December 9, 2020

Finance Professionals Key in Boosting CX in Government Agencies

To say that finance professionals have their hands full is an understatement. Day-to-day, they’re busy managing risk, overseeing invoicing and payments, analyzing financial results, and identifying account inconsistencies. Talk about a full plate! More recently, they’ve also been asked to step in to help improve the customer experience (CX). That’s because one of the most effective ways to ensure citizens have better interactions with their governments is by making the payment process as simple and hassle-free as possible. This can only be achieved when the Finance team makes sure the necessary technology is in place to seamlessly handle all aspects of invoicing, payment processing, and crediting, as well as ensuring safeguards are in place to protect against fraud. If you’re a finance professional in the public sector, here are some ways your team can help improve citizen satisfaction.

Offer an Omni-Channel Payment Solution 

According to the KUBRA Citizen Billing and Payment Report 2019, government agencies have some work to do when it comes to service delivery. On the positive side, 41% of respondents consider their current payment experiences for government services to be good, but a worrying 47% rate their experiences as fair or poor, and just 11% rate their experiences as excellent. When we dig deeper, we start to gain an understanding of what is contributing to these mediocre experiences. Our research found that 60% of respondents have more than one preferred avenue to pay for their government services, so if you have limited payment options, you’re likely not meeting citizen expectations. Speaking of options, the top channel choices were their government website at 63% with mobile app (37%) following. This confirms the demand for mobile has reached the government space and government agencies need to prioritize the creation of a mobile strategy for payment acceptance.1 As you well know, maintaining loyalty and citizen satisfaction is increasingly difficult these days. By providing different payment options and self-serve solutions, you give citizens the flexibility they want and help remove some of the barriers that prevent them from making payments. This is great news for 48% of survey respondents who said improving digital payments would help them make payments on time and for municipalities who continually list late payments as a major pain point.

Automate Processes for Better Decision Making

Automating manual processes should definitely be a top priority because it frees your team up to focus on more complex projects and tasks and reduces costly errors. Harnessing the power of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence allows your team to make faster, more evidence-based decisions using real-time data. Something many financial professionals admit they’re currently struggling with. A BAIN & COMPANY survey of nearly 100 CFOs revealed that some of the biggest challenges they currently face are performance management and the ability to take advantage of advanced analytics. Investing in solutions that automate time-consuming manual processes and that give you the ability to take advantage of advanced data collection will improve all aspects of your internal operations. Which, of course, allows you to deliver better experiences to your citizens. Solutions like the KUBRA iDoxs Suite® offer the reporting and reconciliation tools you need to effectively and efficiently track accounts payable and receivable across multiple channels in one easy-to-use web portal.

Go the Extra Mile with Real-Time Processing, Easy Solutions, and Reminders

Simplifying the bill payment process will not only improve the citizen experience but also help more citizens pay on time. A good place to start is to offer automatic payments and allow customers to use a single password for web and mobile app authentication. You also want to make sure your bills are easy to read and understand, regardless of whether your citizens are looking at bills online, in a mobile app, or on paper. Ensuring payments are processed quickly is critical. KUBRA research found that 64% of survey respondents expect payments to be processed instantly or at least same-day. This is an especially high priority for the large percentage of citizens who make last-minute payments and rely on quick payment processing to avoid additional fees.2 Customers are also looking for payment reminders, with many indicating that one of the primary reasons they still like to receive a paper bill is because it reminds them to pay.3 But there are greener reminder tools available like Notifi alerts or Smart Reminders using KUBRA EZ-PAY through both email and SMS text. Both support on-time payments and encourage the use of digital payment channels.

Always Use Vendors That Put Security First 

You want to partner with companies that prioritize keeping your citizens’ payment data safe as much as you do and that have the solutions to not only deliver top-notch security but are also compliant with all government standards and regulations. With superior data safeguards in place, you mitigate data breaches which goes a long way in building the trust and integrity of the department. The best way to come up with your vendor shortlist is to look for providers that are PCI Level 1 compliant and that encrypt data using tokenization at every point of the payment process. 

The Tracking and Reporting You Need, the Convenience Citizens Want

By offering easy-to-use services that are accessible at any time, you take some of the pain out of paying bills which is a sure fire way to improve citizen satisfaction and increase on-time payments. KUBRA’s extensive suite of customer experience management solutions for government delivers convenient payment options for citizens and the tracking, reporting, and reconciliation tools you need to ensure payment security.

Sources

  1. KUBRA Citizen Billing and Payment Report 2019.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Innovative Payments, Self-Service, and Next-Gen Security: Trends to Watch in 2020.