Ours has become an “experience economy” in which people have shifted from passive consumption to active participation. Opportunities surround us from video games, reality TV shows, continuing education and similar other platforms which have all grown substantially in recent years. Their significance lies in the emotional resonance they create because experiences are deeper and more meaningful than passive consumption. Recognizing this shift, many companies, and now governments, are investing in the delivery of experiences.
Citizens interact with the government not only at the functional and the cognitive levels but also at the emotional level. It has become evident that functional benefits alone are no longer sufficient to capture citizens and create strong communities. We are in the midst of a significant change in how we think about the role of citizens as consumers and moreover, in the process and design of development of better government. What do citizens feel about their community? How do they feel about their government? What touches them? What motivates them? Increasingly citizens think of themselves as active participants in the process of creation; similarly, government staff and elected officials, must become more comfortable with the erosion of the boundary between themselves and the public.
The explosion of options (i.e. social media channels) for government services marketing shouldn’t simply lead to more marketing; it should lead to smarter marketing. In establishing a successful customer strategy, you must provide answers to questions such as these: Who are our customers? Which of their needs can we address? Given our organization’s overall value proposition and strategy, what customer experience should we create? What capabilities do we need in order to deliver that experience? How should we organize ourselves accordingly, and what aspects of our culture can help us? In short, a well-designed customer strategy will coordinate many different functions, skills, and practices.
Here are the top 10 attributes of successful services organizations. Review these and see how well your organization stacks up:
- They design the systems with the customer/consumer in mind first.
- They have a service strategy for service that is clearly developed and clearly communicated.
- They reward and recognize people who provide exemplary service.
- They “talk” service regularly.
- They have customer-friendly service systems.
- They balance high-tech with high-touch, that is, they temper their systems and methods with the personal factor.
- They recruit, hire, train and promote for service.
- They market service to their customers.
- They continually look for ways to improve their services.
- They measure service and make the results available to their customers and employees.