Providing a single mode of communication is no longer acceptable for delivering services, whether for a leading retail company or a government agency. The majority of today’s communication takes place across digital channels, with the voice channel increasingly moving down the list as a preferred mode of communication. Mobile devices ─ specifically smartphones ─ are now a preferred method of access. According to a 2019 Pew Research survey, “46% of smartphone owners say when using the internet, they mostly do so on their phone. This represents a double-digit increase from 2013, when 34% of these users said this.”
Today, most Americans are smartphone-dependent, and for many, a smartphone provides their only access point to the internet. This reliance on smartphones also means that people are more likely to use them for tasks traditionally reserved for computers. Therefore, to fully meet the needs of every citizen when delivering services, government agencies are increasingly focused on implementing an omnichannel experience, with mobile enablement at its foundation.
There are a number of important elements that agencies should consider when building out a mobile strategy for their digital channels:
- A great UX is key to a great citizen experience (CX). If you launch a digital tool or application that performs poorly or doesn’t have an easy-to-use interface, it will not be widely accepted, and citizen trust will be diminished as a result. To avoid this, start out by working with user experience (UX) designers and process experts, and most of all, putting the application through rigorous accessibility testing to ensure that it’s delivering what is promised.
- If you build it, they will come. If you build out mobile capabilities for your digital channels, you have to let people know they exist. This is where you can use your traditional channels to share that these tools are available and information on how to access them. They should also be built into your larger communications strategy that you use to reach and inform the public about your agency and its programs.
- Keep developing. Devices and operating systems change, design schemes change, and user habits are constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date on changes and upgrades to the digital platforms that you use on your channels. It’s also crucial to embrace new digital technologies and study the habits of your users so that you can adopt and adapt your mobile strategy to them. User habits are continually evolving, so ensuring that you’re providing capabilities across the channels that they use is a key component of achieving true omnichannel experience.
71% of online minutes in the U.S. are spent on mobile devices. There is no doubt that people prefer and expect to use mobile when engaging with government, whether via a mobile-responsive website or a proprietary mobile app. It’s an imperative for government to expand service delivery strategies beyond traditional channels in order to continue to serve the people.
Maximus helps agencies design and deliver program- and mission-specific mobile enablement strategies that meet the growing expectations of the people they serve. From application development to AI-enabled intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs), we have a broad portfolio of capabilities that enables a true omnichannel citizen experience.