Buch - Book: Citizen Relationship Management - A Study of CRM in Government

August 11th, 2008

It is my pleasure to announce that “Citizen Relationship Management - A Study of CRM in Government” is now available. Just follow the link to Peter Lang Publishing Group.

Here is a brief description of the book:

This study explores Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in government. Based on an interdisciplinary literature review and multiple-case study design, a model of Citizen Relationship Management (CiRM) is developed and discussed. The case studies explore the perceptions of CRM/CiRM by administrators, elected officials and consultants as well as its implementation and impact on the municipal level and in a multijurisdictional environment in the United States. Although the explorative part of the study focuses broadly on a theoretical conceptualization of CiRM, the immediate empirical referent of research are the 311 initiatives in the City of Baltimore, the City of Chicago, the City of New York and Miami-Dade County. Thus, the results help administrators and researchers to convey the idea and challenges of 311 well. The study shows that CRM is to a certain extent only partly able to make novel contributions to currently active reform movements in government. In addition, the study’s findings support the idea that CiRM provides the means to a different kind of public participation.

From Customer Relationship Management towards citizen oriented government - CRM - New Public Management - TQM - eGovernment - Citizen public administration relationship - Citizen as customer - Administrative contacting as public participation - Case Studies: CiRM and 311 in Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, Miami-Dade County (Implementation, Understanding, Impact) - Comparing CRM with TQM and eGovernment - A model of Citizen Relationship Management - CiRM and public participation.

ISPRAT Studie zum 115 Bürgertelefon verfügbar

Dezember 15th, 2007

Seit heute liegt die Studie des ISPRAT Instituts zu einer einheitlichen, behördenübergreifenden Servicerufnummer (115 Bürgertelefon) zum download bereit. Ich bin gespannt auf die Kommentare und das Echo in der Presse.

Options for Government N-1-1 non-emergency public service solutions / Behördenrufnummer 115

Dezember 11th, 2007

The move to establish an easy to remember number (311) for non-emergency government services has lately gained attention around the globe. There are now initiatives underway in Germany (D115) and the UK (101). After 10 years, more and more counties and cities decide to start 311 projects. Yet 311 is far from being available for the whole population in the U.S. if we consider an earlier post of mine (map of U.S./Canadian 311 service center projects). In order to discuss the alternative or future options of 311 I will first take a look at the general options a government can follow to establish the phone as public service delivery channel. Part I will present the five options. The combination of performance management and service centers is mostly excluded to reduce complexity. The models are based on a country with a federal government structure. Part II which will be added in a couple of days will discuss the future of 311 and issues such as performance management.

The central approach
At first glance it is probably the easiest way to set up a central service center for any government. This can be a single, big service center or a number of service centers which are virtually connected. In Figure 1 below a service-center that covers more than one level of government (either of the same level e.g. several cities or several cities and a county) is called “Regional Service Center”. The core aspect of this concept is the central character: Governance, finance (e.g. federal budget) and data bases. While centrality makes many things like setting standards or reducing redundancies easy, data bases are the central challenge of this approach. Not the technology but rather the content. Just gathering and maintaining the data from all levels of governments sounds like a goal that is either unrealistic (if we consider the principle of subsidiarity in a federal state which is many times protected by the constitution) or never ending. Moreover, if we think of the way 311 is used as a tool for performance management and tapping into the local knowledge of citizens there is challenge on how this data gets redistributed to the right sources.


