18 Mar Cisco improves government customer service with IT innovations
Today, many people perform a wide range of daily tasks with the help of advanced technologies. Cisco recently announced that it has launched a pilot program to bring connectivity to City Hall, saving money for towns and making life even more convenient for citizens.
Cisco announced that its first Virtual Citizen Services Centre will be located in Barcelona as a collaboration with Barcelona City Hall. Through this project, citizens will be able to enter a high-tech kiosk to perform a number of administrative processes that have traditionally required consultation with a customer services associate or a home Internet connection.
The project is largely powered by the Cisco Remote Expert for Government Services solution, which combines several useful features aimed at helping administrators streamline their operations. Cisco TelePresence enables the kiosk with high-definition video chat, which will allow customers to contact a remote customer service associate for help at any time. Cisco Remote Expert Manager and Cisco Unified Communications Manager administration software support the system's touch screens, helping citizens easily fill out virtual forms.
However, these technologies are more than just convenient for the people of Barcelona.
"Barcelona City Hall is committed to being exemplary in the provision of citizen services thanks to the possibilities which new technologies are offering," said Antoni Vives, deputy mayor of the Barcelona City Hall. "The Virtual Citizen Services project contributes to being more efficient, reducing costs, bringing the administration to the citizen and improving public services by avoiding, for example, travel."
While the processes available now, in the project's first phase, are limited, Cisco and officials of Barcelona City Hall hope to add more services in the future, including the ability to obtain contractor licenses, file complaints and search registries.
Customer service is an important aspect of any business, and by using IT to present residents with expanded options, Barcelona may be able to cultivate a more satisfied city while improving operations.
Many companies have been taking advantage of a wide range of technology to forge stronger relationships with their clients and reduce discord. According to one recent study from social media research firm Simply Measured, 30 percent of brands in the Interbrand Top 100 now maintain a separate Twitter account dedicated to sorting out customer service issues. Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of Simply Measured, said in a statement that using virtual media like Twitter to communicate with customers is important, as consumers increasingly use social media to make purchase decisions.