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South Africa's government was found to have the worst customer service delivery in a study of 22 countries, consulting firm Accenture said on Tuesday.
This was a move down for government from 2005 when Brazil was the last-placed country.
The report, Leadership in Customer Service: Delivering on the Promise, is the eighth one in a series from Accenture that examines the customer-service challenges, maturity and practices of governments.
The firm commented on lowest ranking countries: "Their service performance seems to be headed in a downward direction. These countries are in greatest need of a dramatic intervention to turn the tide of current opinion."
Meanwhile, Singapore's government emerged at the top of the list, followed closely by Canada and the US.
A strong combination of innovative customer-centric vision, entrepreneurial attitude and an aggressive approach to implementation were credited by Accenture for Singapore's showing.
Seah Chin Sion, Accenture's Asia-Pacific managing director for government practice, told The Business Times that combining excellent front-end customer service with a robust technology infrastructure and a highly-trained workforce is what allows governments to deliver better service to citizens.
"This sets the new benchmark for governments around the world to be on the leading edge of customer service," Seah said.
For the first time, the rankings included direct citizen feedback to access the quality of government service delivery.