The Senate’s recent enquiry into the Digital Delivery of Government Services highlighted the need to digitise and drive process improvements within government services. It’s less well known that understanding user experience can re-engineer government services entirely. After all, a key tenet of government is to achieve the best results for the Australian community.
Improving the digital delivery of public services involves not only digitising paper workflows but creating public services that align with customer needs and wants. This is only possible when we understand the user experience today, set our sights on better outcomes and map a path to achieve them using the most advanced digital tools and innovations.
The value of customer-centricity
While government does use digital as an engagement channel, the real goal is to provide the end user with an experience that improves their quality of life. Designing new products and solutions that re-configure the delivery of services needs a strategic approach. Using customer experience as our guide, the new focus is:
- How do Australians experience government services?
This customer-centred approach places the user at the centre of our enquiry and asks:
- How does this service benefit our citizens?
- Can we use digital tools to improve outcomes for Australians and deliver real value in their lives?
The value of data analytics
Change management, business analysis and strategic planning pivot on the customer and their experience. When we capture our community’s expectations and experience through data analytics, we can gather insights from every customer touchpoint. Website visits, phone calls and in-person transactions all provide data and clues as to what Australians need.
Striving to understand our customers through these interactions can inform business decisions, drive efficiencies and create better services and outcomes. Placing the customer at the centre of business planning creates a good foundation for sound decision-making. In fact, digital transformation is helping achieve mission success across the public sector around the world.
Improving community outcomes using data and technology
One government program that has improved outcomes for its citizens using technology is the City of Boston’s Summer Youth Employment Participation (SYEP) program. Boston’s SYEP subsidises more than 10,000 summer youth jobs each year. Mayor Martin J Walsh wanted to improve economic mobility in Boston.
Mayor Walsh recognised that helping more youth into summer jobs would increase their work success after graduation, reduce crime, improve job skills and enhance their finances. He used digital services and new technology to create better outcomes for his young constituents. Also, helping more youth into summer jobs would improve the quality of life for the community as a whole.
The design process began with a workshop asking students about their needs from a summer job, as well as their expectations of the SYEP digital portal. Students said they wanted a summer job that matched their needs in four key areas.
The right job is:
- Of interest to them.
- One they’re qualified for.
- Easy to get to.
- Close by.
The new SYEP digital platform uses an algorithm to streamline job-to-student matching. According to Alicia Rouault, the project’s Digital Services Manager:
‘Embedding youth feedback into the algorithmic design, the job matching process greatly improved the quality of the offers made to young people, and provided staff with an automated, data-driven hiring process.’
Two years on, Youth Jobs Boston’s have achieved an increase in job acceptance rates, reduced staff administration and positive responses from employers and students.
Customer segmentation of needs drives service innovation
Government is Australia’s largest service orientated business. It interacts with more Australians, in more ways, than any other business.
A digital leader who recognises the need to segment and target government services to a diverse community, is Mayank Prakash, Chief Digital and Information Officer at the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (WPM).
The WPM spends £6 billion running the DWP and supporting 22 million British citizens. Prakash says he’s committed to enhancing customer experiences to improve outcomes for the community. Yet the DWP doesn’t employ a one size fits all approach. They use active segmentation to target DWP services and achieve the best outcomes.
Prakesh has employed a two-pronged strategic approach to digital transformation:
- Run the DWP more efficiently, saving hundreds of millions of pounds (approximately 30%). For example, enabling 8 million British citizens to check their pension statements on line, has reduced administration costs significantly.
- Focus on forward-looking products and innovation, by designing more products to re-invent the business.
Achieving strategic outcomes by listening to customers
Strategy is simply a vision of what you want to achieve, supported by a plan to get there. In the past, much government strategy focused on developing policies to move Australians toward an ideal outcome. The process now begins in reverse. Asking Australians what they want and need and mapping this against the government’s vision produces a gap analysis. Digital innovation is the tool that will close this gap. The question now is: How?
The changing face of customer expectations
Technological advances have changed customers’ expectations of government organisations. Customers today demand immediate access to information on their mobile devices. They aren’t willing to comply with government processes that require time-consuming paperwork and long drawn out decisions.
Organisations that insist on manual procedures frustrate and alienate their customers. Government agencies that treat their customers as an individual and use analytics to streamline exchanges will achieve better outcomes.
Most critically, listening to customers will allow organisations to improve the fit of their services with Australians’ needs through continual iteration and optimisation.
Designing experiences that move customers
Mobiddiction works with Government and Enterprise and develops innovative digital solutions that improve outcomes for Australians. Our in-house services include technology consulting, strategy, design, development and ongoing support. We’ve developed a range of mobility solutions for Australian government including:
- NSW Department of Primary Industries, Shark Smart Mobile App: Helps swimmers, surfers and other water users in NSW to be aware of how to minimise the risk of being in waters where Sharks may be present.
- NSW National Parks, Wild About Whales Mobile App: Enhances the whale watching experience by providing up to date information about sightings, species and facilitates sharing among users.
- NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Get Permission Mobile App: Promotes the safe and legal practice of recreational hunting on private and public land.
We combine strategic thinking with in-depth technology knowledge and develop products that enhance outcomes for Australians. We can work with you to understand your customers, your vision, your current workflow and streamline it, using the most advanced technology available. We’re committed to providing better outcomes for your customers. Enhancing public services using advanced technology can improve the well-being of all Australians.
Mobiddiction is Australia’s award-winning team of android developers, technologists, UX and UI designers, strategists and project managers. We build and support large scale Government & Enterprise digital and mobile programs of work. Technologically we are smart and can pretty much deliver anything within the digital space. More important than this, it is our understanding of how technology can bring customer experiences to life that truly sets us apart from the rest.
To find out more call (02) 9262 1363 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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