The Lagos State Government has called on all public servants in the state to emulate the private sector by exploring the use of technology to meet citizens’ expectations. The Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, spoke at a two-day training workshop for public servants in the State, according to him, it had been noted that the public sector could easily emulate the private sector’s use of technology in order to meet the ever-increasing citizen expectations and boost commercial viability.
Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Benson Oke, noted that many authorities saddled with legacy systems that were no longer fit for purpose, were today struggling to take advantage of modern technology, lamenting that some authorities relied on outdated communications channels, many of which only operate during standard Government office hours.
“It is also true that citizens are expecting more transparent, accessible, and responsive services from the public sector. And those expectations are rising. Many Governments have made efforts to improve service delivery through online portals or “one-stop shops” like centralized call centres, but find they are still unable to meet the public’s expectations.
“This training is designed to exponentially multiply and improve the quality of service delivery in the Lagos State Public Service by encouraging and charting a path to the adoption of a customer-centric, customer-focused, or customer-driven perspective in our public institutions. “In deed, and more than ever before, Governments at all levels have an opportunity to dramatically change the nature of their interactions with citizens. The emergence of new tools, technologies and methods offers a unique chance to secure the bond between the public and those who serve them,” he said.
Also, the Governor said to gauge proper workers-customers relations, public servants should let the citizens tell them what mattered most, but avoid asking them directly, adding that “asking people which aspects of service delivery are most in need of improvement—the time required to resolve a request versus the politeness of staff, for example—is unlikely to yield accurate results.
Ambode urged public servants to identify natural break points in customer satisfaction, saying that striving for zero wait times and one-click transactions across the entirety of Government services were likely to prove both unrealistic and costly.
“Combine public feedback with internal data to uncover hidden pain points. Combining customer-satisfaction information with operational data—call-center volumes and number of in-person visits, for instance—can yield additional insights, beyond what citizen state explicitly via surveys and other feedback channels,” he stated.
The Governor challenged public servants to accept the truism that in this emerging golden age of citizen engagement, Government would improve by being open to experimentation and willing to embrace new tools such as crowd-sourcing and public scorecards to measure the quality of its services.