Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Counting the cost of Public Sector Channel Shift

A lot of Public Sector organisations are now getting serious (or at least semi-serious) about Channel Shift. Most have by now realised that the potential savings are real and significant.
So coupled with a central Government agenda of cost-cutting, whatever the Administration in place, the digitisation of public services looks set to continue. In fact a recent survey by Goss Interactive highlighted that on average public sector organisations plan to save £1.75m each through Channel Shift in 2015.

But how much does it actually save your organisation to shift customers to online channels?

Back in 2009 Socitm (The Society of IT Managers) worked out the cost to serve for each of the channels being provided by a UK public Sector organisation (in this case a Council). The benchmarking work they carried out showed that the costs per visitor were:

  • £7.40 for face-to-face
  • £2.90 for the telephone
  • £0.32 for web enquiries
However, the direct costs of channel shift can also be supplemented by additional benefits such as:
  • Increase customer service and satisfaction
  • Building engagement and loyalty
  • Meeting customer expectations
  • Freeing staff to be re-deployed on more "low tech / high touch" activities
It is still worth pointing out that providing digital content and self-service functionality only helps a percentage of the population you are trying to help. For example there are 10.8 million people in the U.K. who do not use the Internet and therefore any 'digital first' self-service options for businesses and citizens should not be 'digital only'. 
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