What challenges do Government organisations in Australia face when trying to transform the Customer Experience?

Revium was recently invited to facilitate two round table discussions at the Public Sector Network ‘Digital Government & CX Series’ 2018 conference in Melbourne to discuss the challenges government departments face in undertaking digital service transformations. Overall, 40 individuals from local government through to federal government joined with the Revium Customer Experience (CX) team to share their challenges and learn from others who have overcome their own challenges to move forward in human-centred digital service delivery.

Interestingly, but not surprising, was the commonality of challenges faced by government departments as with large and small private organisations. CX understanding and representation of value, as well as a culture of bureaucracy has seen many organisations stalled on their hopes of delivering to customers in more convenient and meaningful ways, particularly online.

We explore here some of the common challenges faced by our participants on the day, how other Government departments themselves had overcome similar challenges, and how Revium recommend overcoming some of these obstacles.


What is the current experience and how can we improve?

Many of the participants we spoke to agreed that a key challenge to transforming the customer experience was their respective organisations don’t have a culture of seeking feedback or researching users to understand and better the customer experience.

Going to citizens and learning what can be done better and how they would like to be served is not in the DNA of these departments, but it’s a crucial first step in any organisational transformation.  

Revium recommends - Building a baseline understanding of the current customer experience and who the people are you serve is a crucial first step in undertaking a Customer Experience transformation in any organisation. And organisations have much to gain from investing in this research – There are significant things to learn, such as where an organisation might get its best bang for buck.

We don't have the funding for CX

With a low level of CX understanding and a resistance to change decades old ways of working, our participants found it hard to make the case for sufficient funding to undertake work that was seen as intangible or at odds with how things have always been done.

Our participants shared some examples of how they had used small case studies to prove out the value of CX work.

CX activities and new ways of working don’t need to be expensive – take opportunities to seize on small opportunities to apply some Human Centred Design or CX methodologies.  Use these to build a mini case study or proof point for your organisation to show how simple and effective these activities were.

Revium recommends - Government departments are under pressure to deliver more for less – CX research helps to expose where limited funds are best spent to get the best value for money. In many cases digitisation of experiences leads to a reduction of dependency on phone and face to face services, resulting in long term cost savings.

Trying to connect or replace legacy technology and systems is cumbersome and cost prohibitive

Government departments have identified the opportunity to digitise the citizen experience, as well as standardise and share information between departments to make the experience more effortless for users. However, these traditionally siloed organisations have developed their own technology solutions and processes to do their work – making it difficult to get these systems talking to one another, or costly to overhaul the ecosystems entirely.  

Some of our participants agreed from experience that the best way to tackle this dilemma is often to try proving out the business case with the use of simple prototyping.  Digital overhauls can be costly, but in many cases there can be a positive return on investment, both through cost savings and improved customer and user experience.  Prototyping and testing with real users can ensure the investment in technology overhauls will have positive benefits to the organisation.

Revium recommends - Prototyping can be a quick and very efficient way of proving out an idea or concept - Some low-fi prototypes can be built and tested with users in just a day or two. Dont overthink it, it doesn't need to be perfect - It just needs to test and validate your hypotheses and prove out the case for further work. 

To learn more about how Revium can help your government, private or not for profit overcome transformation challenges or take your Customer Experience to the next level, contact us today.

Written by Stephen Luke - Revium Customer Experience Designer 

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