1st October, 2018 | ,

Can the public sector keep up with Goog/Azon?

Consumer expectations have changed. We now enjoy instant access to products and services through our mobile devices and expect our online shopping experience to be quick and painless. Amazon and Google are leading the way when it comes to customer service. They have changed the way that customers expect to interact with online services.

Does the same expectation apply when accessing public sector services? And can the public sector keep up with customer expectation?

Some public sector services are now easy to access and interact with. On the DVLA website, for example, one can do everything from taxing a vehicle to registering a new license plate. However, there is definitely room for improvement across public sector services.

The key to Amazon’s success is it puts the customer at the centre of everything it does. It allows the customer to drive further development of its services and intelligently harnesses customer insight to match products with the customers’ lifestyle.

The public service can deliver services every bit as good as the private sector but it needs to take a bold step forwards and invest in interaction and engagement with the real experts – the end users.

In the public sector there is an increasing desire to bring the user need into the design of public services. Yet often a solution to a problem is announced prior to asking the users what they really want. Working closely with the users is likely to result in a product or service that is innovative and different. The main stumbling block, however, to designing products and services that people want is the “we know best” approach, whereby public sector bodies dismiss user research as a waste of public money.

Agile thinking may be the answer. Investing in user research to really understand the needs and expectations of the customer and working with them to make public services genuinely painless. Using rapid prototyping to test and learn and working in partnership with customers to achieve a great product or service.

Retail banking has made this transition. It is an industry that is regulated and complex in a similar way to public sector organisations. The main difference is it has listened to its customers and transformed its outdated model into modern day services that make life simpler for its users. If banks can innovate and evolve the customer experience by embracing technology, so can the public sector.

The public sector needs the courage to embrace digital disruption and meet customer expectation. They must understand that in order to deliver life-changing products and services, they first need to understand the lives being affected. This involves investing in the interaction and engagement with the real experts – the end users.

Contact Elaine at Elaine.Griffin@cadenceinnova.com