30pc contact govt by email and text

19 Jun 2007

While the telephone remains the primary method by which Irish citizens communicate with their government, some 30pc do so through text and email.

According to the latest report on e-government by consultancy firm Accenture, Ireland ranked 11th out of 22 countries in terms of best-practice in customer-service programmes.

The survey focused on the user-friendliness of customer-driven channels in government, the depth of online services accessed by citizens and overall citizen satisfaction.

Irish government investment in having a customer service ethos in dealing with citizens rather than dictated by entrenched civil servants appears to be paying off with 62pc of citizens believing customer service has improved in the last three years.

Personal internet usage amongst Irish citizens is on the rise with 75pc of people surveyed claiming to be using the internet every month, up 15pc on 2005 when the last survey was conducted.

Although 78pc of people still contact government by telephone, use of the device has seen substantial reductions in the past 12 months and is not deemed easiest to use.

One third believe the Irish government needs to invest substantially in its telephone-based customer services.

In deploying customer service systems, the report warns that organisations whose back-office infrastructures are not aligned to fulfil citizen service promises create a credibility and delivery gap.

By John Kennedy