Canada is Tops in Government CRM

Customer satisfaction is a key driver of government CRM programs, and Canada tops the world in terms of its government's use of CRM to reach its citizens, according to a recent report by consulting firm Accenture. When asked to select factors driving development of online government services for citizens, 93 percent of the government executives surveyed selected "improving citizen satisfaction," 83 percent selected "customer demands for new and better services," and 77 percent selected the need to meet "government performance targets." Only 51 percent selected "pressure to reduce costs." In addition, Accenture ranked 22 countries based on their online CRM efforts and placed them into five plateaus based on their level of complexity. Canada was the one country that placed in the fifth and highest plateau, with the United States landing in the second tier. "Canada is number one because they understand the basic concepts of CRM," says Steve Rohleder, global chief of Accenture's government practice. "They are constantly trying to increase their view of their citizens, have a relentless drive to increase service, and have strong leadership that can make change happen." Graeme Gordon, the Accenture partner responsible for e-government initiatives in Canada, says that Canada's CRM efforts are superior because the government places CRM in a broader context, seeing CRM as a complete business process and not a technology issue. "It is not just about informing citizens, and it goes beyond the Internet alone," Gordon says. Some of the biggest trends in government CRM include increasing the amount of services offered online and improving the metrics to gauge CRM efforts, according to Rohleder. "In the past few years there was a huge push just to get information out there and the only metrics were based on volume," he says. "Now, understanding how to improve effectiveness and efficiency is taking precedence." Rohleder says that the U.S. can reach the top plateau easily, since it has the economic resources to do so. But he adds that this can occur only if more support for CRM arises. "Sponsorship of CRM initiatives at all levels must exist for something monumental to happen," he says, adding that the U.S. government has shown glimpses of becoming more customer-centric, making more information and services available online over the past several months.
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