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FCW : September 15, 2013
CRM: When the C stands for 'citizen' The idea that government should run like a business has been repeated to the point of becoming a cliché, but the need for ef ciency and improved customer service is real. And like any good business, agencies must understand their customers in order to succeed, and they are increasingly looking to technology for help. Customer relationship management refers to the interac- tion between producer and consumer. The hallmark image of CRM in action is a call center that customers contact to complain, compliment or inquire. The organization uses data about those calls to not only help customers but also to inform and re ne its broader business operations. Although an of ce full of employees wearing headsets to communicate with customers is a familiar concept, it is a woefully outdated image for today's CRM. Strategies and services that combine social media, big data and personal- ized Web accounts are becoming more prevalent throughout the federal government. In fact, the widespread use of social media has given way to a new type of CRM known as social relationship management. Agencies can monitor the social discourse on government-related topics rather than waiting for indi- viduals to contact them. And cloud computing has opened the door for vendors such as Oracle, Microsoft, Salesforce.com and Deltek to offer CRM services to agencies at a lower cost. Federal CRM efforts are as varied as the agencies deploy- ing them. The Department of Veterans Affairs uses Blue Button to enable veterans to access their health records electronically, and VA also has a "veterans relationship management" system called 21st Century-One Vet. The Justice Department manages "customers" currently in liti- gation, while Citizenship and Immigration Services is using Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform to enhance the E-Verify program. And CRM is a central topic on the agenda for the Defense Information Systems Agency's Enterprise Service Management Framework Forum and Consortium, sched- uled for Nov. 19-20. In addition, the General Services Administration is per- sonalizing USA.gov to provide "a single account that citi- zens can use to sign into any government website, giving them control of how government interacts with them and their information." Why it matters The White House's Executive Order 13571 --- Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service --- states that "with advances in technology and service delivery sys- tems in other sectors, the public's expectations of the gov- ernment have continued to rise. The government must keep pace with and even exceed those expectations." The 2011 order references a 1993 measure that called for agencies to establish service standards and methods of measuring performance. Since then, new cloud com- puting options, expanded website and mobile capabilities, and improved identity management have changed what's possible. "Government managers must learn from what is work- ing in the private sector and apply these best practices to deliver services better, faster and at lower cost," the order states. "Such best practices include increasingly popular lower-cost, self-service options accessed by the Internet or ExecTe c h BY REID DAVENPORT Agencies' efforts to improve customer relationship management extend far beyond traditional CRM systems 28 September 15, 2013 FCW.COM
August 30, 2013
September 30, 2013