Customer relationship management (CRM) is seen as a key element in delivering citizen-centric public services in the UK. However, CRM originated in the private sector as a technology to support customer acquisition, retention and extension (cross-selling). The appropriateness of this technology to organizations striving to meet complex goals such as improving the quality of life for vulnerable people is open to question. This paper uses the results of recent UK electronic government CRM programs to show that the focus for many local authorities has so far been systems integration, CRM-enabling call centers and the provision of routine transactions online. More advanced authorities are planning to use CRM to help them understand their citizens better. But more can be done. To this end, the paper proposes an alternative model of CRM progress which moves beyond transactions and customer insight and encourages citizens to co-produce the public services they consume. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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