How governments can revolutionise constituent engagement

Governments departments and councils have to own their customer service across all their touchpoints, just as much as businesses do. The challenges they face are vast: language barriers, accessibility issues, socioeconomic status

Great customer service is all about convenience. While there are several high-tech solutions, each requires dedicated training which costs money and time. Data shows that 64% of constituents prefer SMS over voice calls. With SMS being ubiquitous on all mobile devices no matter what they look like or cost, this channel of communication could make customer support within government agencies a cost-effective and highly productive solution.

SMS also enables easier engagement with non-English speaking and hearing-impaired constituents. These groups make up a significant portion of our population and making sure their engagement with governments and councils as simple and effortless as all other constituents is crucial.

Why use 20-year-old tech?

Customer service research indicates that consumers need mobility. They do not want to be hijacked by a 20-minute call or sit in front of their computer or iPad chatting to a bot. They want to be able to get on with their day. They want simplicity – whether they’re an 18-year-old or 80-year-old, they want customer support they can access on their device and in their language. And they want to be able to get support wherever they are in the world. SMS enables all of the above.

From a business perspective, the benefits of embracing SMS are vast. They include the ability to manage multiple conversations and increase productivity, and the $0.60 engagement cost of SMS versus the $4.80 average engagement cost of a voice call. And from a customer psychology point-of-view, SMS removes the tension and strong feelings one can often face in a difficult customer support call, allowing customers to get right to the point in resolving their issues.

Meeting high expectations with easy access

Constituents have higher expectations from their councils and governments than ever before. With this in mind, providing easy access to communicate requires a multi-channel approach, and SMS should factor into the channel mix to support all constituents in whatever way they prefer.

David Hayes is the founder of
Jeeves.Plus, which allows businesses and government organisations to talk to their customers on their own devices, in their language, anytime, anywhere. Find out how governments and councils benefit from SMS-based customer support by speaking to one of our specialists.