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Government fares worst for customer experience: survey

Local and federal governments failing to personalise service online or in person: survey.

The majority of citizens find their interactions with government services to be disconnected, slow and lacking in customer engagement, research finds.

The report, which surveyed 1,000 Australians on consumer interactions with various sectors including the local and federal government, warns that both levels of government are failing to provide personalised experiences across face to face, online, phone and social media.

Government came in as the worst sector for personalised user engagement, with the most personalised user experiences in the finance and insurance sectors.

According to the findings, released on Monday by software company MuleSoft, 72 per cent of those surveyed said that there was a lack of customer recognition and delayed service in their interactions with government, which created a ‘disconnected’ experience.

Some 40 per cent of respondents said the user experience was personalised.

“Across all industries, organisations are falling short in delivering connected customer experiences. Australians are calling for on-demand experiences where their needs are met in minutes, not days,” said Will Bosma, MuleSoft’s head of Asia Pacific.

The survey echoes an earlier Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) report that found the majority of Australians think governments could improve how they use technology to deliver services.

That research found only a small proportion strongly agreed that the Commonwealth (16 per cent), state (14 per cent) and local governments (12 per cent) are using technology very well to deliver services to customers. 

Almost two thirds of Australians believe that the best experience for customers is for government to deliver services through a combination of automated channels and customer facing service personnel, according to the AIIA survey.

Rob Fitzpatrick, CEO of the AIIA, said that both sets of findings indicate that government needs to consider how to improve future user engagement.

“Government is not unique in this area but it has hit the tipping point where it knows it wants to improve and now the question is where first and how quickly,” he said.

Chatbots: not living up to the hype

While a number of organisations looked to chatbots to improve user engagement, the MuleSoft survey found they were not meeting user expectations with only 35 per cent of those who engaged with chatbots having their query completely resolved.

Some 27 per cent of those engaging with chatbots were asked to call a customer service representative directly and 22 per cent said the chatbot couldn’t answer their query.

There may be a link between poor customer experiences with chatbots and the AIIA’s finding that only 11 per cent of users want a fully automated experience with government, said Mr Fitzpatrick.

According to Gartner, 25 per cent of customer service operations will use virtual customer assistant or chatbot technology by 2020.

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