Posted by Behavioural Insights Unit on Monday December 2nd, 2013

Designed with the customer in mind and launched in July this year, Service NSW is providing customer service improvements across NSW. Service NSW Deputy CEO Steve Griffin explains the concept behind Service NSW and how it is listening to customers and adapting services.

“Customer Voice research carried out by the NSW Government in early 2012 indicated that people were looking for a simpler way to deal with government.

With 384 shop fronts, 900 websites and 8000 phone numbers for NSW Government alone….this is not surprising feedback.

The research also showed that customers of government want one point of access, flexibility and convenience. And they don’t want to wait in lengthy queues or on hold on the phone.

As a result, planning for Service NSW began in March 2012. We officially launched our online service, our phone service and the first of 18 initial service centres in July this year.

Our purpose is to make access to government transactions simpler and easier for all NSW residents and businesses.

To do this, Service NSW is consolidating transactions from multiple agencies including Roads and Maritime Services, Fair Trading, Births, Deaths & Marriages, Office of Ageing – Department of Family and Community Services, Housing NSW, NSW Electoral Commission, Education, Office of Environment & Heritage, Department of Primary Industries, Health Support Services, Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing and Office of State Revenue. More partners will come on board over the coming months.

Our integrated service delivery model allows customers to do everything from register a vehicle, to applying for a fishing licence or changing their enrolment details.

We currently offer over 850 NSW Government transactions through our three service delivery channels – our website www.service.nsw.gov.au, our service centres in Sydney and across regional NSW and our 24/7 phone service 13 77 88.

Each of our three service delivery channels have been developed for the customer and by the customer. And they continue to evolve according to the feedback we’re getting from our customers.

Our service centres, for example, are open for extended hours Monday to Saturday. We have concierges to meet customers and quickly establish their needs, and there are express counters and self-serve options. Customers also have the ability to make appointments for times that suit them.

As a major point of difference, our phone service is answered by real people 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We offer information and when required, a warm transfer to a priority queue with our partner agencies. Our representative stays online until this is done.

Recently we added two new services to meet customer demand. These include a small business service to provide referral information for people starting up a small business or needing support. Then there’s our bereavement service. This came about directly as a result of a customer writing to the Government about how difficult it is to know what to do and which government agencies to contact when someone dies.

Like all our channels, our online services are continually changing and expanding. We now have over 470 transactions available online. Our processes are designed to save people time, and offer convenience and flexibility.

Some of our process improvements include offering forms and applications that can be filled in online. Customers can now complete the application process for Seniors cards, births, deaths and marriage certificates on-line where previously they were required to fill out a form and find a JP.

We know its early days and we’re changing as we learn. But as our name suggests…our purpose is to deliver great customer service. And this is just the beginning. Like all transformations this is a journey which will take a number of years to complete.”

Service NSW service centre

As you can see, Service NSW is a fantastic example of the EAST principles in action.

EASY: It provides a one-stop shop, both online and in person, simplifying the government’s interaction with its customers. The move to online forms and applications makes it really easy for simple transactions to be done at home. It also provides a single point of contact, meaning customers only need to communicate with government at one point.

ATTRACTIVE AND SOCIAL: The personalised service provided at Service NSW centres (such as the concierge) places the human element back in to interactions. Also, as you can see from the image, Service NSW centres offer a comfortable, attractive and modern environment.

TIMELY: Service NSW is flexible to the needs of the customer - with extended hours in service centres, to a 24 hour phone service. It also simplifies processes for people who might need to interact with several government services at key moments, such as moving house or getting married/changing your name.

Watch the following video for some customer feedback on the ways that Service NSW has made interactions with government easier. 

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