Developing a 'Customer Centric Focus' in English County Councils
Since the late 1990s there has been a UK Government drive for Local Authorities to make their services more accessible, which in turn led to an E-Government agenda with specific Priority Service Outcomes. The UK Local e-Government Standards Body (LeGSB re launched 2006) was established to support the needs of Local Authorities and the Transformational Government agenda. One of those key agenda items is to provide a ' customer centric' joined-up service with partners’. Whilst this ‘customer centric’ or customer relationship management (CRM) approach has been evident within the private sector for some time now it has recently attracted considerable interest from the public sector, specifically within the local government sector. The research paper seeks to identify how and why English County Councils have implemented CRM systems. Whilst there is pressure form Central Government to introduce CRM in Local Authorities, it is not the overwhelming reason why Councils have done so. The research data suggests that in the majority of cases, English County Councils have implemented CRM with a clear vision and definition of what CRM means for their organisation. The CRM implementations are clearly aligned to the organisational strategy and although CRM is not at the centre of the organisation there is considerable senior management and executive buy-in to CRM. The evidence suggests that organisational change is really starting to take place as CRM is being embedded into the County Councils, not only through call-centres but also into the back-office through integrations and electronic workflows.
Keywords: e-Government, CRM, e-Business
Director of E-Business Masters Award, Business School, Staffordshire University
East Staffordshire Borough Council