We see European online public services advance – in terms of online availability and available support and help functions. It’s steady growth, incremental.
At the same time, we see technology advance at speed of light and opening up incredible opportunities that make ‘online life’ easier and more intuitive for users.
And what are the impacts of public efforts? Use of eGovernment services is flattening (according to Eurstat) and satisfaction levels are just above 6 (out of 10).
The contrast is clear. Citizens and entrepreneurs have rising expectations and the challenge for governments to respond is growing.
The eGovernment Benchmark signals three essential elements that characterize futureproof eGovernment services:
1. Mobile-friendly & flexible. Have you ever opened a public website on your mobile device? Try. We found 1 in 4 public websites in Europe is not mobile friendly. If you live in the UK the chances are much better – as gov.uk designs its websites ‘mobile by default’.
2. Open and transparent. Besides cutting red tape, a very important element of improving the user experience is the transparency of the service process. How long will it take me to complete? Which step am I? When will government respond? At the moment only 1 in 3 public websites do this. Informing online users makes their life easier, and their online journey simpler.
3. Personalised & simplified. Registering your data once with public authorities, and not having to fill in that data again and again and again when using online forms. Smart re-use of data could even reduce the number of required steps a customer has to take. However, in 45% of cases where relevant personal data is pre-filled in online forms. On average, 3% of services is delivered ‘automatically’. Room for improvement is evident.
Satisfied customers will return to use online services. And spread the word. Happy customers do not send complaints, do not ask questions over phone or visit your offices. All outcomes that require time from public servants. These users, and the smart use of technology and data by public authorities, determine if eGovernment can deliver on its potential: better quality services at lower costs.