The next time you’re facing the pleasure of a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a zoning commission, or any other municipal office, take heart. There’s a shining beacon of hope for the average citizen to one day enjoy concierge service from a public office. And that beacon is the city-state of Singapore.
Although most encounters with civil servants fall in a range from curt to infuriating, Singapore has looked to create a level of public service with a customer engagement that would rival modern luxury institutions. Starting in 1980, the island nation created a strategy to improve public service specifically through the use of technology.
Dubbed the eGov Master plans, this commitment to engaging citizens and creating efficiency has contributed to making Singapore among the world leaders in standard of living for more than 5 million citizens. This program began an evolution at the turn of the century, with more civil servants empowered to take action through the use of unified technology called the eGap program.
As laid out by CRM expert Paul Greenberg in his webinar about the 21st century customer, Singapore has taken the notion of government departmental efficiency and amplified its expectations. According to Greenberg, this makes Singapore “like the Ritz Carlton, ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentleman.” Greenberg calls out Singapore’s commitment to meeting citizens where it could be most efficient in an evolution called eGov2015, whose purpose is to encourage collaboration and engagement through a combination of digital and physical services.
With a population served by gigabit fiber to most residences, those services make for speedy and responsive engagement with citizens. It’s this customer engagement on a customer’s terms that Greenberg states as the lesson for large organizations looking to follow Singapore’s lead.
Your business can use CRM to the same end—creating a cohesive response system that allows any or all of your business units to respond directly to a customer’s need. By implementing these nonlinear digital strategies, never again will customers hear, “Sorry, not my department,” right before they leave and never come back.
One other crucial lesson in Singapore’s transformation into an engaged nation is the importance of transparency. Through the REACH Singapore program, citizens can provide honest feedback to governance challenges—and expect improvement. And although we may have given a municipal clerk a piece of our mind once, in this case it actually creates change.