Don’t Let Fear Drive Your Digital-First Customer Engagement Strategy
During the past few years, I have had the privilege of meeting many government and public sector representatives to discuss their challenges and visions for digital-first customer engagement strategies.
While most public sector organizations have implemented some form of this strategy—whether it’s called digital first, channel shift, digital by default or something similar—many believe that those strategies have not yet met their intended economic outcomes.
However, despite the almost overwhelming amount of information available around digital-first customer engagement strategies and the plethora of solutions available, many are still experiencing problems—some old and some new.
One of the most common problems shared with me is around unwilling decision makers. This has been a problem for years. When digital-first strategies first began to take root in the government and public sector, elected officials were (rightly) concerned about the need to be inclusive for all demographics. They didn’t want to alienate constituents who might not be digitally inclined. So, many elected officials decided to do nothing at all.
Today, this is no longer what causes hesitation among decision makers. Instead, the issue tends to be centered about the decision maker’s skepticism on the ability to achieve the desired return on investment. That concern is, of course, not without reason. There are plenty of examples of strategies that don’t go far enough and actually create more cost.
Another problem I hear about a lot is fear. And, is it any wonder—especially when political careers can be on the line. The news seems to continually report on another government agency having an issue with its website or online presence, such as the recent IRS security breach. Do these problems mean that government and public sector agencies should do nothing? Or, to put it another way, can they afford not to?
When it comes to just about anything new, fear and apprehension are almost always present. However, this digital fear should be harnessed in a constructive way to help ensure proper measures are taken to protect these sites and those who use them.
Government and public sector organizations can take some lessons from their commercial sector counterparts, which seem to deal with these security breaches on a daily basis. They can also find out about other barriers—and solutions—in the new Verint guide, Overcoming the Barriers to Channel Shift.
Creating and implementing a digital-first strategy can cause fear and apprehension. But as President Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
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