January 09, 2017

Canadian Citizens Want to Be Consulted by Government to Determine Future of Services, Accenture Survey Finds

Survey findings reveal generational divide on citizens’ expectations of how government engages them

TORONTO; Jan. 9 – Canadians want their government to consult with them directly when determining future enhancements to government services, according to a survey conducted on behalf of Accenture, which asked Canadians to rank top priorities for the future of government services.

Respondents to the online survey were asked to identify which of following five actions related to the provision of government services was most important to them: Providing more services online; Engaging the public personally more often to determine the future of government services; Matching or exceeding commercial service levels; Providing access to more services from a smartphone; and Putting more emphasis on the face-to-face experience.

Personally engaging citizens more frequently to determine the future of government services was cited most often by nearly half (48 percent) of respondents, followed closely by ‘Providing more services online,’ ‘Matching or exceeding commercial services levels’ and ‘Putting more emphasis on the face-to-face experience,’ at 45 percent, 45 percent and 44 percent, respectively. ‘Improving access to government services via smartphone’ was cited least often, at 17 percent.

“Canadians’ expectations of government service and interaction continue to evolve and the bar is getting higher daily as online and mobile technology changes how we work and live across every generation,” said Dave Telka, a managing director in Accenture’s Public Service practice in Canada. “The move toward a more digitally enabled citizen base is only getting stronger, and Canadians’ expectations for services are influenced by what they’re experiencing for commercial transactions such as online banking, Uber or Amazon. In this digital era, when citizens are looking at how government offers services, citizens are expecting to have a similar customer experience."

The underlying findings demonstrated clear generational preferences, reflecting a shift toward greater digital engagement with the younger generations. Specifically:

“For now, Boomers prefer in-person experiences but are moving to adapting to new online experiences, while Millennials want more online experiences and are more willing to leave personal interactions behind, and Gen X’ers want to have it all, bridging between the personal and online government service experiences,” Telka said. “This will change in the coming years, as more and more Boomers and Gen X’ers have increasingly positive digital customer experiences. As a result, government must stay directly engaged with each of these groups in order to be able to design personalized services that meet their citizens’ needs.”

The survey results also reveal that priorities for the enhancement of government services vary by region, where there might be differing expectations from, and experiences with, various levels of government. In particular:

Ipsos, on behalf of Accenture, conducted an online poll of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ between Nov 11 and 15, 2016. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census information. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the results are considered accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all Canadians been polled.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 394,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

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Theresa Ebden
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