Irish Government is proving harder to contact

27 Sep 2007

Almost a third of the Irish public believe that it is now harder to contact Government services than it was four years ago, despite the onset of the internet, the advent of intelligent phone systems and a supposed ‘customer-centric’ approach to citizens by civil servants.

The Damovo-commissioned survey of 931 adults across 64 locations in Ireland by Millward/Brown IMS found that 33pc of citizens think it has become easier to contact Government services while 28pc believe it has gotten harder. Some 39pc don’t think anything has changed.

However, one thing is clear — the citizens want technology. The survey found there was a 93pc satisfaction rating by citizens who contacted the government via the internet.

Some 78pc of citizens want improved access to public services through modern technology such as intelligent phone systems and text messaging, rising to 87pc among 25 to 34-year-olds.

In terms of the last time these citizens actually used a Government service, 40pc used a phone, 38pc went to their local office, 18pc used a website and 4pc corresponded through email.

“The survey indicates that the public want to see more Government services available to them 24/7,” said John McCabe, managing director of Damovo.

“Few have used public services by internet or email, but of those who have, 93pc reported that their experience met or exceeded their expectations.

“Comparable levels of satisfaction can be expected if similar levels of accessibility and service can also be offered using modern communications channels, such as self-service phone or text,” McCabe added.

By John Kennedy