Figure 1: The Central Approach

The 311 approach
I am not going into much detail here. An advantage of 311 is that it avoids the political battles of a central approach or the move to start with a multi-jurisdictional approach. Figure 2 shows the current situation in the U.S. We have mostly 311 centers on the local level. They may have information on higher jurisdictions in their data bases but they are generally not fully integrated in the service value chain. A few Regional Service Centers can be found already. For example, Miami-Dade County has integrated the City of Miami. 34 cities have not been integrated yet. The challenge of administrators in Miami-Dade derives from budget constraints (property tax issue) or the regulatory environment. An additional challenge is to come up with finance and service level agreements that result in benefits for both sides and a sustainable service to the citizens. As one administrators once pointed out to me: “Setting up the call center and data base is easy. Changing the integrated administrations (departments) and preparing them for the change in citizens’ expectation is the real challenge”. Finally, Figure 2 also points to two further issues of this approach. First, 311 results in a lot of isolated and many times redundant relationships (either data or other form of agreements). Second, it is difficult to realize country wide accessibility. Less populated areas, therefore, the municipalities will lack the financial and HR capacity to realize 311 on their own.


Figure 2: The 311 Approach

The Central/311 Hybrid approach
This model (Figure 3) is generally a combination of the central and the 311 approach. Certain information and services that are provided by higher jurisdictions (here: State/Federal) are managed and available from a central unit/access point. This avoids some of the redundancies of the 311 approach. Regional and local service centers may develop at different speeds and provide varying degrees of services. Therefore, political battles are less likely to come up as would be the case in the central model. Service centers are not exchanging their local data or services with other service centers.


Figure 3: The Central/311 Hybrid Approach

The Networked Approach
The networked approach generally builds on most of the components described in the 311 model. The core difference is that all of the service centers build a network. Information is shared widely while each service center integrates government entities based on its needs or plans. Figure 4 shows the complexity of the network and the probability of creating highly redundant activities and relationships. In order for the network to function all members need to establish some form of governance to solve issues of standards and coordination.


Figure 4: The Networked Approach

The Multi-centric Approach
The Multi-centric approach combines aspects of the central, 311 and network approach. It characteristics of a central approach because there are central units/db which provide information/services/coordination for a certain subset of service-centers within one “center”. The service centers can evolve at different speeds and service-depths. They can be local or regional service centers. Therefore, the multi-centric approach starts like the current 311 activities. However, there is a core difference. Within one “center” the service centers are supposed to coordinate their efforts. In addition, there is a central unit (see top left of Figure 5) which coordinates and supports (e.g. good practice sharing, etc.) the overall efforts of all the “centers” and the service centers. Finally, the multi-centric approach also adopts the idea of the network approach. Each center shares information/services with other centers.


Figure 5: The Multi-centric Network Approach

The multi-centric model is currently the favored approach for the introduction of the project “D115 Behördentelefon / Behördeneinheitliche Rufnummer” in Germany.

Public Policy Schools in Deutschland

Dezember 10th, 2007

Aktuell ist auf Faz.net ein Artikel über Public Policy Schools in Deutschland zu finden. Ich habe längere Zeit an der Kennedy School of Government (KSG) verbringen können und bin bis heute begeistert von dem dortigen Umfeld. Auch Erfurt (ESPP) und die Hertie-School konnte ich mir bereits anschauen. Dort ist man auf dem richtigen Weg. An dieser Stelle sei auch auf Speyer verwiesen. Von der deutschen Politik bzw. der Verwaltung aus sollte die Weiterbildung und rege Austausch (an der KSG gibt es diverse Executive Workshops in denen zu aktuellen Themen Verwaltungskräfte und auch teilweise Wirtschaft für 2-3 Tage zusammen kommen) stärker gefördert werden. Für Schulen wie Hertie und ESPP bedeutet eine vermehrte Nachfrage aber auch, eine größere Stückzahl an deutschen bzw. europäischen Fallstudien zu generieren um Attraktiv zu bleiben. Hier könnten Hertie oder ESPP in Zukunft klar gegenüber KSG punkten, da man an der KSG aktuell meist auf Fallstudien aus den USA bzw. dem angelsächsischen Raum zurückgreift.

Schäuble erhält Studie zum Behördentelefon 115

Dezember 10th, 2007

Im Rahmen des IT-Gipfels wurde Bundesinnenminister Wolfgang Schäuble die Studie des ISPRAT Instituts zu D-115 übergeben.

