Ranking Government Service
The governments of Singapore and Canada do the best job with customer service while the United States comes in third, according to "Leadership in Customer Service: Delivering on the Promise," a new report released today by the consulting company Accenture. The report ranking the customer service programs of 22 governments around the world, which is based on 2006 numbers, marks the eighth time Accenture has ranked these governments' customer service programs in an effort to analyze the evolution of government customer service. It looks at the services and programs the governments oversee--from taxes to community centers to pensions.
Canada, which ranked first in 2005, now lags Singapore, the top ranked country. Rankings are based on the breadth and depth of a government's online services, their user-friendliness, and their citizens' satisfaction. This year, Accenture also gathered direct feedback from residents to gauge customer service quality, says David Roberts, executive director of customer relationship management in Accenture's government operating group. Citizen feedback helped bump Singapore from second in 2005 to top position, he adds. "Singapore and Canada do the best job of educating their citizens on their customer service initiatives, which results in more favorable citizen perceptions," Roberts says.
The United States, ranked first in 2005, is now ranked third, in part because its residents feel customer service hasn't improved. While 79 percent of Singaporean respondents say customer service has gotten better over the past three years, the report states, just 41 percent of U.S. respondents say government customer service has improved. Denmark and Sweden round out the top five.
When citizens perceive the government provides public service value, it builds an implicit trust with the government, the report states. Trust in government builds a more connected populace, whose true needs inform government policy. The policy is then implemented with excellence, it says.
Accenture also interviewed 52 government executives in 17 countries on their visions for the future, current priorities, and lessons for the report. The report found that top ranked governments know their customers' needs, work to ensure back office systems are properly integrated and accessible, retain a well trained workforce, and share customer service responsibility across agencies.
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