Principles for the use of service delivery channels

Principle

Final | December 2017 | v1.0.0 | PUBLIC | Housing and Public Works


Principles at a glance

  1. All agencies should use 13 QGOV (13 74 68) for management of general enquiries regarding all Queensland government services via the phone channel
  2. Customer centric physical design and location
  3. Community insights and engagement
  4. Customer handling and training
  5. Technology
  6. Services – design and delivery
  7. Government branding
  8. Conform to Websites policy (IS26)
  9. Services are delivered through the most appropriate channel for that service
  10. All customers should receive a consistent customer experience regardless of channels delivered
  11. Customers’ expectations should be managed
  12. All enquiries are resolved or referred to the appropriate person/area (‘no wrong door’)
  13. Services and information provided to customers will be conducted by staff who have completed appropriate training
  14. Interactions with customers via service delivery channels are to be conducted in a transparent manner
  15. Consideration is made for the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities
  16. Apply appropriate governance
  17. Correspondence via the service delivery channels are considered official government correspondence and is subject to relevant recording policy and procedures
  18. Continuous improvement

Background

The Queensland Government launched the One-Stop Shop plan 2013-18 enabling the vision to make government services simpler, clearer and faster for Queenslanders. This aligns with the government’s broader digital transformation agenda and its ‘digital first’ approach where customers will have access to Queensland Government information anytime and anywhere, on any device. As part of the One-Stop Shop program, a Queensland Government Channel Management Strategy has been developed.

The vision for the Channel management strategy is to ensure the delivery of efficient and effective customer centric channels that provides customers with simple, easy and fast access to Queensland Government services.

Purpose

This document asserts the guiding principles for supporting a consistent Queensland Government approach to service delivery across all channels for a range of benefits to:

  • make it more convenient for customers to engage with the Queensland Government with easy access to information, services and campaigns
  • help inform government of community sentiment and future strategic direction based on qualified, real-time insights and analytics
  • guide the continuous improvement of service design and transactions.
  • support the delivery of the Queensland Government’s Channel management strategy and compliance with QGEA Websites policy (IS26).

Audience

This document is primarily intended for:

  • business owners delivering services
  • service delivery providers (i.e. Queensland Government service centres and local service centres).

Applicability

This principles document applies to all Queensland Government departments and encourages its adoption by other Queensland Government entities.

Scope

This guideline aligns with the Queensland Government Channel Management Strategy. The Channel Management Strategy also refers to appropriate use and guidelines for Mail and Email (and SMS) which are not specifically addressed in this Guideline.

The guideline relates to the  Websites policy (IS26) and 13 QGOV (13 74 68) branding guidelines. This guideline links to other service delivery channel principles including:

It relates to the social domain SL-2.2.4 Public Engagement within the Business Service layer of the Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture (QGEA).

References to the Queensland Government website www.qld.gov.au includes all franchises including the Business and Industry Portal (BIP) www.business.qld.gov.au.

Principles for the use of service delivery channels

Phone channels

All agencies should use 13 QGOV (13 74 68) for management of general enquiries regarding all Queensland government services via the phone channel

Rationale
  • 13 QGOV (13 74 68) is the single central general enquiries contact number for the Queensland Government, which is managed by Smart Service Queensland. It is delivered across multiple sites to achieve high availability to the Queensland public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Refer to the 13 QGOV (13 74 68) branding guidelines.
Implication
  • The Queensland Government is making it easier for its customers to easily access services and information through a single phone number.
  • Through 13 QGOV (13 74 68) customers can have their enquiry resolved or be referred to the most appropriate area for resolution.
  • Using a single central enquiries contact number provides a better service experience for the customer as they no longer need to call different business areas or agencies to get their enquiry resolved.

