While we all see digital inclusion as a required push for government, I can’t help feeling that the push to get broadband everywhere is driven by the technology providers (what about tethered mobiles or dongles?). It also focuses on a relatively small proportion of the populace: the majority can use digital channels, and many of them want to. In that light, it’s good to see a debate starting on the potential additional costs of digital channels and the requirement to shift customers to high value, low cost-to-serve channels.
I was talking with a school friend earlier in the week who is tasked with implementing new contact channels and services across a London council. He said that email was not a preferred channel, as the cost to serve was equivalent to face-to-face. The real saving was in web forms that interface directly with the council’s systems, exactly as Ian Cuddy’s analysis of the data supporting the Economic Case for Digital Inclusion report.