Expert says CRM is flourishing in government

'Agencies are in the forefront of CRM,' although few people have noticed, Jill Dych' says.

Customer relationship management technology is quietly blossoming at federal, state and local agencies, according to Jill Dych', vice president of management consulting for Baseline Consulting Group of Sherman Oaks, Calif.

'Agencies are in the forefront of CRM,' although few people have noticed, said Dych', author of The CRM Handbook and e-Data: Turning Data into Information with Data Warehousing.

At your service

Dych', who has worked as a consultant to the Michigan state government and other agencies, spoke at a forum last month sponsored by SAS Institute Inc. of Cary, N.C.

She said a recent survey by Input Inc. of Chantilly, Va., predicted federal CRM spending will rise 18 percent annually, to more than $520 million by 2006.

Forces driving agencies to use CRM include fraud avoidance, the Government Paperwork Elimination Act of 1998 and the demand for constituent satisfaction, Dych' said.

She gave a checklist for agencies considering a CRM project:
  • Understand the CRM objectives and the privacy constraints.

  • Know who the project's internal sponsor is.

  • Define goals and measurement standards.

  • Figure out the other applications or systems with which CRM must integrate.

  • Train all workers in their new behaviors and make sure they understand what will constitute success.

Dych' described a portal run by the city of Des Moines, Iowa, which Web-automated its call center with a drop-down menu that makes it easy for residents to submit questions or complaints.

Dych' also praised the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for creating a 'classic CRM system' that tags people who haven't renewed their annual hunting and fishing licenses for follow-up contact.

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