More engagement = better services?

Organization from the professional service sector also uses social media technologies that help them to success with achieving benefits. In this week’s blog, I am going to talk about the relationship/interaction between the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and their social media (particularly focus on blog, twitter, and wikis today) usage.

As we all known, ATO is an Australian government statutory agency who respond in Australian federal taxation system, superannuation system, Australian business register and co-responding for tertiary education loan system in Australia.

 

As part of ATO’s online services, they are aiming to communicate with the community in different ways. Based on their websites information and research, they have launched three more channels of communication via social media platform;

Twitter- latest updates on new measures, changes to legislation, reminders of due dates, system outages, upcoming events and new products;

Facebook- updates on a wide range of important information you need to know about your tax and superannuation;

YouTube- videos on various tax administration topics to keep you up to date with what’s new and important for you to know about your tax and super.

Also, ATO has a site under Wikipedia, talking about its history, organization structure, strategy direction, performance and etc.

According to ATO’s latest annual report, there were over 9,270 followers in Twitter, and this figure increased to 15,080 (accessed on 12/09/13) in 2013. However, it is found that there are almost no comments under each tweet, which means it is only a way to share information that already exist to the public but rarely “communicate” with the community. Even though ATO itself has the positive view of their community engagement process, I personally still think it is not enough. For example, there is no blog been used as a second source of service guide, and limit communicate interact even in the twitter. Maybe that is because of its characteristic as a governmental agency which presents legislation and/or government. Thus, each activity/reply in the Twitter should not been on behalf of the employee who is behind the screen, which lets the communication actually being harder and too official.

ATO cares about social technics and communication with the community. Relates these social technologies engagement to value levers that mentioned by McKinsey Global Institute, 2012, the most related one is to improve collaboration and communication. Yes, ATO is encouraging the public to communicate with them by using Twitter and other social media platform as talked above. They contributes to increase their speed of any legislation changes, new announcement published and launches new product. Maybe there is a briar in the way of communication and collaboration, but it is much better. Further, social platform, for instance, Twitter, also helps to gather information. There is no doubt that, Twitter helps ATO collect information from the public and also provide the feedback of their services. It should be noticed that, ATO conducts interviews and primary research with end user while these platforms as well.

 

So, does implementation of more social technologies equal to better professional service? In ATO’s case, I think it is, but it can be better.

Thanks for reading and look forward any comment.

Chuan

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