CRM and E-Government

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I'm a German student and I heard sth. about the potentials of CRM in the public sector to offer citizen centric services. In this context there are also terms like citizen relationship management etc.
But can the CRM-strategy with Customer Value and Customer Life Cycle be used in the public sector?

What about the different CRM-Functions (Marketing, Sales, After-Sales) in E-Government? How can they be supported by Tools already known in the E-Business?

Thank you very much for your answears!
Holger

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05th Feb 2002 16:57


We have been talking to numerous local authorities about their e-government initiatives.
CRM can be mapped easily to support and manage the requirements of local government.

Leeds County Council (along with Haringey, and Epsom and Ewell) use Siebel to satisfy their requirements and they are very happy with their solution.

Once you overcome the different terminology the underlying functionality is a very definite match.

Amanda.Mone@XtraServe.com

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
14th Feb 2002 21:43

For Mike B

Software vendors are of course pleases to take the money and if the systems are implemented well the technology will do many of the things promised by the vendor. Since when however has technology alone really changed an organisations culture.

The majority of failed CRM installations are based on technology replacing a sensible customer based strategy. CRM technology does not replace a well thought out way of supporting the citizen. Call/contact centres do not make e-citizen! The major flaw in this thinking is that lumps of technology can cover up the cracks that are apparent in the way goverment bodies; local and central think about their customers. Until they see you and I as customers no amount of technology will change them and their antiquated processes.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
05th Feb 2002 17:22

CRM is not a technology alone! Citizen CRM is about you and I as customers of the local authrities and the central goverment. The idea is to change the culture, actions and activities of thses bodies beyond merely getting the technologies right. better caontact centres are not the answer but quality processes that understand and satify the needs of customers.

Culture change not technology sticking plaster.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
05th Feb 2002 16:01

Brent Council are currently pathfinders in a UK government strategy to make local government more customer centric/responsive. They have created an adapted version of the CRM Bible which will soon be available for download from their site. It is available now from www.crmbible.com. Could be a good starting point for you. It is also available from this site.

Thanks (0)
avatar
18th Feb 2002 10:25

Holger,

Sorry if I’m moving away from your question, but I need to reply to Michael M in case anyone might seriously think that I believe that technology drives culture change.

I thought that my suggestion that an ‘ebusiness suite’ could be used as a catalyst for change might be provocative. Of course, people and process are much more important than technology for CRM (anywhere where customers are being served).

While certainly questioning as a panacea, the ‘change your business process to fit the software’ approach of some major CRM application suite vendors, I am suggesting that use of such software for ‘early view’ of what is possible technically, can be very useful. In particular, I recommend use of the ‘early view’ to gauge user acceptance, to model new business processes, and to measure impact on the customers and the organisation. Of course, if there is no ‘top down’ buy-in to the concept of the citizen as a customer you are wasting your time. I am certainly assuming that there is ‘executive level’ support for the culture change.

Thanks (0)
avatar
10th Jul 2002 15:45

Further to the discussions on a governement implementation of the CRM process/strategy, is there any documentation on governement strategies for CRM. As mentioned earlier, there are several features that are "profit & loyalty" driven that are not applicable in a Citizen management scenario. How can these "tools" be best taken advantage of from a non-profit perspective and client centric focus?

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
11th Jul 2002 10:33

I would suggest that there is (or should be) a world of difference between a customer and a citizen which stems from the very root of their being. A government that believes that providing services to citizens would benefit from using the same model as providing services to customers is a frightening creature and deserves to be put out of its misery. There is a fundamental difference.

Thanks (0)
avatar
11th Jul 2002 15:29

It is right on the button that a governement cannot treat you and I as customers directly but many of the aspects of ethical/humane CRM can be applied. However if someone could adequately explain the real differences we all would be grateful.

An example of how CRM could not be applied - when they find out that memebers of society don't actually contribute to the good of society (compared to low or value destroying customers in the commercial world) you cannot find another organisation to take them off your hands - nor can you say I will not deal with them and hope a charity will.

So some definitionsa and good explanations are in order!

Thanks (0)
avatar
By ggullo
15th Jul 2002 09:14

to get a holistic picture about CRM and government, the first step is to find the reasons / motivation for CRM in this area.
CRM in the public sector is not about citzizen loyalty or retention because it's quite difficult to escape from public duties and services. but CRM in government is about increasing efficiancy in serving citizens for two reasons:
1. there is still a waste of tax income due to burocracy and inefficiency.
2. the time citizens need for interacting with government produces economic costs which have to be reduced (time, opening hours etc.).
A further reason is that government employees lost their status and are heading for a better image of their jobs and their position. probably, more reasons could be found.
when considering the reasons and motivations, the potential of CRM might be more obvious.

Thanks (0)
avatar
12th Jul 2002 17:58

The definition offered that CRM is really a call cnter is a very frightening thought!

When I asked for some explanation and definition I did not mean or infer that CRM equals a call/contact centre or that anyone who is really involved in CRM could believe this. If you have been brainwashed by the big call centre come SFA organisations to believe that CRM=call-centres then the CRM-Forum has failed!

CRM is a mega-discipline and is not merely there for answering queries you might have regarding your dustbins!

Of course you would like to believe that a goverwement body could bring up your details and talk to you in a personable way but that is just the start of an interaction.

CRM is a wholistic approach to building sustainable relationships - not jsut a conversation although that is a start at least.

CRM is about those nasty thing like profit, market share, selling products/services and developing long term and lifetime values. It is here where the problem of interpreting how a goveremant might really use CRM - it might indeed use CRM with those nasty real world bits cut out?

Once more definitions and explanations will be welcome!???

Thanks (0)
avatar
11th Jul 2002 17:11

Everyone has a different definition of CRM.

If we consider it as ensuring that you obtain and maintain a good relationship with your customers, then why can this not be applied to a citizen?

CRM comes in many flavours and performs many functions. Probabley the most common of which are Sales and Service.

As Local Government exists to provide a service to its citizens, so surely CRM Service applications can do the biz.

When you phone up your local authority to inform them that your bins have not been collected, should you not expect the person at the other end of the phone to be able to bring up your details and handle the call as though you were talking to a commercial organisation?
Don't you think that the person at the other end of the phone should be able to give you the information you need, and be in a position to manage your request for service, without passing you around numerous departments?
If you phone back the following day, would you not expect them to know that you phoned the previous day, and they should be able to provide you with the current status of your request for service.

How is this type of service provision different from a commercial organisation providing service to its customers?

I really do believe that the main stumbling block with eGov and CRM is 'terminology'.

There are many success stories where CRM has been implemented in a local Gov very succesfuly. Maybe it is these authorities that can best answer, or solve the puzzle
"CRM and eGov, Miss Match or Love Affair?"

Thanks (0)
avatar
12th Jul 2002 17:58

The definition offered that CRM is really a call cnter is a very frightening thought!

When I asked for some explanation and definition I did not mean or infer that CRM equals a call/contact centre or that anyone who is really involved in CRM could believe this. If you have been brainwashed by the big call centre come SFA organisations to believe that CRM=call-centres then the CRM-Forum has failed!

CRM is a mega-discipline and is not merely there for answering queries you might have regarding your dustbins!

Of course you would like to believe that a goverwement body could bring up your details and talk to you in a personable way but that is just the start of an interaction.

CRM is a wholistic approach to building sustainable relationships - not jsut a conversation although that is a start at least.

CRM is about those nasty thing like profit, market share, selling products/services and developing long term and lifetime values. It is here where the problem of interpreting how a goveremant might really use CRM - it might indeed use CRM with those nasty real world bits cut out?

Once more definitions and explanations will be welcome!???

Thanks (0)
avatar
By ggullo
15th Jul 2002 09:14

to get a holistic picture about CRM and government, the first step is to find the reasons / motivation for CRM in this area.
CRM in the public sector is not about citzizen loyalty or retention because it's quite difficult to escape from public duties and services. but CRM in government is about increasing efficiancy in serving citizens for two reasons:
1. there is still a waste of tax income due to burocracy and inefficiency.
2. the time citizens need for interacting with government produces economic costs which have to be reduced (time, opening hours etc.).
A further reason is that government employees lost their status and are heading for a better image of their jobs and their position. probably, more reasons could be found.
when considering the reasons and motivations, the potential of CRM might be more obvious.

Thanks (0)
avatar
11th Jul 2002 17:11

Everyone has a different definition of CRM.

If we consider it as ensuring that you obtain and maintain a good relationship with your customers, then why can this not be applied to a citizen?

CRM comes in many flavours and performs many functions. Probabley the most common of which are Sales and Service.

As Local Government exists to provide a service to its citizens, so surely CRM Service applications can do the biz.

When you phone up your local authority to inform them that your bins have not been collected, should you not expect the person at the other end of the phone to be able to bring up your details and handle the call as though you were talking to a commercial organisation?
Don't you think that the person at the other end of the phone should be able to give you the information you need, and be in a position to manage your request for service, without passing you around numerous departments?
If you phone back the following day, would you not expect them to know that you phoned the previous day, and they should be able to provide you with the current status of your request for service.

How is this type of service provision different from a commercial organisation providing service to its customers?

I really do believe that the main stumbling block with eGov and CRM is 'terminology'.

There are many success stories where CRM has been implemented in a local Gov very succesfuly. Maybe it is these authorities that can best answer, or solve the puzzle
"CRM and eGov, Miss Match or Love Affair?"

