Putting the citizen at the heart of everything: Improving service

In a world where the benchmark for a modern consumer experience is forever on the up – and people’s expectations rising with it – it’s now an absolute imperative to provide a consistently outstanding citizen journey across every single one of your organisation’s touchpoints.

Putting the citizen at the heart of everything: Improving service

Shifting the dial on your cost-to-serve, while improving service standards

We have already touched on the need to automate processes, but the warning here is to not “over bank” the benefits. There must be a careful balance between a dividend for the government (cost-to-serve reductions), to the citizen (ability to really be available to help those in need, so they don’t slip through the cracks), and that your people have space to review, innovate and improve your services year-on-year.

A critical supporting element here is the insight that a well-designed data intelligence environment can provide. It all starts with thinking about data, measurement and optimisation upfront – the solution must be designed to capture the information you need. The fundamentals are the key operational elements: visibility of throughput, turnaround times, channel adoption and realising the benefits you expect. But the big game in town is how this translates to your ability to predict trends and spot peaks and troughs early, so you can adapt and ensure your teams are ready for what lies ahead.

It is also vital too that we all accept the value of AI. It may well start with a simple process to make a knowledge base available online, but the major prize is where an adaptive learning model is applied. Part of this is being brave enough to make this public, but it’s also a great enabler of change with your people: if it passes their litmus test, you can be more comfortable it will work for citizens. Leveraging this capability also quickly starts to help you provide better accessibility and Te Reo translation that allow you to reach more citizens.

Productive people are engaged and motivated to really deliver on your purpose. Making space for them to do what they enjoy (helping those in need) and support your desire to go from good to great (ongoing micro-revolutions in service design) will have the payback for government, our tangata whenua and the people you hire.

Maintaining the sanctity of the private citizen information you work with

Security and data privacy have to be front and centre as you embark on any change. We don’t need progress to be stifled by the front page of The Dominion Post. Any dent to citizens or a minister’s confidence can mean a sudden halt to the great progress we could be making.

When it comes to setting up for success, it all starts with “privacy by design” which in layperson’s terms means privacy is central, alongside the experience you want to provide for citizens and your people.  It is not just about login credentials and it is not something that gets done later when you need to take a service management platform live.

We have a couple of key techniques to consider here. First of all, in a digital world where we can automate process that are “green” (meeting the require conditions to progress), we simply don’t need anyone to actually access and look at the citizen’s information. In fact, our design would ensure security only allows access to a case that requires personal attention due to it being an exception. 

The second element is how we automate the exchange of citizen information between agencies. To do this we need to manage what a citizen has authorised (which agencies will they allow sharing between) and what information exchange “contracts” are in place between agencies (indicating the type of request and the specific data to exchange). Finally, we wrap this all with extreme transparency for the citizen, with visibility of what data was exchanged, when and for what purpose.

As public sector providers it’s key that you gain and maintain citizen confidence in your stewardship of private data. Without this, you simply won’t get the uptake from citizens to leverage sharing of data, even if the dividend for them is significant – much easier processes and ultimately a lower cost-to-serve, and the need for less of the government’s investment to go into administration-intensive processes.

At Intergen we are passionate about what we do for our public sector clients, and the role we play in helping to deliver tomorrow’s advantage today to agencies and the people they serve. To find out how Cohesion can help your organisation set the pace of change, contact us today.