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Accenture Completes Global Study Showing Citizens Share Personal Data for Enhanced Customer Services; Eyal Darmon Quoted

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Accenture has released a global study, showing that the majority of citizens are willing to share personal information with government agencies in exchange for better service, the company announced on Wednesday. 

“In recent years governments have taken positive steps to secure and protect citizen and organizational data. However, corresponding regulatory measures have at times also prevented government agencies from using customer data in innovative ways to enhance customer service,” said Eyal Darmon, managing director in Accenture’s Health and Public Service.

Accenture conducted the study based on a survey of more than 6,500 respondents across 11 countries in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. The results found that 41 percent of respondents were satisfied with the level of interaction received from government departments over the last year, 58 percent said they are not aware of a way to share service-related feedback with government agencies.

Additionally, 84 percent of respondents said they are open to sharing their personally identifiable information with a government department in exchange for a more personalized customer service experience. 

78 percent of citizens said they see benefits to using virtual agents, AI-enabled customer-service assistants or chatbots, to receive services from government agencies. 47 percent said they would like to complete some transactions using virtual agents.

Half of respondents said they believe their query could be resolved in the shortest possible time using a virtual agent, and 49 percent anticipated benefits from the 24/7 access to government services. 41 percent of respondents said the use of virtual agents would reduce their need to wait for a human customer service agent to become available to assist them.

“Unfortunately, early investments in chatbots generally haven’t delivered the transformation that government agencies expected, often because agencies didn’t fully consider a citizen’s experience in engaging with a chatbot or what activities a chatbot is capable of undertaking to support the mission of the organization,” Darmon said.

The survey additionally included country comparisons of respondents answers from Singapore, Norway, Finland and Austria, reporting that 88 percent of respondents from Norway and Finland are willing to share their personally identifiable information with a government department in exchange for a more personalized customer service experience. 79 percent of respondents from the U.S. felt the same.

“Our research found that citizens support the use of advanced AI-enabled virtual agents by government agencies. Clearly, an opportunity exists for governments to use virtual agents to broaden their services and enhance customer experience.”

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 505,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives.