Relationship Management Drives the Future of Public Sector Service Delivery Reform

As governments promise no cuts or increased spending on front line services, it falls to back office digital transformation and business process optimisation to deliver both efficiency benefits and better service delivery.

The public sector can learn much from private sector technical innovations. Business process optimisation across the whole service delivery lifecycle has delivered enormous productivity benefits and cost savings.

Integrating disparate processes and systems, removing ad hoc processes and information silos has extended real time access and information to all stakeholders.

Optimising business processes has allowed a unified understanding of customer needs, a more rapid response as these needs evolve, and improved customer relationships from a consistent experience.

These learnings can be applied to improve public sector service delivery, since so much of this work is about managing relationships.

Improving services has often focused on implementing a CRM. Across the public and private sector CRM spending has outstripped all other IT spending over the last several years.  (Gartner Says Master Data Management Is Critical to CRM Optimization.)

A new generation of CRMs focused on enterprise wide relationship management can transform service delivery by directly connecting citizens and organisations throughout the entire business process.

Investing in Relationship Management Systems
Many organisations have invested or developed CRMs that sometimes have not lived up to expectations. Single purpose approaches, lack of integration and poor data management combine to undermine the expected benefits.

To succeed, public sector service delivery improvements must be supported by a relationship management system that can:

  • Improve data quality – Master data that offers a single point of truth is key to effective relationship management. Having the right data for the right purpose, and engaging the right stakeholders at the right time, is the basis for business processes optimisation. Data must be complete and consistent. Duplicate records, differing data on same records in different systems, inflexible alignments and missing data are barriers resulting in ad hoc processes, use of other systems and undermining a relationship management system’s future utility.
  • Provide a full lifecycle focus – There is a big difference between contact management and relationship management. To realise the benefits a CRM must support the entire relationship and interactions at all points of the client service journey, not just provide a contact directory. Integration across business areas to break down information and engagement silos and involving the client directly, are key to capturing the gains of business process optimisation. The more the entire lifecycle is integrated the more gains are realised and reinforced.
  • Active Data Engagement – Even the best CRM system implementations will fall short if organisations do not have real time data and are not using it. Reacting to issues, problems or changes can be costly, both for service delivery and the relationship. Having, analyzing and acting on complete and accurate data in real time provides better planning, administration and decision making. Organisations and their staff need to be trained and supported in analyzing and using the data at all levels so service delivery can be proactive, support continuous learning and contribute to process realignments before problems occur to make them more resilient and responsive.

By recognising the importance of master data, taking a full lifecycle approach, and harnessing data analytics public sector service delivery can be transformed.

Public Sector Service Delivery is More than Supply Chain Management
While supply chain management in the private sector drives cost reductions, relationship management in public sector service delivery provides benefits far beyond saving time and money.

Optimising business processes with relationship management in the public sector delivers impact and benefits including:

  • Improved Front Line Services – Automating administrative tasks means more staff can satisfy front line service demands without increasing costs. It means ensuring the systems support all service delivery staff; be they front, back or across other divisions. Resiliency and responsiveness is only achieved when all stakeholders are part of the delivery network.
  • Perception of service – Direct engagement of all stakeholders in the business process improves the perception of service delivery. Extending access and information sharing across internal divisions and externally to clients and other stakeholders both levels the playing field regarding information access, and ensures all participants are engaging in the same process using the same information. Shared views of the business process and information builds confidence and avoids frustration.
  • Enhanced Accountability – Governance, regulatory compliance and transparency is enhanced with an integrated and full lifecycle approach to managing relationships. With accurate master data integrated across all business processes, digitisation of stakeholder engagement creates transparency and complete information on each relationship. Accountability is enhanced through reducing ad hoc processes, eliminating unpredictable results, and improving reporting capacity and quality.

Looking forward, addressing all aspects of relationship management will position the public sector to take advantage of the next wave of innovation already transforming relationships.

Public sector service delivery can be positioned to take advantage of these opportunities by addressing master data quality, integrating relationships to business processes and using data to inform and improve service delivery and responsiveness.

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