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Analysis of the potentials of public call centres

23-10-2013

An analysis suggests that there are significant differences in the costs to answer telephone inquiries from citizens and that there may be a potential to make the telephone service in the public sector more efficient and effective.

A significant part of the help and support that citizens receive today is by contacting the local authorities by phone. In the years to come, citizens increasingly have to communicate with the public sector online. This generates a particular need to ensure efficient and effective services to those who still need personal advice and guidance by phone.

In the spring of 2013, an analysis was conducted of the potential to make the public telephone service more efficient and effective. The analysis focused on the service delivered to citizens who contact the public authorities requiring for example information regarding administrative procedures and payment of benefits, or support to use the online self-service solutions. The analysis was conducted by the Boston Consulting Group and was based on national and international experiences with contact centres in the public and private sectors.

Economic gains

The analysis shows that large contact centres can deliver good service at a lower cost for example in the form of expanded opening hours and increased accessibility for citizens during peak periods. Large contact centres allow for citizen service to become even better for example by standardising work processes and investing in professional ICT solutions that contribute to good and accurate answers to the citizens and helps citizens serve themselves online when they contact the public administration.

The analysis also points out that there is a significant economic potential if citizen inquiries for advice and guidance were answered in contact centres of the same size as the largest contact centres in the public sector today.

Further analysis

Based on the analysis of possible models to streamline the public telephone service, further analyses are considered on how to further improve efficiency of public telephone services. This analysis is under the responsibility of Local Government Denmark (an organisation representing all Danish municipalities). It evaluates existing experiences with contact centres in the municipalities in order to assess the advantages and disadvantages of possible horisontal models for citizen service in municipal contact centres. The Danish Agency for Digitisation assists Local Government Denmark in regard to identifying barriers and prerequisites for making c all centres more efficient and effective. The common public sector Steering Committee for the Danish eGovernment Strategy monitors the analysis which should be completed in the spring of 2014.