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Citizen Engagement Blog

Government Survey Results: HHS Leaders Address Contact Center Modernization

Now, more than ever, health and human services agencies face a variety of challenges in your efforts to protect and enhance the health and well-being of your constituents. You are under pressure to balance resources and demands while executing your services effectively and efficiently.  

A recent Governing Institute study on Citizen Engagement investigated where state agencies stand on contact center modernization to support their citizen engagement efforts.  HHS leaders were strongly represented in the survey results.  Let's take a look at how they're doing... 

Research Proves Modernized Contact Centers Improve Both Citizen Engagement and Government Operations in Health & Human Services Agencies

In this study, the Governing Institute and Center for Digital Government surveyed state government leaders to answer the question about how government agencies are prioritizing modernization of contact center technologies to enhance service delivery, identify focuses, needs and gaps. The study, commissioned by Contact Solutions, titled “Citizen Engagement Modernization in the State Contact Center” examined current and potential future trends within the contact center technological landscape. 

Nearly half of the survey respondents were from health and human services agencies.

Contact Center modernization research vertical chart

And the majority of HHS leaders said…

  • Modernizing HHS agency contact centers is a critical tool for citizens to get the assistance they need while resolving agency challenges.
  • The contact center is important to achieving citizen engagement.

Contact Center engagement chart

Governments realize it’s time to change outdated technology and inefficient processes to improve long-term citizen engagement needs and reduce operational burdens. Modernizing contact centers can help health and human services departments reduce pain points and drive stronger citizen engagement across all communication channels.

How can contact centers improve citizen engagement?

Government’s traditional methods of engagement cater to the old way Americans are used to conducting business - on the phone with live agents. But today’s constituents of all ages and demographics, highly influenced by millennials and digitally savvy, desire more self-service options and more digital flexibility. Research findings identified that when citizens are seeking help, they expect direct engagement, convenience and personalization in their experiences.

Even though digital communication is the fastest-growing form of citizen-to-government communication, the majority of today’s contact centers don’t support popular digital communication channels.

These channels include self-service, online messaging, mobile apps or social media . The majority of respondents leverage their websites (61%) to engage citizens, but fewer use social media (36%), mobile (22%), or the strongest laggards…text or online messaging (5% and 7%, respectively). The challenge will be moving websites and mobile from an information and application resource to one that delivers two-way, flexible engagement.

In fact self-service as a citizen engagement tool came up short. A whopping 55% of the state respondents identify self-service as an area of need but only 29% of respondents offer comprehensive self-service capabilities today. By improving the citizen experience, governments can provide more streamlined services for constituents and stronger citizen engagement across all communication channels.

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Addressing staff challenges is a priority for solving agency and citizen needs

The research shed light on a variety of staff challenges government contact centers face, including staff processes, budgets, decentralization and poor efficiency, lack of knowledge management and lack of understanding around the citizen experience. Staffing challenges are a major focus for many health and human services agencies, and improving these challenges enables agencies to better serve citizen needs. If your staff aren’t well-equipped to be productive, the foundation of your contact center is weak.

42% of respondents say that automation is important to addressing staffing challenges and improving performance and operational efficiencies.

Modernizing contact centers is critical to citizen engagement and addressing agency needs

Modernization that includes a comprehensive self-service strategy, digital engagement and better knowledge management solutions can help agencies achieve their two most important goals: resolving staffing challenges and improving service delivery for citizens.

Watch this video for findings highlights, and view the infographic

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Governing Institute Research Infographic

Get the infographic for a deeper dive on the citizen engagement modernization research results.Get The Infographic >

Topics: Customer Engagement Industry Insights Open Government Contact Center Insights Human Services