• Chris Merricks

Delivering Customer Experience Digital Transformation Quickly

Following the disruption of the last couple of years many local authorities and public sector organisations have had to amend their planned projects and instead incorporate CX digital transformation.


Row of overflowing rubbish bins

Whether it is to make a purchase or communicate something, most people today expect to be able to interact online with an organisation whenever they want to, and the public sector is no exception. But how do you take the multitude of unmapped processes that are in people’s heads and deliver them digitally, and to the tight timescale you’ve no doubt been given? How do you schedule the time with an already stretched workforce to map out these processes so that something can be built technically?


In the last six months I’ve spoken to more local government customer experience teams than I have in the past six years. Everyone seems to be on the same journey.


So, before you start to wrestle with the problem of how to deliver a seamless digital transformation, I’m going to make your life easier and take you through the different steps, and outline what you need to think about to speed up your projects. I’ll also offer a valuable insight into how others have successfully achieved this seemingly impossible task.


Step one – Beg, borrow, but don’t steal!


First of all, it’s important to understand that although your working methods may differ from other organisations like yours, many public sector organisations do in fact have the same processes. Citizens need to pay council tax, book bulky uplifts, report potholes in roads, so the first step is to work with your counterparts in other organisations, as they have probably already mapped out a process. The beauty of the public sector is that, unlike private businesses, you are not in competition! So sharing is caring.


Many councils use the same systems which have all been developed internally, so use this knowledge and give yourself a head start. Talking to your counterparts and researching what they’ve done won’t take long, and it will definitely save you a lot of time in the long run.


Step two – Get on with it!


Once you’ve tapped into everyone’s knowledge and gathered as much information as you can about how to deliver the ideal digital transformation, you should now be able to identify which processes are the easiest to move online.


Order these processes from low to high effort and start working on the ones which require the least effort first. This will help your development team to ease into moving these

processes online and will stop them from getting bogged down with massive integrations and technical code on their first process. Your contact centre/customer services team can also probably explain their process for the easier tasks in as little as an hour. After all, they follow these procedures day in day out, so they’re the experts!


Miniature workers cracking nuts with tools

Step three – Forget everything you know about project management!


This may sound scary, and we don’t mean forget everything, but you will not be able to deliver a digital transformation by applying your tried and trusted PRINCE2 techniques here.


Technology and digital move at such a pace that by the time you’ve planned out the whole transformation end to end, the technology and expectations will have changed, and you’ll have to start again.


Welcome to the world of AGILE (and no I don’t mean SCRUM). AGILE gives you the ability to phase your transformation and deliver in short bursts that can be deployed to citizens iteratively. You can learn AGILE fairly easily and start implementing within a day. You just need everyone on board.


If you plan to start delivering digital transformation outcomes immediately, rather than waiting till everything is in place and ready, then you’ll delight your citizens as opposed to frustrating them. As soon as they are ready, promote them and get on with it.


Step four – Learn, learn, learn!


Once you start your journey into delivering these digital products you need to learn from the mistakes that will undoubtedly happen and correct them for next time.


At this point, it’s a good idea to get in touch with the people you worked with at the beginning and share your mistakes. They will hopefully be trekking along their own digital transformation journey and will share with you what they’ve learnt.


Over to you now!


The key to achieving a successful digital transformation is to take your time and collaborate. You don’t have to run headlong into the process.


Speak to others in your sector who have already embarked on the journey, or even completed it, and learn from them. What problems did they come up against, how did they solve them, what went well, and what didn’t? By doing this you’ll be able to achieve a relatively painless digital transformation and provide your citizens with a positive CX experience where they feel valued.


 

If you have any questions or want to discuss your CX strategy or digital transformation, get in touch, we're here to help.