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The government research that shows why you need to improve your online customer service now

Category: Marketing

technology-iconAustralians have sent the federal government sending an overwhelmingly strong signal that they want online and telephone interactions. Are you ready to match their desires?

The federal government’s annual study of how Australians want to interact with it has found, once again, that we want to go online when we have to deal with government agencies.

Changes in service delivery channel used
to contact government—by service delivery channel

The 2011 edition of Australians' use and satisfaction with e-government services, the sixth annual such study, found that “When there is a choice between using the internet or some other channel, the internet is the preferred method of contact with government. Just under half (47%) of those for whom the internet was an option used it in their most recent contact with government, with a similar proportion (46%) saying they prefer the internet over other forms of contact.”

But the study also found that for transactions involving payments 54% of us still want to do it face to face.

The study is a bit sneaky because it includes phone calls in the “e-government” category of interactions. The inclusion of phones means the study offers figures such as 65% of Australians preferring the e-government channel, when in fact about a third of people use the internet and another 30% use the phone.

But the study also makes it clear that people from all age groups and locations want online interaction, noting that even over-65s are accelerating their use of online channels.

The lesson to take from this study? We all have to deal with government from time to time and with the feds noting a preference for online interaction, consumers will become increasingly accustomed to the kind of service government offers. It seems sensible to familiarise yourself with the way governments conduct themselves online as they may well be a benchmark worth exceeding!


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