Noetica’s survey reveals it’s still good to talk
The emergence of e-government brings with it questions about the future existence of current citizen-facing operations, but a progress survey issued today by Customer Interaction Management company, Noetica, revealed that call centres will continue to exist within e-government. The survey, which interviewed local authorities in the UK that collectively represent 10 million citizens, found that 94% of participants view call centres as important to e-government operations. Many authorities say it will become integrated with online activities, as part of a multi-channel approach to citizen contact in the future.
The call centre is currently used in 43% of authorities, the majority employing 10-20 people. Almost all of these are run in-house, and over half the call centres have been operational for less than two years. Authorities were asked to rank the call centre in order of importance to e-government. Over half gave it a top grading, with a third ranking it highly or believing that it is equally as important as other e-government enablers, such as kiosks.
Respondents were asked if the traditional voice-only call centre is up to the task of e-government, and almost half believe it isn’t. Despite this finding, the value of call centres within existing citizen-facing services is high. The survey reveals that the public is mostly using government call centres to enquire about revenue and benefits, social services, and housing and refuse queries.
The survey goes on to reveal that the responsibility of running the call centre is not undertaken by a central body. Instead, it is scattered among many departments: from social services and housing, to general customer services departments, to a specific e-government set-up divisions. This echoes the departmental distribution of responsibility for implementing e-government.
Noetica’s commercial director, Keith Symondson, says, “Call centres have for some time proved themselves as an integral part of business, and this is continuing into e-government. The challenge of e-government is making local authorities increasingly aware of the importance of citizen relationship management. Our findings prove that telephone interaction as a trusted method of communication will continue to flourish.”
In addition to the call centre findings, the survey found that over a third of authorities will have 50-100% of services online by the end of 2002; suggesting positive progress is being made towards the deadline. Despite this, there still appears to be confusion over what should be provided to the public online. The majority of authorities surveyed do not know what the single most important service provided to their citizens should be.
A copy of the survey is available from Claire Adam or Natalie Johnson at MCC International.
Noetica is a Scandex Group company
Established in 1997, Noetica is a leading developer of innovative software solutions for successful management of any call centre. Noetica’s solution - Synthesys has been designed specifically to enable non-technical staff to have complete control of the call centre. Synthesys’ key features include customer relationship management (CRM); callflow/script designing, service call centre management and support; outbound campaign management; web compatibility and computer telephony integration (CTI).
Part of the privately controlled holding company the Scandex Group, Noetica is based in Clapham Junction, London, with strategic partners throughout Europe, Canada, Asia and the US. Noetica serves a broad range of industries, including the public sector, finance and telecommunications.
For further information on Noetica, please visit http://www.noetica.com
Synthesysä is a registered trademark of Noetica.
Interviews, photography and further information are available from Claire Adam or Natalie Johnson at MCC International.
Claire Adam / Natalie Johnson
MCC International Ltd
Tel: 01962 888100
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