DCF Inquiries Solution: A Case for How to Improve Government Efficiency
Over the past couple of years, technology has been put through its paces. Businesses can certainly attest to that, relying on digital solutions to better serve their customers, even when facing a global pandemic. Government agencies, however, have struggled. They’re simply not all that technologically advanced.
Because the amount of data created and collected only continues to grow, accessibility and accuracy are crucial for government agencies to make faster, more informed decisions. They’re also essential components to understanding the customer experience with government services, as people’s expectations for government agencies are now similar to those for businesses in the private sector. They expect access at any time, from anywhere, and through the channels of their choosing. Salesforce for government agencies could prove beneficial for departments struggling to meet the needs of constituents.
Even before COVID-19, the public sector was challenged to meet citizen demands — at least, that was the experience of the Department of Children and Families (known as DCF). Already supporting more than 20 programs that assist in protecting vulnerable families, boosting strong and economically self-sustaining families, and advancing personal and family recovery and resiliency, the DCF was fielding over 250,000 inquiries a year. Though it had invested in technology, the system was outdated, and many processes were still manual, if not paper-driven. This made gathering and tracking information difficult, which inevitably impacted the DCF’s ability to respond and resulted in delayed resolutions.
Needless to say, the DCF needed to reinvest in its technology but was uncertain about how to approach a digital transformation project. In our experience, Salesforce for government agencies was the natural choice, as it provides the means of capturing and centralizing information that’s critical to better serving constituents and expediting resolutions. With the system being configurable, our team could also customize the technology to meet the organization’s distinct needs — not only current, but also future. Other systems and processes can easily be integrated at later dates with this solution.
Fixing an Industrywide Issue
As with any change effort, it all starts with a goal. For the DCF, that goal was moving from a decentralized to a centralized support model. Prior to implementation, districts were basically using their own processes. Some were standardized, but not all of them, and one problem was with how requests were handled. Our team worked with the DCF to develop and roll out a formal process to help employees, regardless of their roles, utilize data and coordinate communications.
If, for example, a request was “under review” and assigned to a specific team, no one questioned who was responsible or what the status was. The same could be said for other steps in the process. Though a seemingly small improvement, it made all the difference in how each department within the DCF thought about data and who was responsible for which tasks. That was certainly one solution for how to improve government efficiency.
This isn’t to say the project was without its challenges. When we were brought in, the DCF was in the midst of a reorganization process. There were a lot of changes happening as we were guiding them through the digital transformation process. However, the timing couldn’t have been better. It allowed us to help the DCF map out its processes, institute best practices, logically organize its information, and align with the defined business process. All that work streamlined the DCF’s intake process and its ability to communicate with constituents.
Assisting Other Agencies With Similar Issues
Although no two issues are exactly the same, our work with the DCF — and a host of other clients in the public sector — have put us in a unique position: understanding the common pain points of consumers and how to fix them. What’s often most helpful is involving our team at the very start of the change process. This affords us the opportunity to engage in those conversations, listen to the needs of clients, and call out the nuances in their business processes not thought of.
And because we understand best practices, we can make thoughtful recommendations on how to improve government efficiency — or simply business efficiency. With the DCF, we knew it was facing five issues, and those issues could be corrected with a Salesforce-based solution. Again, the solution would need to be modified and configured to meet the DCF’s needs and then assistance in its rollout to help familiarize DCF employees with how to best utilize the system and the information it could provide.
Once up and running, data accuracy was no longer in question. Nor was the organization’s ability to respond to requests and resolve constituent issues. The DCF was better able to support its mission with local communities.
If you’d like to learn more about Kyra Solutions and what our team can do to digitally transform your agency to better serve citizens, let us know. We’d be more than happy to discuss your needs and arrive at a solution best suited to your department.
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