‍How can you elevate the citizen experience with technology?

Sara Ana Cemazar
April 30, 2024
min read

Citizen experience refers to the collective interactions and perceptions of the citizen with the government institutions and the services they render. Whether it is about applying for permits and licenses online or a healthcare emergency, people expect accessible, transparent, and secure platforms. 

A positive citizen experience increases citizen’s trust in the government. However, research shows that their expectations are unmet. A Forrester study shows that only 40% of citizens have confidence in the government agencies they interact with. 

citizen experience

As government agencies are an integral part of the citizens' lives, they must adopt the right technology solutions to transform the citizen experience and deliver better public services. 

What is citizen experience?

Citizen experience encompasses the web of interactions between citizens and government institutions and the perceived quality of the services delivered. This includes various transactions, from identifying services on online portals to seeking assistance and receiving benefits. 

It must be noted that when it comes to government, citizen experience is a collective, accumulated experience of the citizens at every touchpoint with the public services.  

For instance, a citizen will carry forward his perception of the experience of applying for a license to his encounter with an educational institution. This is the case, even if they are different institutions serving an altogether different purpose.  

Key factors impacting citizen experience

  • Accessibility: Is it easy for citizens from all backgrounds and abilities to find and access the necessary services?
  • Transparency: Are government processes clear and easy to understand?
  • Responsiveness: How quickly and effectively does the government address citizen inquiries, concerns, and requests?
  • Personalization: Can services be tailored to individual needs and preferences, where possible?
  • Technology: Does the government leverage modern tools to deliver seamless, convenient, and secure interactions?

Citizen experience vs. customer satisfaction

Citizen experience is similar to how customers accrue their experience with a private-sector company, though the expected outcomes are different. As people become acquainted with the speed and responsiveness of private-sector firms, they expect a similar service from government institutions. 

citizen experience

A KPMG study shows that around 75% of citizens believe they are customers of a public sector organization and are entitled to respond just like private firms. 

When it comes to private firms, customers evaluate their services based on accessibility, ease of shopping, timely assistance, transparency, and the right deals. Similarly, when it comes to government services and citizen experience, the following matters: 

  • Offering a personalized service to the citizens. 
  • Increasing the speed of service delivery. 
  • Making services accessible to people who need them. 
  • Delivering timely support and assistance whenever needed.

In this context, technology can help government agencies meet these citizen expectations and deliver an enhanced citizen experience.

Role of technology in improving citizen experience

Here are ways technology can enable government agencies to deliver accessible, citizen-friendly services:

1. Accessibility and inclusion

Offering public services on different channels, including the web, mobile app, phone, and more, enhances their accessibility to people with time, internet access, and travel constraints. 

Leveraging assistive technological solutions like screen readers and voice recognition systems helps achieve inclusion and improve the accessibility of public services to people with disabilities. 

2. Transparency 

Digital channels help citizens access information and documents related to service delivery and monitor the decision-making process, improving government accountability. 

A transparent channel for public service delivery also elevates citizen satisfaction and improves their participation, as they can track the entire process. 

3. Responsiveness and speed

Integrating technology with public service delivery helps government institutions automate routine processes like data entry and document verification, and minimize manual interventions. Self-service portals enable citizens to access government services 24/7 at their convenience. 

AI-powered systems like chatbots offer timely assistance to citizen queries and support requests. These help government agencies offer round-the-clock support, improve their responsiveness, and speed up service delivery. 

Automating routine tasks also helps government bodies divert their focus towards core critical tasks and strategic initiatives that help further enhance service quality. 

4. Two-way communication

Digital channels help improve citizen participation in decision-making and government service delivery. They also provide an opportunity for citizen communication, allowing citizens to exchange their ideas and concerns with government agencies. 

A McKinsey survey shows that 60% of people prefer digital channels to access public services.

Online surveys help government agencies seek immediate feedback and take citizen input. Doing so helps improve citizens’ trust as they feel heard. Seeking feedback and sharing the actions taken in response demonstrates the agencies’ willingness to improve.  

5. Centralize service delivery

Technology integrates various government services to promote cross-agency collaboration and shared service centers. This integration offers a single point of access for citizens, saving them time and effort involved in switching between channels and managing different accounts for different services.

📚 Learn more about OZG, Germany's Online Access Act, that dictates offering of digital public services throughout the country.

Key technology solutions

Here are some of the important technology solutions the government must consider when it comes to improving the quality of public service delivery. 

  • Citizen engagement, services, and self-service platforms help reduce manual intervention, minimize errors, and enhance the speed of service delivery.
  • Productivity and collaboration tools help facilitate real-time collaboration between government employees, whether sharing files, exchanging information, brainstorming ideas, or making decisions. 
  • Mobile apps allow citizens to access public services anywhere, anytime, and improve their trust. 
  • Secure messaging platforms and government chat solutions promote quick communication between government agencies and citizens.  
  • Data management, business intelligence, and analytics solutions help collect citizen data and leverage them to deliver personalized services, promote continuous improvements, and make informed decisions. 
  • Automation and process optimization software for Government automates the workflow and manages resource allocation to help manage a high volume of citizen service requests. 

Rocket.Chat for citizen experience

Rocket.Chat is a secure messaging and collaboration platform known for helping government agencies streamline citizen engagement

citizen experience optimized

Let’s see how Rocket.Chat stands apart from other chat platforms:

Robust security features

End-to-end encryption, role-based user controls, and multi-factor authentication ensure the safety and security of the information exchanged through the platform. 

Unlimited scalability

The open-source platform can be customized to meet the agency's scalability requirements.

Omnichannel communication

Allows public agencies to communicate through messages, live chat, phone calls, video, email, and more. 

Seamless integrations

The platform also integrates with the existing tech stack and several third-party tools used for project management, file management, analytics, productivity management, security and compliance, etc.

Compliance with data privacy/security standards

Rocket.Chat also complies with an extensive range of regulations and frameworks, including GDPR, HIPAA, VPAT-section 508, and BITV 2.0.  

Some of Rocket.Chat’s use cases include:

  • Digital correspondence desks: Receive citizen inquiries, facilitate document exchanges, and promote easy follow-up and tracking. 
  • Service portals: Automate citizen transactions while promoting a single point of access for public services. 
  • Crisis communication: Help government agencies send public safety communication, emergency alerts, and crisis notifications. Also, enables citizens to report a crisis and seek timely assistance.
  • Military messaging: communicating highly-classified information real-time & collaborating in air-gapped environments

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

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Optimized citizen experience: expectation that improves trust

Government agencies must integrate technology into their service delivery to enhance the accessibility, efficiency, and transparency of public services.  Digital platforms help enhance the speed of service delivery by automating administrative tasks and reducing the paperwork involved. 

Therefore, public service departments must invest in innovative solutions and digital platforms to address complex challenges and elevate the citizen experience. They should develop tools and platforms that enhance information availability and accessibility, citizen accountability and participation, and service personalization. 

Get in touch with the Rocket.Chat team today and learn how Rocket.Chat meets the needs of government agencies worldwide.

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Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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