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
11th Jul 2002 10:33

I would suggest that there is (or should be) a world of difference between a customer and a citizen which stems from the very root of their being. A government that believes that providing services to citizens would benefit from using the same model as providing services to customers is a frightening creature and deserves to be put out of its misery. There is a fundamental difference.

Thanks (0)
avatar
10th Jul 2002 15:45

Further to the discussions on a governement implementation of the CRM process/strategy, is there any documentation on governement strategies for CRM. As mentioned earlier, there are several features that are "profit & loyalty" driven that are not applicable in a Citizen management scenario. How can these "tools" be best taken advantage of from a non-profit perspective and client centric focus?

Thanks (0)
avatar
11th Jul 2002 15:29

It is right on the button that a governement cannot treat you and I as customers directly but many of the aspects of ethical/humane CRM can be applied. However if someone could adequately explain the real differences we all would be grateful.

An example of how CRM could not be applied - when they find out that memebers of society don't actually contribute to the good of society (compared to low or value destroying customers in the commercial world) you cannot find another organisation to take them off your hands - nor can you say I will not deal with them and hope a charity will.

So some definitionsa and good explanations are in order!

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
05th Feb 2002 16:01

Brent Council are currently pathfinders in a UK government strategy to make local government more customer centric/responsive. They have created an adapted version of the CRM Bible which will soon be available for download from their site. It is available now from www.crmbible.com. Could be a good starting point for you. It is also available from this site.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
14th Feb 2002 21:43

For Mike B

Software vendors are of course pleases to take the money and if the systems are implemented well the technology will do many of the things promised by the vendor. Since when however has technology alone really changed an organisations culture.

The majority of failed CRM installations are based on technology replacing a sensible customer based strategy. CRM technology does not replace a well thought out way of supporting the citizen. Call/contact centres do not make e-citizen! The major flaw in this thinking is that lumps of technology can cover up the cracks that are apparent in the way goverment bodies; local and central think about their customers. Until they see you and I as customers no amount of technology will change them and their antiquated processes.

Thanks (0)
avatar
18th Feb 2002 10:25

Holger,

Sorry if I’m moving away from your question, but I need to reply to Michael M in case anyone might seriously think that I believe that technology drives culture change.

I thought that my suggestion that an ‘ebusiness suite’ could be used as a catalyst for change might be provocative. Of course, people and process are much more important than technology for CRM (anywhere where customers are being served).

While certainly questioning as a panacea, the ‘change your business process to fit the software’ approach of some major CRM application suite vendors, I am suggesting that use of such software for ‘early view’ of what is possible technically, can be very useful. In particular, I recommend use of the ‘early view’ to gauge user acceptance, to model new business processes, and to measure impact on the customers and the organisation. Of course, if there is no ‘top down’ buy-in to the concept of the citizen as a customer you are wasting your time. I am certainly assuming that there is ‘executive level’ support for the culture change.

Thanks (0)
avatar
14th Feb 2002 15:12

The previous answers all have very good points to make. CRM in government is a hot topic in the UK as the central government strives for all government services to be on-line by 2005 (whatever this means – will services be put on-line without demand for such services – chicken & egg?).

Consequently, many central and local government departments are seeking to utilise money available (e.g., through initiatives such as pathfinder) to improve customer services. Vendors (see Oracle’s track record at Hull & Hertford, as well as the Siebel stuff mentioned) are happy to accept the money and assist in the deployment of new services.

You ask about the ability of local government to utilise CRM techniques. How about the value of each department knowing your contact history rather than you having to explain the background each time you make contact (‘phone, e-mail, whatever)?

It may even be that the ‘philosophy’ of ‘configure rather than customise’ (i.e., flex pre-built business process software rather than build software appropriate to business processes already existing in the organisation) behind the application suites (Siebel, Oracle, etc.) has great value in driving change rapidly through government organisations. Use the application suites for live proto-typing of new ways of doing business.

Thanks (0)
avatar
05th Feb 2002 16:57


We have been talking to numerous local authorities about their e-government initiatives.
CRM can be mapped easily to support and manage the requirements of local government.

Leeds County Council (along with Haringey, and Epsom and Ewell) use Siebel to satisfy their requirements and they are very happy with their solution.

Once you overcome the different terminology the underlying functionality is a very definite match.

Amanda.Mone@XtraServe.com

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
05th Feb 2002 17:22

CRM is not a technology alone! Citizen CRM is about you and I as customers of the local authrities and the central goverment. The idea is to change the culture, actions and activities of thses bodies beyond merely getting the technologies right. better caontact centres are not the answer but quality processes that understand and satify the needs of customers.

Culture change not technology sticking plaster.

Thanks (0)