Warum eine einheitliche Behördenrufnummer / das 115 Bürgertelefon für Deutschland sinnvoll ist

Dezember 7th, 2007

Es hat eine Weile gedauert, aber nun ist die Idee einer einheitlichen Service auch in Deutschland angekommen. Sie wird derzeit auch in Schweden diskutiert, ebenso UK (211) oder Frankreich mit 3939 “Allô, Service Public”. In den USA wurde die 311 für non-emergency Servicenummern bereits 1997 für den entsprechenden Zweck auf Bundesebene reserviert. Es gibt eine ganze Reihe von sogn. N-11 Nummern, darunter ist 911 für Notfälle sicherlich die bekannteste Nummer. Die Nutzung von 311 erfolgt aber eher auf kommunaler (z.B. NYC) oder County (vergleichbar mit einem Landkreis) Ebene, je nachdem wer die 311 reserviert hat. Dies bedeutet, dass wenn County A das Konzept bereits umgesetzt hat ich dort mit einem Servicemitarbeiter verbunden werde, aber sobald ich in das benachbarte County fahre und die Nummer dort wähle, nur ein Band läuft oder eine automatische Weiterleitung an etwa die Zentrale Telefonstelle der lokalen Verwaltung erfolgt. Die erste Anwendnung von 311 gab es in Chicago. New York City stellt derzeit mit einem Anrufvolumen von über 15 Mio pro Jahr und über 200 Mitarbeitern die weltweit größte Umsetzung dar. Öffentliche Call Center sind nichts Neues, weder in den USA noch in Deutschland, doch dass 311 Konzept in seiner Gesamtheit ist anders und würde diverse Veränderungen mit sich bringen. Das Land NRW hat mit CallNRW bereits grob dieses Konzept umgesetzt. Ich halte den Begriff “Bürgernotruf” allerdings für unklug, weil die falschen Assoziationen hervorgerufen werden. Da dies etwas den Rahmen sprengen würde, versuche ich im folgenden Abschnitt auf einige der bereits im Internet auffindbaren Anmerkungen einzugehen:

- Wo? Bund, Land oder Kommune
Wie man in den USA und anderen Ländern sehen kann, macht 115 auf lokaler oder darüber geordneter Ebene sehr viel Sinn.

- Eine weitere “Behörde” oder Institution die uns hilft die anderen Behörden zu verwalten.
Diese Aussage ist richtig. Allerdings muss das 115 Center sehr eng mit allen Behörden zusammenarbeiten, was hilft die institutionell verankerten Barrieren zu überwinden.

- Beschwerdehotline?
Bei 115 würde es nicht nur um Beschwerden gehen, vielmehr kann der Bürger hier jegliche Fragen stellen, einige Behördendienstleistungen direkt erhalten und natürlich auch Kommentare oder Beschwerden abgeben. Diese werden u.a zentral im IT System gespeichert, analyisiert und natürlich auch an entsprechende Personen z.B. Arbeitsgruppenleiter weitergeleitet.

- Anrufvolumina?
Diese können höchst unterschiedlich ausfallen, sind aber stetig steigend. Eine versteckte Nachfrage nach Mitteilungsbedürftigkeit und Hilfe von den Bürgern wird aufgedeckt. Gefahr ist, dass diese zu überwältigend ist und zusätzlich die Prozesse im Hintergrund noch nicht verändert wurden. Nehmen wir z.B. das Schlagloch. Wenn ich anrufe und mich darüber beschwere, dann habe ich eine gewisse Erwartung an die Geschwindigkeit der Erledigung. Durch gesteigerte Nachfrage kann aber nun etwa das Straßenbauamt in ein Dilemma geraten. Nicht nur für die Privatwirtschaft gilt, dass +70% der Anfragen der Informationsgewinnung dienen und meist gleich sind, d.h. entlastet so eine “Hotline” auch die Mitarbeiter in den Behörden.

