Government Contact Center Satisfaction Remains Flat, Report Finds

A new CFI Group report shows government contact center satisfaction is unchanged from 2017 and below private-sector satisfaction. To improve, government contact centers must learn how to integrate the contact center into an increasingly complex customer service journey experience.

 According to CFI Group's annual report, the 2018 Government Contact Center Satisfaction Index (GCCSI) is 68, as measured on a 100-point scale, unchanged from 2017 and 3 percent below the private sector. Scores for the five agent drivers of government contact center satisfaction—effectiveness, empowerment, knowledge, demeanor, and communication—are also relatively unchanged and 3 percent to 7 percent below private-sector scores.

The challenge government contact centers face is that agents are no longer expected simply to answer questions but to understand all aspects of available customer service channels. To understand the complete customer experience, government agencies need to measure across digital properties, automatic interactions, and live agents, the report concluded.

Digital properties for an agency can include websites, mobile apps, or other sites managed by the agency. Agencies should view and measure digital properties as part of the customer service journey. Customers mostly turn to the agency's website to self serve, but 20 percent try other websites, such as group forums or pages from a search result about an issue, and 8 percent even use the agency mobile app. These digital property visits have an impact on the interaction customers have with customer service agents.

New AI technologies will change how customers self serve via automated interactions, such as interactive voice response (IVR) systems or chatbots. However, the report shows that customers are not looking for self-serve options when they call on the phone; they want to speak with a live agent who can help them quickly. GCCSI for the 43 percent of callers who get connected directly to a live agent is 77. For the 57 percent who reach an IVR, GCCSI is a much lower 62, due in part to the effort required to get past the IVR and get to a live person.

Despite the continued growth of multichannel contact centers, a voice phone call still dominates as customers' channel of choice. A full 80 percent of customers who contact customer service do so over the phone. Obviously, the heavy use of phone for customer service does not mean that contact centers can neglect other channels, since 24 percent use email, with ever-increasing expectations on response times, and 17 percent use an online form to initiate the contact. And 5 percent use online chat feature, a number that CFI Group expect to continue to grow in 2018.