months. Our next US workshop is in San Francisco in November.

Smart Cities Workshop Speakers

Newcastle and The Portal

In adopting a ‘digital first’ approach to citizen engagement a spotlight shines on the web. If cities are to ‘engage’ via the web then the website needs to do so much more than inform. It needs to engage, and it needs to be a portal into multiple services.

Paul Doney of Newcastle City Council will discuss – at our upcoming Tyneside workshop – just how Newcastle plans to create much richer citizen experiences.  In short, it’s about getting information to and from the Council and Citizen by making processes tighter and more joined-up.

To an extent this relates to application consolidation and integration of back-end processes. Paul will talk about some of the challenges and the types of tech that’s made it all possible.

He’ll also discuss how portal technology is transforming employee engagement.

We have a few guest places at our workshop if you’d like to attend.


Citizen Engagement Smart Cities

Is George Osborne the man to revive the Northern Powerhouse?

The Northern Powerhouse was George Osborne’s baby. It may well have been thrown out with the bath-water.

However, after Osborne’s rapid post-Brexit referendum expulsion from the British Cabinet, he’s back with a new ‘think-tank’ designed to revive the Northern Powerhouse idea.

Launching his new Northern Powerhouse Partnership today he’s expected to say:

“When I launched the idea of Northern Powerhouse I said I would work tirelessly with anyone and everyone to make it a reality. But even I have been taken aback by the huge support it’s attracted, across political parties, businesses and communities. In the space of just two years, we’ve created powerful new mayors, committed to huge new transport and science projects, and attracted investment from around the world. There’s a real excitement now in the North about what we can achieve if we work together. I don’t want us to lose that.”

However, Northern Powerhouse was criticized by many for focusing too much on just one city: Manchester. Osborne’s own constituency, Tatton, is close to the city. But it’s also a constituency likely to disappear under new Boundary Commission plans. Osborne may also be seen to be just too much like political damaged goods to revive Northern Powerhouse.

In fact the very concept also lacked definition. For some, Northern Powerhouse was about power, politics and devolution. For others it was about industrial strategy or R&D.

At our upcoming workshop on Future Cities we’ll have several city representatives and thinkers discussing the citizen engagement opportunities that growing, more powerful, cities need to think about. We’ll have speakers from Leeds, Newcastle and Sunderland – and representatives from other cities – that will outline what the most important cities need to think about as they plan how they’ll support future citizens.

Citizen Engagement Workshop Speakers

New Ways of Engaging: Sunderland

Conn Crawford
Conn Crawford

According to Conn Crawford, Client Development Manager (ICT) at Sunderland City Council, “We are developing a new way of working in Sunderland, bringing together community and business engagement with our intelligence approach and technology infrastructures…making it possible for stakeholders from all walks of life to come together and create and maintain new service ecosystems.”

Conn will be outlining his experiences in digital transformation at Sunderland at our upcoming Conversations Workshop in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The conversation will be featured here on Citizen2020 in the coming weeks.

But if you’d like to attend the workshop please register your interest here.

Workshop Speakers

Public Services Perspectives: techUK

Naureen Khan, techUK
Naureen Khan, techUK

We’re delighted to announce that Naureen Khan will be a guest speaker and panelist at our upcoming Newcastle-upon-Tyne Conversations Workshop.

Naureen is Director, Public Services, at techUK – the professional body representing the UK technology industry. She’ll provide the industry perspective on future cities and the Northern Powerhouse initiative.

Naureen leads the team responsible for delivering techUK’s Public Services Programme. This includes Central and Local Government, Justice and Emergency Services as well as Health and Social Care.

techUK’s Public Services programme aims to deliver affordable and accessible public services through harnessing the transformative power of technology.

Naureen has a background in Public Policy and Government Relations. She has previously worked in a range of senior roles, including as European Advisor to the NSPCC and led on European and International policy and public affairs for the British Equality Human Rights Commission.

Naureen is also the former Chair of the European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online and holds an MSc from the London School of Economics.