Insbesondere während größeren Notfällen, würden viele Personen auch auf 115 zurückgreifen. Dies entlastet auch die 110/112 sowie siehe im nächsten Punkt.

- Was haben die Behörden davon?
Die Behörden bekommen einen besseren, Echtzeit Überlick über die Stimmungen der Bürger, Situation in den Städten, ebenso über Probleme und Trends. Dies ist sowohl für das Management der Verwaltung (z.B. Mißstände aufdecken, Performance Management, Personen zur Verantwortlichkeit zwingen), ebenso wie für die Politik sehr interessant. In NYC wurde durch die Daten aus den Anrufen etwa eine neue Verordnung für Lärm erlassen, ebenso wurden Budgets und Dienstleistungsverantwortungen umverteilt.

- Umsetzungen
Sicherlich braucht man ein Call Center, aber viele Aufgaben werden von der IT und nicht Personen übernommen, z.B. Ordnen der Anliegen, Weiterleitung der Anliegen. Wichtig ist, dass die Inhalte der “Knowledge Base” für die Call Center Mitarbeiter speziell angepasst werden (d.h. Sprache, etc.). Ebenso müssen die Prozesse analysiert und entsprechende Durchlaufzeiten bekannt sein. Dies sollte aber bereits im Rahmen von eGovernment Vorhaben geschehen sein. Wenn es im sogn. “Backoffice” nicht stimmt und kein kontinuierlicher Support von den politischen und administrativen Führungskräften gibt, dann wird so ein 115 Projekt kein großer Erfolg. Für die nötigen Veränderungen ist ihre Führungsfähigkeit von zentraler Bedeutung.

- Gläserner Bürger?
Für Anfragen spielt der Name der Bürger keine Rolle, außer er hat ein Anliegen und möchte zurückgerufen werden. Für Anmerkungen wie etwa Schlaglöcher spielt der Bürger ebenfalls keine Rolle. Wichtig ist der Ort des Schlaglochs was in keinem Zusammenhang mit dem Bürger stehen muss. Dennoch werden natürlich Anfragen, usw. im System gespeichert und so dass man doppelte Informationen - es können auch 10 Leute über das gleiche Schlagloch, den gleichen hängenden Ast, usw. informieren.

Andere Eigenschaften
- N-11/115 spart direkt keine Budgets für die Behörden! Es stellt einen weiteren Kostenfaktor dar! Allerdings können die Daten helfen an anderer Stelle Gelder einzusparen, Effizienz steigern oder einfach die Bürgerorientierung/Customerservice.
- 311 ist und 115 sollte kostenfrei sein
- 115 stellt ein weiteren Kanal neben dem Bürgeramt oder der Website zum Bürger hin dar.
- 115 schafft mehr Transparenz
- überbrückt die “Digital Divide”, d.h. ermöglicht auch nicht Internetusern einen leichten Zugang zu Behörden.
- viele Menschen bevorzugen für komplexe Fragen nach wie vor den menschlichen Kontakt

Durch die Transparenz, belegbaren Zahlen/Fakten steigt eher das Verständnis der Sachbearbeiter für die Bürger. Ebenso wird durch die Vorfeldanalysen, Trainings in Kundenservice und das nachgelagerte “Performance Management” ein anderer Wind durch die Verwaltungen wehen. Das kommt sehr unbemerkt, aber es kommt und das liegt vor allem an den Daten. Ebenso verfügen die Mitarbeiter im 115 Call Center nach einer Weile über ein besseres Verständnis der Bürgerbelange und die Komplexität bei verwaltungsübergreifenden Vorgängen, als die Mitarbeiter in den einzelnen Behörden. Das Silo wird sozusagen überbrückt.

Die Stadt NYC hatte 14.000 Durchwahlen, nun nur noch eine Nummer ! (die durchwahlen gibt es natürlich trotzdem noch für diejenigen die es anders wollen) und die immer komplexer werdende Verwaltung die ja bereits im Rahmen von Reformen (z.B. durch Public Private Partnerships) noch diffuser wird, ist für die wenigsten zu verstehen. Auch Verwaltungsmitarbeiter oder Bürgermeister nicht.

