During the years of the dot-com hype, the Internet was believed to be the ideal service channel. Based on its cost efficiency and some communicative characteristics it was believed that it would render the other service channels, such as the telephone and front desks, obsolete. Yet instead of replacing the traditional channels, Internet simply became an addition to the existing service repertoire. Nowadays many governmental organizations struggle with the management of their multiple service channels. In many cases the Internet did not lead to a decline in the use of the traditional channels, and therefore hardly any cost reductions were realized. Further, citizens appear to prefer different channels for different situations. In this chapter we present an overview of channel usage by citizens as well as various governmental channel management strategies. We pay special attention to the currently popular perspective on multi-channel management. However, multi-channel management is ambiguous, in the sense that a number of different views on multi-channeling exist. We discuss the various perspectives and argue why governmental agencies should focus on integrated multi-channel management strategies.
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