Mobile apps could save time for citizens and caseworkers, and reduce agencies’ cost to serve
ARLINGTON, VA; Dec. 30, 2014 – Nearly half (46 percent) of the recipients of assistance from human services agencies surveyed by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) across the United States say they would likely download and use a mobile application for obtaining services. This finding suggests that significant benefits in time savings for both citizens and caseworkers may be achievable through the greater use of mobile applications. When survey respondents were asked if they would be interested in mobile access to such day-to-day activities as checking their benefits, applying for assistance or submitting questions to caseworkers, the number of those who said they would likely use a mobile app jumped to 64 percent.
According to the survey, the most common means of citizen interaction with social services agencies currently is via telephone (32 percent), followed by in-person office visits (23 percent). When they do make office visits, nearly half the respondents (49 percent) said they are able to get the answers they need in a reasonable amount of time, while 46 percent said they experience long wait times. Only 9 percent of respondents, on average, say they make use of websites for dealing with their human services-related activities.
“The benefits of convenience and time savings associated with mobile applications address the biggest pain points people associate with visiting human services offices,” said Debora Morris, managing director, Accenture Integrated Social Services. “Mobile applications also can provide potential benefits to agencies to reduce costs to serve citizens while freeing up caseworkers for higher value-added activities. We estimate that an average-sized U.S. state human services agency could save around $14 million annually by deploying mobile apps for citizens.”
Interestingly, the survey found that the likelihood of middle-aged respondents (35-49 years old) using human services mobile apps is on par with Millennials (18-34 years old). When presented with a variety of potential possibilities for handling specific human services-related activities, 78 percent of middle-aged respondents and 82 percent of Millennials said they would likely use mobile apps.
Learn more about the survey, Accenture and Delivering Public Service for the Future.
Accenture surveyed 500 citizens receiving social services in the U.S. states of California, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and North Carolina and Ohio during mid-2014, via telephone interviews. The research was fielded by Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) to gauge interest in mobile applications by individuals currently receiving social services. The overall margin of error for the study is ±4.38 percentage points.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 319,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
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