Recent Visit to the UK Begs the Question: How Do We Make Citizen-to-Government Interactions More Social?
Marty Beard keynotes at the Excellence in Customer Service conference

Earlier this year, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, launched the United Kingdom’s Civil Service Reform Plan in which “digital by default” is a central theme for making public services more efficient by 2014. We’re honored to be a part of enabling this change. Technology from LiveOps has played a key role in transforming the communication choices in UK public service organizations, such as the Wokingham Borough Council and Royal Mail. The demand to deliver customer service better, faster and more efficiently has increased across the board. Over a third of UK citizens have already engaged with brands via social media. Now they are demanding even more communication choices, such as phone, e-mail, chat and even SMS.

Last week, we had the opportunity to attend two prominent UK customer service events – Excellence in Customer Service: Supporting Quality Public Services and Ovum Customer Experience Management Forum. At both events, I was able to address best practices for social and mobile customer service in public service organizations, as well as the changing customer service landscape in the UK.

In my keynote at the Excellence in Customer Service conference, I covered a number of topics regarding citizen-to-government exchanges and the increase in interactions within the social and mobile sphere. I also posed the question: constituents are discussing citizen programs and services on social and mobile channels, but is the government listening, monitoring and engaging with their constituents? I highlighted two of our lighthouse customers – Wokingham Borough Council and Royal Mail – that have effectively engaged with customers via new social and mobile communications channels. Both organizations have successfully transformed from the traditional to cross-channel customer service contact centres, allowing them to increase customer satisfaction, productivity and cost effectiveness. Wokingham Borough Council, despite being the worst funded unitary authority in the UK last year, achieved a 96 percent rating in the Top 50 Contact Centres for Customer Service and was named the number one council for the second year running. By implementing cross-channel customer support with LiveOps, Wokingham was able to gain productivity and deliver more services without increasing staffing.

UK public organizations are in the process of innovating their people, processes and use of technology to deliver better customer service. The public service sector has between 12 and 18 months to evolve their legacy infrastructure to an agile, multichannel platform. LiveOps is well positioned to help them with this evolution.

Every day through our Platform and Applications, we are helping enterprise and government organizations bridge the social divide with the tools they need to communicate directly with their customers via the social media channels they love. Implementing cross-channel customer service is leading a transformation in the way government organizations communicate with their customers.

Marty Beard, President and CEO, LiveOps