Digital services are on the rise. The private sector was quick to adopt digital services as part of their operations. As a result, they reaped the benefits of reaching a wider audience, improving customer engagement, and increasing operational efficiency.
On the other hand, those in the public sector – like the government – were slower to adopt digital services. It is common for public services to be delivered in-person through various administrative offices and through traditional means like paper forms. Organizations failing to keep up with the fast-paced and changing digital landscape are likely to miss out on many benefits of digital services including automation, data analytics and real-time access to information. This leads to inefficiencies and missed opportunities for cost savings, improved service delivery, and better citizen engagement.
Furthermore, governments without digital services may find it difficult to communicate and engage with their citizens, who are increasingly relying on digital channels to access information and services. Consequently, this leads to a lack of transparency and accountability, as well as lack of citizen participation in government processes. Therefore, it is no surprise, the National Association of State CIO’s put digital government services as their second top priority for 2023.
Digital services refer to delivering products and services through electronic channels such as internet, mobile devices, and other digital technologies. Some examples of digital services include using automated document processing or AI chatbots.
Digital government services can be extremely beneficial for both citizens and the government. For instance, it helps governments better serve the needs and expectations of citizens while also enabling their operations to become more efficient and adaptable to unexpected disruptions – like natural disasters or pandemics. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital and many governments are planning for the future.
Digitizing services provide citizens with more convenient, efficient, and accessible ways to access information and complete tasks related to government services. Other benefits include:
Digital government services allow the public to reduce time and effort through additional self-service options, or from simply limiting them from long queues at government offices.
24/7 Availability: digital services provide 24/7 access to government services. Additionally, it means no longer being limited to office hours –and can stay open during public health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic!
Digital services – like chatbots – can make it easier for citizens, especially those with disabilities or limited mobility, to access information and complete tasks related to government services. Moreover, chatbots can be programmed to interact in multiple languages, making it accessible for people who may not speak the official language of the country.
Chatbots and other digital services can be integrated with other channels, such as social media, websites, and mobile apps, providing citizens with a seamless experience across different platforms.
Digital services provide access to information through online platforms and tools. Therefore, it enables citizens to access and track information in real-time. Digital services also facilitate communication and collaboration which promotes transparency in decision-making process.
Digital interactions are less time consuming for people and reduce interactions with public administration. In addition, chatbots can automate repetitive tasks and answer frequently asked questions, reducing the workload of government employees, boosting productivity, reducing backlogs, improving the speed of service delivery, and freeing up resources for other priorities.
Digital services help citizens receive faster service and a better user experience. Happier citizens alleviate the stress from public-sector employees, who also benefit from fewer repetitive tasks.
All the benefits mentioned previously result in reducing costs of providing government services by automating repetitive tasks, reducing the need for human staff, and allowing for a more efficient use of resources.
Traditionally, using public services can be a difficult task. Information is scattered across various departments’ websites and may be presented in complicated bureaucratic language. Furthermore, the user experience varies across these websites, as users are required to create multiple accounts and digital IDs to use different services.
Some government services also necessitate in-person interviews or appointments forcing citizens to wait in long queues throughout the day. Moreover, applications and processes often require hard copies of supporting documentation that must be printed, signed, and mailed or delivered in-person – e-mail is not allowed!
Contrast public and private sector customer experience, and the difference is night and day. Governments’ have access to the same digital technologies as the private businesses; therefore, have an expectation to provide similar experiences.
As like any customer, citizens want to quickly find a solution to their problems and move on with their day. They want information that is clear and simple. Furthermore, they expect a seamless experience – without having to access multiple services on various websites and sharing the same information multiple times. How frustrating!
Digital public services are essential and governments around the world are looking for better ways to deliver services through mobile, cloud, or other digital channels. Additionally, governments can achieve more for its citizens if they are trusted. Trust can be earned from a variety of different ways including providing effective public services. In a survey from McKinsey, residents who are satisfied with public service are nine times more likely to trust the government than those who are not.
Using digital services also helps governments become more transparent as processes become better understood. Furthermore, using consistent solutions for recurring service transactions, such as identification or payment, helps build familiarity with processes and promotes broad adoption of the required devices or apps. A coherent look and feel across the public services landscape can also increase trust in the government’s digital brand.
Overall, digital government services is a powerful tool to help improve the delivery of public services and enhance citizen engagement with the government.
NeuroSoph is an end-to-end AI software and services company that has over 30 years of combined experience in the public sector. We are highly skilled and knowledgeable experts in AI, data science, strategy, conversational design, and software.
Using NeuroSoph’s proprietary, secure, and cutting-edge Specto AI platform, we empower governments with enterprise-level conversational AI chatbot solutions, enabling more efficient and meaningful citizen engagements.
NeuroSoph partners with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to build chatbots. For more information about our product and services, please contact us today – lets extend intelligence in your organization.