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Customer Experience

Using data to deliver better citizen experiences

We live in a new world. Technology is changing the way we interact with the world around us and our expectations of government. Consider how the “Amazon effect” influences our expectations around service delivery; Amazon can give customers what they want, when they want it (in some cases, within hours). As a result, customers have come to expect a similar experience everywhere - not just from companies but also government.

Customer dissatisfaction is problematic when you consider 95% of dissatisfied customers tell others about their experience. These bad experiences also have an outsized impact relative to positive experiences. A recent study found that the impact of a "bad" experience had four times the impact of a good experience.

Highly intensive with lower outcomes

With customer experience fundamental, we spoke with a leading state council in Australia - the City of Adelaide - about how the Council is taking action to improve the experience it delivers for its 25,000 residents and 315,000 daily visitors.

Watch our entire conversation with Steve Zaluski, the City of Adelaide's manager for customer experience, here.

The biggest change the City of Adelaide made was how it listens to customers and acts on feedback, said Steve Zaluski, Manager for Customer Experience.

Prior to implementing Qualtrics, the City of Adelaide did have feedback programs in place. But these were “highly resource intensive” and resulted in “lower quality and volume outcomes.” In other words, these systems were just measuring.

The team had also experienced confusion when using NPS to try to assess customer satisfaction.

“In the public sector, people feel they have to use your service. So asking, ‘Would you recommend us to a friend or family member?’ doesn’t quite make sense,” Zaluski explained.

With a commitment to improve the services and quality of life for Adelaide’s residents and daily users, the City of Adelaide selected Qualtrics to simplify and improve its customer experience. The result is a connected digital customer experience program, whereby feedback is collected after a range of critical engagements across multiple channels.

This new, modern approach to customer experience has enabled a range of benefits at the City of Adelaide:

1. A significantly scaled up feedback program that’s less resource intensive

Having made it easier for customers to provide feedback, the Council is now armed with significantly more insights enabling it to understand and deliver the support and service offerings most valued by customers.

Zaluski explains that this not only means the council gets better data, it has laid the foundation for the Customer Service team to get stronger buy-in for action from internal stakeholders in other departments.

2. Real-time data for more informed decision making

All data is now almost immediately fed directly into dashboards at managers' fingertips meaning that it can be acted on with far less delay. Dashboards are tailored to the needs of individual departments, allowing them to more easily see what they need to know, while all data feeds into an overall CX scorecard that is shared with senior leadership.

Qualtrics also enabled the City of Adelaide to get the most out of its existing legacy systems, automatically pulling in relevant data from those systems into the new dashboards. "It means managers can focus more on what the results are telling us. And that's happening month on month, not quarterly anymore,” Zaluski said.

3. The truth behind the noise

One of the more unexpected benefits of the program, according to Zaluski, was the impact on employee engagement and morale. Being able to uncover the experience a large section of customers were having, rather than only hearing from complaints that were often a loud minority, allowed for urgent corrective action when needed. It also helped recognize positive experiences.

By being able to discern the reality from the noise, the team is able to provide informed insights to senior leaders and elected officials, which helps bolster the morale of teams who are mostly doing a good job.

“Without engaging your customers you're never 100% sure where you need to improve. There’s no better way than actually engaging with customers, reaching out and speaking to them. Time and time again we're surprised to find that areas we thought were working well were not. And sharing the positive feedback we receive has been a major win for engaging with our frontline teams," explained Zaluski.

4. Improving organizational planning and growing engagement at the same time

The City of Adelaide has engaged citizens in the re-design of processes that impact them, with insights being used to inform and guide the action being taken.

“We’ve taken a more iterative design and redesign process, engaging a dozen or so customers who are regular users of that particular area or system. The comments we’ve been getting have been really pleasing and it’s really helped to generate rapport with those customers, who are being directly engaged in designing things that impact their lives,” said Zaluski.

By moving beyond measurement and taking action on feedback, the City of Adelaide is able to improve and optimize its experiences in the moments that matter most.

Realizing the power of experience in government

Cooperation between governments and citizens is needed now more than ever.

To move forward, it’s time to understand and take action. The work underway at the City of Adelaide is a leading example of what is possible when governments improve the way they listen, understand, and act on the needs of the people they serve.

To learn more about how the City of Adelaide is improving the customer experience watch How to keep ahead of changing citizen expectations.

Free webinar: How to keep ahead of changing citizen expectations