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3 Ways AI Can Improve Public Sector Service and Multiple Citizen Trust

Woman behind a desk talks with another woman in an office setting / increase trust in government services
Technology can help government agencies win over citizens by better meeting their expectations. [Jacob Lund/Shutterstock]

Trust is top of mind for governments across the globe, and AI can help them gain efficiencies and enhance citizen trust.

Trust is top of mind for governments across the globe. It’s hard to earn and easy to lose. This presents an enormous challenge for anyone working in the public sector. Just one bad experience with the government can have a big impact on a constituent’s sense of trust. And research shows that difficulties are common when it comes to government interactions.

The Trust Imperative 4.0 report, a joint study between Salesforce and BCG, found that 74% of respondents faced a problem while using digital government services. Complex processes and technical difficulties were the most frequent culprits. While trust in government varies across jurisdictions, some countries have more work to do compared to others. The 2024 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that only 42% of respondents across 25 countries trust government leaders. In the U.K. and U.S., the situation is even more dire — 66% of respondents believe that U.K. government regulators lack adequate understanding of emerging technologies to regulate them effectively. Further, the Pew Research Center found that only 15% of Americans trust the federal government to do what’s right  — a figure among the lowest reported in seven decades.

The good news for governments is that technology can enhance trust with constituents through tailored experiences which better meet their expectations. In an increasingly digital world, more seamless experiences are closely aligned to higher levels of satisfaction with ‌government. Countries like the Netherlands, Sweden, and Australia benefited from low rates of user experience issues and also saw an improvement in net satisfaction with digital government services. How did these digital-forward governments do it? And how can agencies take advantage of technology like AI to improve service delivery and earn trust?

See why trust is key to public sector success

Learn why delivering personalised digital services is the fastest way to increase trust in government. We’ve partnered with the Boston Consulting Group for a deep dive into the trust deficit between government agencies and their constituents.

Meeting expectations for digital government services

Digital services are part of everyone’s daily lives. You can order deliveries from a mobile device, transfer funds globally through your banking app, receive shopping recommendations based on your purchase habits, or view your health records anytime by logging into your provider’s portal. The list goes on.

As individuals increasingly rely on digital services in every aspect of their lives, the demand for digital government services grows. 75% of respondents expect services to match the world’s best private sector organisations and digital leaders. But many public-sector organisations haven’t kept up with citizen expectations:

These issues and others lead citizens to believe that the government doesn’t prioritise the customer experience, which leaves expectations unmet and makes gaining the public’s trust an uphill battle.

What if you could easily provide faster service? What if forms and paperwork could all be completed and submitted online? What if your agency could reduce administrative tasks and free up time to focus on the highest-priority cases? 

This is where technology has the potential to help you deliver high-quality services that better meet constituent expectations.

Three ways technology can improve public sector experiences

The Connected Government Report highlights accessibility and responsiveness as important factors that can influence the perception of the government experience. And further, 87% of respondents say great experiences increase trust, according to the Trust Imperative Report. Here’s how technologies like an AI customer relationship management (CRM) platform can help. 

1. Achieve better mission outcomes with a 360-view of your citizens

When you have a complete understanding of those you serve, you can serve them better. Integrating your data and systems into a single source of truth or CRM offers you a full view of your constituents, allowing you to better serve their needs. Generative AI can be used in this case to personalise outreach based on citizen demographics, giving you the ability to offer more personalised services faster and better and reduce costs while doing so. Approximately £1.7 to £1.8 billion of total annual savings can be made by shifting the transactional services currently offered by central government departments from offline to digital channels

2. Engage with your citizens more efficiently

A quick-hit opportunity for AI in government is using chatbots for citizen engagement. Chatbots can be used to address questions and provide information about services. Removing the need for phone calls and potential long hold times can go a long way in creating an easy engagement point for your citizens. And they’re here for it: three out of five respondents reported they were comfortable interacting with generative AI bots to access simple government services. 

3. Improve efficiency by streamlining administrative tasks

Your employees may be bogged down with administrative tasks that are manual and time-consuming. AI can cut the time spent on these tasks by performing actions like summarising meetings or transcribing calls. AI can also be used for optical character recognition to turn paper forms into digital records. What’s more, case managers can use data and AI to help write case narratives for engagements and interactions with their clients. Overall, freeing up your employees’ time will allow them to spend more time focusing on where they’ll have the most impact on the mission.

Small changes can have a big impact

Incorporating new technologies into your service delivery doesn’t have to be a heavy lift. Instead of trying to make broad sweeping changes at first, consider taking small steps to work toward gaining your citizens’ trust. Your organisation can begin with smaller, scalable initiatives to develop capabilities and establish a base of trust and credibility with both citizens and employees.

The same is true when it comes to AI. Adding incremental changes to start on the path toward improving the experience, like launching a chatbot function, creating knowledge articles, or using generative AI to create targeted, personalised outreach can go a long way toward building trust. In fact, 63% of respondents are comfortable interacting with generative AI to access simple government services. These small changes can have a big impact on how citizens perceive your agency and overall trust in the public sector.

The citizen experience is at the heart of trust in ‌government, and gaining trust takes time. One way to establish trust with your citizens is to take steps to improve their experiences. Public sector organisations who embrace technologies and innovation can enhance citizen trust by enabling great experiences and fostering positive relationships with the people they serve.

Close the trust gap

Learn why trust is the biggest issue keeping the public sector from personalising their services. Attend our webinar with the Boston Consulting Group to hear more about citizen perspectives on AI and how governments can improve service delivery and multiple trust.

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