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How public sector organisations can design better experiences for staff and citizens

Great experiences are no longer a luxury, they’re a standard.

We order groceries at the click of a button, we instantly transfer money on the go, we shop online with organisations who know our order history, reviews, returns and payment details are all ready to go when we need them, the list goes on.

As consumers, we’ve become so accustomed to one click convenience, that we expect it everywhere.

Citizens no longer differentiate between public service and private companies. They expect to be able to pay for a parking ticket, apply for a driver’s licence or access information about their public sector job just as seamlessly as they’d be able to order an Uber.

And why shouldn’t they?

With one-click convenience as standard, it’s time for public sector organisations to start thinking seriously about how they can create a smoother, seamless end-to-end experience that benefits everyone.

What makes a great experience?

In order to create a better experience, we must first understand what that really means.

In most cases, it’s really all about simplicity, i.e., making things as easy as possible for the people who use your services every day.

For employees, it’s about ensuring that they have the technology they need to not only do their jobs well, but to handle their workload and work as efficiently as possible – often remotely – to provide a top-tier service to citizens.

For citizens, this means being able to access vital services that they need anytime, anywhere, from any device – including mobile on the go – without added hassle or unnecessary steps.

Why better experiences are vital within the public sector 

When it comes to public sector organisations, the needs of citizens come first.

We all want to make sure that the people we’re serving are satisfied, and a streamlined customer journey is one of the key ways we can work to ensure citizen satisfaction at every stage.

What’s more, optimising public sector operations allows organisations to be much more effective in their work, driving better outcomes for the citizens who depend on their services.

But it’s not just citizens that benefit.

With the war on talent in full swing, it’s more important than ever that public sector staff feel supported and satisfied in their role. Inefficient processes and unnecessarily complicated silos quickly lead to poor outcomes, wasted resources and low productivity – none of which are conducive to a happy working environment.

Government organisations such as DWP are already implementing digital workflows in order to revolutionise the way their staff work. DWP made use of automated technology and a digital agent who was on hand to answer citizen requests 24/7. This in turn freed staff up from low-level, repetitive admin tasks, allowing them to focus on high-value tasks, and innovation, and ultimately improved job satisfaction.

How do we get there?

When it comes to better public services, it’s not just about changing one thing: it’s a whole end-to-end citizen journey that we must turn our attention to.

Say a citizen wants to log into a government portal, locate and fill out a form, and then share it back with their local council.

Simplifying the process at a surface level could involve enabling a single log-in capability. The citizen can now use one log-in to access all government services – NHS, local council pages, volunteering opportunities etc. This is great, and certainly saves time at the log-in stage.

However, once they’re signed in, they must then locate the PDF they need, manually print it, fill the form out by hand, scan it back into the computer, and attach it to an email before she can get it where it needs to be. This requires time, effort, and resources – a printer and scanner at the least.

In order to truly simplify the process, we’d focus on the entire end-to-end journey, providing an option to log in easily, fill out the form digitally, and then share it directly from the portal – and this is exactly what we do for customers across the globe. 

Take Buckinghamshire Council, for example. After the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the council needed to find a streamlined way to reach vulnerable citizens with food packages, welfare phone calls, and other vital services.

To do this effectively, multiple stakeholders (volunteer teams, council staff, etc) needed to be able to quickly access information across the entire journey. Things like which families required assistance, when a family’s last food delivery took place, and more needed to be accessible at the click of a button.

ServiceNow technology enabled the council to compile all of this in one single platform that was easy to use, and easy for citizens and stakeholders to access when they needed it. 

Creating a better experience in the public sector  

We can see that changing or simplifying just one or two elements throughout your operations isn’t enough when it comes to public sector organisations. Driving better outcomes for citizens and employees alike isn’t just about component parts, but about stitching them all together with technology.

Going the extra mile, however, is more than worth it: Not only are you providing a better service for your citizens, but for your staff and stakeholders as well.

To find out more, or to see how ServiceNow technology could help you streamline your end-to-end journey, call us on 0800 640 8049, or visit our dedicated web page.

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