In today’s fast-paced and high-technology world, people have higher and higher expectations that their local, state and federal agencies will provide outstanding service. However, a lot of agencies struggle with delivering decent public experiences. And this can be especially true in the correspondence management area.
That is why, now, more and more agencies are adopting a modern correspondence management solution to fulfill their correspondence needs and to avoid communication bottlenecks. A cloud-based, modern correspondence management solution can help streamline existing processes and reduce IT overhead while empowering government staff members to provide outstanding service to citizens and stick to compliance regulation such as FOIA (Freedom of Information Act).
What Can a Modern Correspondence Management Solution Yield in Government?
To better understand what a modern correspondence management solution deliver for government agencies, Armedia partnered with ArkCase, a leading company in case management, correspondence management, and customer service.
Many government agencies process hundreds some even thousands of requests each day. With all the demands and inquiries from the citizenry, some serious challenges arise regarding correspondence management.
You have likely confronted communication bottlenecks in your system, regardless of your level of government. Maybe it’s stacks of mailboxes for an upcoming administration with no directions as to how to proceed. Maybe it’s protracted outages due to old broken systems. Email chains with plenty of attachments to keep track of? These are everyday scenarios that make it hard to handle frequent requests. Why?
Why is it Hard to Handle Frequent Requests?
For one thing, multiple departments must approve many requests for government agencies before being processed. A single request may also lead to multiple requests throughout an agency. The request goes to various approval chains, and if the agencies live in a single email system to handle that activity, then that can become a big issue. With so many revision departments on a single request, it becomes hard to communicate in a timely fashion and to respond to the public requests efficiently.
Secondly, many government agencies have on-premises case file systems and email systems that are different and lack compatible platforms to help handle requests. Hardware systems do not integrate with third-party vendor systems and usually require regular maintenance. Hence, staff members have to process information from these systems manually. However, they lack the big-picture on the entire process of the request. Therefore, they only have pieces of the puzzle. This can eventually lead to unnecessary back and forth between staff members trying to find point persons on the request and status. This is exhausting!
Additionally, the number of requests that are low-level can build up over time since there’s not self-service or faster way for staff members to interact with this type of correspondence. A simple public inquiry can get lost in the trenches (for example, checking the status of a passport) since there’s no single system that can prioritize and organize correspondence accordingly. Moreover, this can lead to severe security issues as citizens’ identifiable information can be passed back and forth between different systems or end up in a folder under piles of paperwork.
Such security issues lead to more challenges for correspondence management in government agencies (including compliance with federal laws). That is why government agencies need modern correspondence management solution that complies with federal regulations (such as the FedRAMP which requires agencies to use low-impact and low-risk cloud solutions). Government agencies legally must comply with such regulations. And if they fail to do so, that can lead to serious issues, like data breaches or loss of trust from the public for failing to protect sensitive data.
The Solution: Modern Correspondence Management
To overcome the challenges mentioned above, government agencies need a modern correspondence management solution that can streamlines processes and protects sensitive data while delivering better public services. Such a solution can help your agency carry out high-quality correspondence management and public service delivery.
Picture this: A citizen makes a request. The system automatically processes and routes it to the right staff member to address the request based on their subject matter expertise. Employees can find all the data they need to be connected to the request instead of having to dig through a heap of paperwork or different computer systems to dig out the data.
Each request guides the staff member through the correspondence process. That way, they know where they left off and do not have to guess what step comes next. Then, document templates can generate content automatically which the cloud also saves for use with collaboration across departments.
With a modern correspondence management solution, department heads will no longer have to throw assignments over a wall and then wait for a response. With such solution, employees can communicate and collaborate in real time, get insights from their team, and stay on top of deadlines.
In the meantime, citizens will no longer have to wait for a prolonged response. They will receive notifications, or they can monitor the progress of their request, browse current requested documents and ask questions. Back at the agency, the system completes the requests and makes them ready for review. A modern correspondence management knows precisely who to notify for review, approval, and signature. And once signed, the requestor will receive the correspondence.
Benefits of Modern Correspondence Management Solution
A modern correspondence management solution can improve your agency’s efficiency, productivity, responsiveness, and service to citizens. With such modern solutions, your government agency can benefit in the following ways.
Manage the Complexity of Requests
Modern correspondence management solutions can help your agency manage the entire lifecycle of the requests while keeping track of the approval processes. Instead of having to go through various on-premises files and systems to retrieve some documents or to see who is on the team for a certain request, a modern solution can streamline all the processes and people linked to that request. Moreover, modern correspondence management solutions can automatically remind staff members who work on a request for incoming tasks. That enables them to finish the requests in a more timely fashion (instead of having them to comb through information manually).
Outstanding Service and User Experience
Your agency needs a platform that is consistent across known systems. A modern correspondence management solution offers integration (with collaboration) and productivity tools that your agency already has in place, allowing staff members to easily and promptly learn the technology.
Transparency and Accountability (with more Visibility) on Requests
The public expects consistency with responses to their requests. It doesn’t matter if they make a request through email, web portal, or phone call; a modern solution can help your agency to consistently handle the requests by providing all staff members with a view of the current correspondence process. Staff can see, for example, where precisely requests are and what has been said about them. Furthermore, citizens are able to track the progress of their requests.
Comply with Federal Regulations
Government agencies need to secure the leading position of what modern technology offers. A modern correspondence management solution allows for integration with systems already known to agency staff members while taking advantages of the cloud. What’s more, a modern correspondence management solution can fulfill all of this while maintaining compliance with federal laws and regulations.
To Wrap It Up
A modern correspondence management solution can help your agency avoid communication bottlenecks by streamlining work processes for handling requests. And that will allow your agency to deliver efficient responses in a more timely fashion, to maintain visibility and accountability for the teams involved in a request, and to stick to important federal regulations. Such modern solutions can provide your government agency with tools that will help you stay agile by delivering fast and on-time correspondence (while meeting and exceeding citizen expectations).