Consolidation has long been a strategy in the private sector to achieve economies of scale. The key benefits are that organisations will have access to a larger pool of resources, which allows for more flexibility in the workforce in order to handle varying levels of contact volumes across different parts of the organisation. Ultimately, consolidation results in streamlining of ongoing operating costs and processes, and allows for the consistent delivery of service to customers.
Nowadays, we are seeing the government sector showing increasing interest in consolidated and shared service models. One of the primary drivers for this is that consumers now have higher expectations of service and no longer differentiate their public sector service experience from their private sector service experience. The level of service consumers expect from anyone is the same regardless of what type of organisation it is! Ofcourse there are other factors that drive consolidated and shared service models, these include the need to operate more effectively and efficiently and for other political related reasons...
There are many successful examples of Whole of Government Contact Centres and Shared Service Models in the public sector. These include Singapore’s “Vital” shared services department, the UK’s Single Non Emergency Number, France’s “Allo 3939”, Spain’s single number for ‘administration’ services, the US 311 non emergency number for calls to government, along with various State government initiatives in Australia (Smart Service Queensland, Service SA, Service Tasmania), and many more.
And, just on Singapore’s “Vital”, it has recently been recognised for its customer service at the annual Asia Pacific Shared Services Excellence Awards. Well done!
So there you go, consolidation and shared service is not all about cutting costs, it is also about improving the customer experience.