If you ask people which sectors they’d consider to be digital trailblazers in CRM, it’s unlikely that many will mention government. But what you might not know is that many government agencies have been making great strides in recent years, building efficient and agile customer relationship ecosystems that give their constituents a truly digital-first, responsive, and customer-centric experience.
In this article, we’ll outline how leading players in government are achieving this, the benefits they and their citizens are reaping, and the CRM tools they’re using.
CRM In the Public Sector
The key to injecting new life into government customer relationship management is replacing legacy, outdated systems with new, more efficient cloud-based CRM tools.
When correctly planned and executed, a CRM software deployment can deliver transformative improvements in government operations in four key areas. We’ll explore these in the next section.
4 Benefits of CRM for Government
1. Task Automation that Drives Efficiency
Years ago, many people viewed automation with a degree of suspicion. The question of “Is a robot going to take my job?” was one that many people working in government and other industries worried about.
These fears have proven unfounded, and automation has emerged as the key to relieving people of mundane – and often boring – manual tasks such as data capture and entry and disseminating routine citizen communications. This makes them more efficient and satisfied in their roles.
2. Better Citizen Engagement
A good customer relationship management tool will empower government agencies to elevate their citizen engagement and relationship management levels. For years, corporate entities have been using their CRM software to manage their contacts, build and enhance relationships, and schedule follow-up connections. Governments can now do the same.
A citizen-centric CRM solution facilitates seamless, relevant, and timely communications with community members. Self-service is one of the areas where CRM software can make a huge impact; rather than having to walk into a local office building or make a phone call, citizens can make requests or report issues through the digital channel of their choice. Then, the CRM automatically directs those service requests to the relevant department where they can be dealt with.
3. Swift and Streamlined Procurement
Long procurement processes are a bane in the life of many government contractors hoping to secure and maintain contracts. Meanwhile, the public just wants to see projects being rolled out. Good customer relationship management software can smooth the flow of information and communications between those involved in the procurement process, ensuring projects are commissioned and delivered expediently. In turn, public opinion of the local government will increase.
4. More Efficient Recruitment and Better Employee Retention
Cloud-based CRM platforms can help governments with hiring and retention in several ways. First, they support and integrate with self-service applications that act as portals for hiring managers and applicants. Hiring managers can post their job advertisements, track applications, screen candidates, and make offers through a single intuitive interface.
The best CRM platforms will also support and integrate with employee engagement and productivity tools, helping improve employee satisfaction and retention. In addition, they allow managers to communicate with their teams and assign tasks in real-time.
Top Government CRM Solutions
There are several CRM platforms on the market that allow government agencies to connect with customers, partners, and suppliers. Here are our top picks:
According to reviews from public sector users, the most valuable feature of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is its ease of use. “The history of engagement with our customers, including all conversations, has been most valuable when using this solution,” said one public sector user.
Salesforce is a popular CRM software with a wide range of features that can be tailored to meet the needs of any business, including government organizations. It offers fundamental modules like Cloud Computing, Contact Manager, Sales Reports, and more.
Oracle CRM is a comprehensive and feature-rich CRM software that offers government agencies great functionality. It includes functions such as Accounting, Asset Management, and Audit Trail.
Online reviews point to the suitability of SAP’s CRM platform for government environments: “We get very good support from SAP. SAP CRM has out-of-the-box integration with the core SAP platform. You can integrate your pre-sales and post-sales into the single platform on the SAP CRM very easily, and you can extend that CRM to your customers who can actually see what is happening to their orders—such as whether it’s dispatched or not dispatched or at what stage it’s at—simply by logging onto the CRM platform.”
Governments are often berated for their perceived lack of efficiency. In many cases, government technology has much room for improvement. While governments spend significantly on technology, one question remains: are funds being directed appropriately to the benefit of citizens?
Good CRM platforms have a great deal to offer to local governments and public sector organizations, and they don’t need to be prohibitively expensive. Even better, the best CRM systems will generate measurable ROI.
If you’re going down this path, it makes sense to continue using existing platforms and tools wherever possible rather than trying to build everything bespoke from the ground up. Attempting to do so could introduce unwelcome complexity and the risk of cybersecurity threats. Engaging with a seasoned CRM consulting partner is a sensible move if you’re unsure of the most efficient, cost-effective, and secure way forward.
WayPath Government CRM Solutions
At Waypath, we understand that today, citizens expect governments to offer the same online service quality they experience when shopping on their laptops or using their bank’s digital services.
Our experience has taught us that public sector challenges are unique, complex, and often seem intractable, but they’re not unsolvable. We know this to be true because we solve complex public sector problems with technology, including CRM.
We take a holistic approach that starts with understanding our clients’ CRM goals, identifying citizen-centric objectives, and establishing baselines. We then work with their cross-functional, technology, and service delivery teams to create implementation plans, prioritize program activities, and design new operating models that can scale fast and deliver benefits even faster.
When correctly implemented, CRM can be the glue that binds together all your operating units so you can operate as one “integrated” enterprise in the eyes of your customers and citizens. Make sure you do it right. Make sure you do it with WayPath.
Contact us today to learn more.