4 governments that are doing CRM right

04 March 2014 | Gary Wachowicz, Industry Managing Director, Worldwide Public Sector

It’s impossible to thrive in The Age of the Customer without a solid customer relationship management (CRM) strategy. That’s why CRM spending has outpaced IT spending for several years—and why it will continue to be central to upcoming digital initiatives, according to Gartner. This is especially true for governments, whose main business is serving people. For you, it’s citizen relationship management that matters. This is a hot topic in Atlanta, Georgia, where 12,000 Microsoft Dynamics customers, partners, and leaders are gathering today at Convergence 2014. The event provides opportunities to learn from governments around the world who are doing citizen relationship management right. Here are four of the best.   


To increase communication with Panama’s 3.5 million citizens, the Panamanian president created the National Citizen Services Center of Panama. A countrywide 311 center, it gives citizens a 24/7/365 toll-free phone line, website, and email account where they can lodge complaints and make suggestions. Within months of deployment, the center reduced call times from minutes to seconds and was able to close more than 80 percent of cases in the short term—improving government-citizen relationships. Read the case study to learn about the RESPOND system, which was built on the Dynamics CRM platform by Microsoft partner, Rock Solid.

Commonwealth of Virginia, USA

In Virginia, across-the-board citizen services were improved through a new CRM system. Leaders initially deployed 20 apps to their 1,000 employees to improve diverse services such as processing applications through the governor’s office, responding to letters to the elections office, and creating plans for patients leaving the healthcare system. Check out the case study for details about how the new Dynamics CRM system helped the commonwealth strengthen its relationship with its citizens across multiple touch points. 

London, England, UK

To improve citizen service and satisfaction, the city of London turned to CRM to create a single, 360-degree view of each citizen—quite a feat in a city serving diverse constituencies including residents, visitors, businesses, embassies, and more than 300,000 daily commuters. Now when citizens reach out for services or to lodge complaints, service agents can see who they are, the city services they receive, and their history in one view. Agents use Dynamics CRM to answer 95 percent of calls within 20 seconds, with 75 percent of citizens rating their service as excellent. All the details are in the case study.

Grand Rapids, MI, USA

Like most cities, Grand Rapids is focused on the dual challenge of improving citizen service while reducing costs. To achieve both goals, the city created a 311 citizen services and information department. Using a phone line and Web portal, citizens submit more than 250 types of requests and inquiries to any of 30 departments, and then return to the portal to track the progress of their requests. The Dynamics CRM system was rolled out to the first two departments in just five days thanks to the Microsoft 311 Service Center Accelerator, which offers a pre-built framework. For more on how they did it, see the case study.

Follow the lead of these governments and foster great citizen relationships using CRM solutions. Not only will CRM help you meet your citizens’ needs, but it will also help you meet their skyrocketing expectations. Deloitte predicts—I think correctly—that future citizens will expect their leaders to listen to and collaborate with them. Being passive recipients of services will no longer be enough—they’ll want to be co-creators with their governments. Sounds like a relationship to me—one that depends upon a solid citizen relationship management strategy.

Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Or e-mail us at ongovernment@microsoft.com.

Gary Wachowicz
Industry Managing Director, Worldwide Public Sector

About the Author

Gary Wachowicz | Industry Managing Director, Worldwide Public Sector

Gary provides global strategic support to government agencies, and works with Microsoft partners and their government customers to optimize agency operations and citizen services. Read more