Government CRM - Citizen Relationship Management

Dezember 6th, 2007

While CRM has been researched and applied in private enterprises for years, it has only recently gained attention as a concept for government. Concurrent with the emergence of eGovernment and the general tendency of transferring more and more business concepts into the government domain, articles and studies started to address the topic. Many articles on eGovernment briefly address CRM when referring to aspects such as one-stop government or a multi-channel environment directly or indirectly. Besides CRM, authors introduce slightly altered terms like Citizen Relationship Management (CiRM), Constituent Relationship Management (CRM), Public Relationship Management (PRM) or Citizen Encounter and Relationship Management (CERM) to underline its government orientation and application.

Private sector CRM literature is highly fragmented and lacks a common conceptualization (Zablah/Bellenger/Johnston 2004). It is, therefore, somewhat unsurprising to find the same characteristics in its application to government. Truly sarcastic oberserves might say “garbage in, garbage out”. The literature on CiRM currently lacks a common definition, conceptualization and set of goals. I define Citizen Relationship Management (CiRM) as,

a strategy and set of management practices, enabled by technology with a broad citizen focus, to maintain and optimize relationships and encourage new forms of citizen participation.

Most articles on CiRM review private sector CRM, technological aspects (CRM systems) and expected benefits in government. There is a general agreement that many aspects of CRM are not sector-specific. However, they need to be translated into the context of each sector. Customer segmentation can serve administrators to identify those needing help or who are about to do so. Customer retention strategies can be directed at preventing citizen’s from using a service again. Yet, the termination of unprofitable customers, data mining, broadening the service range and thus choice, the issue of externalities or conceptualizing the citizen as customer are believed to be harder to transfer to government.

Another issue is that term CiRM is applied to describe any citizen-focused initiative or interaction. For instance, public service provision through an online portals are presented as successful CiRM projects. Administrators struggle with the lack of knowledge on CRM, in addition to their discomfort with CRM terminology. Public administrations, which claim to engage in CiRM, connect it to single customer service initiatives, online portals, electronic case management, call centers, physical one-stop service centers and CRM software. However, the literature offers little to no insights into organizational, cultural or process related changes in CiRM initiatives in terms of a holistic understanding of CRM.

King (2007) analyzed the results of the British CRM Pathfinder program (2001-02) and the CRM National Programme (2003-04). The majority of CRM projects focussed on adding CRM capabilities to call centers and one-stop shops. Participating municipalities can be in different stages of a proposed CRM development path which do not build upon each other. Therefore, a contact center and multi-channel environment may be realized without the changes towards a customer centric organization. In addition, there was little evidence for citizen analytics (segmentation, needs analysis), organizational changes (bridging departmental silos) or true multi-channel access. Janssen and Wagenaar (2002) found similar results and concluded that Dutch CiRM efforts are in an “embryonic stage”. Along these lines, in their survey of the status quo of CRM in German public administration, Bauer, Grether and Richter (2002) reported that the CRM elements implemented are far from meeting the holistic concept of CRM. Per-sonalization and a closer analysis of commonly used public services are frequent practices, while segmentation or profitability analyses remain untested concepts. Among the biggest barri-ers to exploring CRM, German administrations mention their lack of human resources and time constraints. In the United States, CiRM is mostly connected to 311 non-emergency number call center initiatives and innovations such as the performance management concept CITISTAT.

Based on some of these facts, I strongly recommend making sure to come up with a clear definition and concept of CiRM before communicating it throughout the organization and attempting an implementation.CiRM is more than a contact center and it is also different to eGovernment although both can certainly enrich each other.

