Now that I’ve graded my performance on my predictions for government and public sector customer service in 2015, it’s time for my Top 5 predictions for 2016. Enjoy!251

  1. Digital First Software Rationalization

2015 was meant to be a year of optimism but economic difficulties in countries around the globe have dampened things, leading to a cautious economic outlook for 2016 and continued austerity for many government organizations across the world.

Coupled with a focus on digital customer engagement strategies, this will drive further software consolidation, including between Web Content Management System and CRM software. In fact, as I mentioned in my review of my 2015 predictions (insert hyperlink), we have seen a few examples of this already. I expect to see more of this in 2016 and beyond.

  1. Digital First Actionable Intelligence

If 2015 was the year in which all remaining government organizations “got” the importance of digital and incorporated it into their customer engagement strategy, then 2016 is the year in which these digital first customer engagement strategies will evolve to incorporate analytics—getting them closer to delivering on their goals. Analytics for speech, text, web and business intelligence will provide actionable intelligence that answers the “who, what, why and how” questions, such as “who is having difficulty in finding services online?”, “why are they having difficulty using a service?” and “what online services are being used successfully?”

  1. Search and you will find

A common complaint I hear from governmental organizations is that “it’s too easy for customers to simply pick up the phone and call us.” What I hear less is the opposite, more insightful part of this: “It’s too difficult for customers to find the information or service they are looking for online.” This is where a powerful web “search” capability comes in – along with some web redesign. Implemented correctly, this will play a key role in the successful achievement of digital first strategy goals.

  1. 4. Government in the palm of your hand

Mobile access to online services – both government and commercial – overtook traditional desktop access in 2015 as a result of the increasing use of smartphones and tablets. In response to this, more government websites will work optimally on mobile devices in 2016. (In fact, it is crazy that so many still don’t.) Furthermore, mobile apps will transition from simply reporting issues to becoming an important tool in driving customers to the (mobile) website, driving more channel shift.

  1. Fraud

Fraudulent claiming of government benefits is a growing issue and demands that the identity of claimants be known at all times, regardless of the contact channel. As such, 2016 will see more online identities being validated using third-party identity provider systems. Also, we will likely start to see the adoption of voice biometrics in government to identify fraudulent callers.

 

There you have it…my predictions for 2016.  You can find out more about my thoughts on 2015 and predictions for 2016 and beyond in my Citizen 2016 interview.