Overview of U.S. and Canadian 311 city and county service center

November 26th, 2007

(Übersicht US und kanadische 311 Call Center)

I have created a mash-up of the U.S. and Canadian 311 projects (last update: 9/26/07) which I would like to share with you. There are currently around 70 service centers (311) in the U.S.. Most of the 311 projects have been realized on the municipal level and in most of the U.S. biggest cities. While 11 countys have decided to offer 311, not all of them are multi-jurisdictional, that is information and services from the municipalities within a county are not integrated. Furthermore, 311 services can have various levels of sophistication and may either be operated by the police department or by newly generated 311 service units/departments.

The first city to test 311 was Baltimore in 1996, however, it was Chicago which used 311 in 1999 in a much broader way for public service provision, city management and accountability. The City of Chicago’s 311 still is the first place to visit and learn from for many elected officials and public managers. Today, New York City is the biggest 311 implementation in the U.S. (size of the service center/ population served) and probably the most well known implementation due to the global media coverage it received. With a pop of approx. 5400 Alaska’s City of Bethel is the smallest place to use the number.

Except for the City of Somverille none of the cities in Massachusetts have implemented 311. Given the close proximity of cities in the greater Boston metro area its really hard to understand from a citizen’s perspective why there couldn’t be a single 311 solution for the whole area. After all, there would be around 3.6 million people less to serve than in NYC and there should be many information redundancies.

View Larger Map

Blue = Municipal 311 (Realized)
Red = County 311 (Realized)
Yellow = Planning or implementation stage
Green = 311 in Canada

If you know about new 311 projects please email me.

Finding Talent in Government

November 16th, 2007

Governments worldwide are facing three issues of importance. Many experienced administrators will retire which also results in a drain of knowledge. Furthermore, governments have to do more with less and be innovative by i.e. exploiting the benefits of ICT while at the same time cutting budgets. I recently read an article about new government recuriting methods which nicely illustrates Granovetter’s theory of weak ties for job finding and possible utilization of SNS in government.

“All over the country, municipalities are widely reporting that it’s hard to recruit city managers, technology directors, engineers and people with expertise in the fields of accounting and finance. States seem to be having a little easier time of it right now, especially if they are in the heady throes of gubernatorial transition. In Massachusetts and New York, private-sector experts in areas ranging from public health to homeland security have been enticed to lend a hand to ambitious new governors, even though it has meant putting another career on hold and taking a huge hit in salary […] When Antonio Villaraigosa became mayor of Los Angeles in 2005, his headhunters required all potential high-level aspirants to apply online, says his transition chief and now chief of staff, Robin Kramer. In the end, Villaraigosa ended up filling most of his top jobs the tried-and-true way: He approached people who were known to him or his top staff or who were referred by some other trusted source. “

In order to find the right people governments are increasingly tapping into headhunters, web based job platforms and certainly social networking sites like LinkedIn to widen their choice of possible candidates.

Government Outsourcing - Ask the citizen

September 7th, 2007

Saga Prefecture is located on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. Facing a budget crisis Mr. Furukawa, the newly elected governor, started one of Japan’s most ambitious reform programs in 2003. It included yearly budget cuts of 15% while at the same time allowing allowing granting departments more flexibility, an organizational redesign and cultural change towards citizen centricity. One of the latest innovative measures was the release of a list with 236 government areas/ processes in October 2006. The public was then asked for outsourcing/public private partnership proposals. Anyone was welcome to participate.

Hiroichi Kawashima, Saga’s CIO, and his team worked together with all departments to identify the outsourcing “candidates”. Their final list consisted of 236 areas/processes but the public was also allowed to make suggestions for the remaining 1791 areas/processes. The submission deadline ended in November 2006. Surprisingly, only 1/5 of proposals are directed at the 236 areas/processes identified by public servants. The team is currently reviewing the 361 proposals from individuals, NGO’s and non recognized organizations. Thereafter, the will announce which proposals have been accepted and will do a public tender. They are also discussing of doing a second round of proposal submissions.

I think this is a very unique way for governments to tap into the creativity and resources of their citizens. I will keep you posted about further developments.