Local service centre

Customer centric physical design and location

Rationale
  • When designing/redesigning a customer service centre, customer-first and customer centric service design principles, along with community and whole-of-government needs and opportunities should be considered. This will ensure that a high quality, helpful and efficient service experience is delivered.
  • The local service centre should make government services simpler, clearer and faster for Queenslanders. Therefore any new centres should not, where possible, be an addition to the delivery network in a particular location.
  • The requirement for additional services should be met by working with existing agencies in the region to provide these services via a refresh of an existing site or, if needed, a new location, with an old site closed (at the end of a lease). This acknowledges the existence of extensive duplicate networks across government. Exceptions may apply in new growth and greenfield regions.
  • Additional service breadth could also be achieved through an assisted service model with centre staff supporting customers to achieve their service outcomes through the use of online information and services and service referral tools.
Implications
  • Broad community and agency consultation and consideration of shared local opportunities should be assessed and considered. Refer to section Community insights and engagement for more information on engagement.
  • To determine the location, size and type of centre to be established in the community there are a number of factors required to assess including:
    • ­ current footprint of customer access points
    • ­ current population of location and servicing area
    • ­ volumes of transactional data if available
    • ­ if area is in growth or decline
    • ­ demands for various types of services including need for more specialised services
    • ­ availability of access and parking.
  • Local service centres should be branded Queensland Government, have a physical space comprising: service delivery counters; customer experience and customer design flow elements; access to self-service facilities; referrals in place for services not delivered; and located in significant regional or urban business centres.
  • In areas with a small population, where a similar but lower service level need is still required, alternative service delivery models should be considered, including agent customer centres, mobile customer centres and digital customer centres. These alternatives should also be a Queensland Government corporate branded physical space, comprising similar design and capabilities but retrofitted to suit individual centre and region needs.
  • The centre should be designed considering customer flow and the established Customer centric design principles – local service centre (refer to Appendix B). Contact the Service Outlets team in OSSSIO via email on onestopshop@dsiti.qld.gov.au for a copy of these principles

Community insights and engagement

Rationale
  • Community insights and engagement helps to ensure a full understanding of the landscape in which the centres operate.
Implications
  • Where appropriate, engagement with the local community should be undertaken, to gain community insights regarding service delivery preferences and expectations.
  • Targeted engagement should be undertaken to ensure multiple stakeholder perspectives and demographics are captured as this will provide a full understanding of the local community and will ensure implementation has full buy-in and support.
  • Targeted and extensive customer and staff insight research should also be undertaken to build a full picture of customer journeys and experiences to identify opportunities for improvement, customer needs and pain points.
  • Insights and engagement activities should also be used as continuous improvement mechanisms, and shared with relevant parties where appropriate. Refer to section Effective measurement and continuous improvement.

Customer handling and training

Rationale
  • Agencies should consider utilising or developing customer centric handling guides and training, designed using customer centric principles to ensure a whole-of-government customer centric experience is provided by staff.
Implications
  • The four-customer experience (CX) principles of: ‘Be clear’, ‘Be helpful’, ‘Make it easier’ and ‘Do what you say’ should be considered in designing all customer handling and training tools and practices.
  • The local service centre should enable and empower staff by providing adequate customer first training and customer handling resources to specialise in whole-of-government customer handling practices. This provides multi-skilled staff, cultural benefits, leadership upskilling, consistent and customer centric practices, regardless of the employing agency, which supports increasing customer and staff satisfaction.
  • Further information can be found in ‘Customer centre Customer handling guide’, ‘Customer centre style guide’ and should be read in conjunction with the Customer Experience Strategy. Contact the Service Outlets team in OSSSIO via email on onestopshop@dsiti.qld.gov.au for a copy of these guides.
  • Further information relating to Customer 1st training and “train the trainer” training, delivered by the One-Stop Shop Strategy and Implementation Office (OSSSIO), can be obtained at the Services Made Simpler site or by contacting the OSSSIO Customer Experience team on onestopshop@dsiti.qld.gov.au.

Technology

RationaleWhen designing/redesigning a local service centre, appropriate technology should be considered to enable a consistent and seamless customer experience
Implications
  • All centres should follow the principle of “re-use before buy before build” with an additional focus on:
    • ­ using common government platforms
    • ­ interoperability with whole-of-government capabilities
    • ­ commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS)
    • ­ offering customised service.
  • Refer to QGEA documents and the Procurement and disposal of ICT products and services policy (IS13) for more information.
  • Agencies should implement agency-agnostic and whole-of-government technology solutions that support the ability to provide multi-channel and cross-government services.
  • The local service centre should also ensure availability of self-service capability (including printers and access to an expansive array of online services and information) that allows customers to access whole-of-government services that aren’t delivered at the centre. This ensures that customers’ needs are met and that their request for information or their need to undertake a transaction can be resolved or referred to the appropriate area with minimal effort required by the customer. Customers should generally be able to access assistance at these facilities to maximise uptake of new offerings.

Services - design and delivery

Rationale
  • By ensuring customer centric service design customer receive a holistic and seamless customer experience at customer centres.
Implications
  • Agencies should consider offering access and re referral to a broad range of government services (refer to ‘Appendix C – Customer centre service scope’). This increases the information and services offered at centres and provides a whole-of-government experience for the customer.
  • Services should be designed utilising an iterative service design approach to ensure services are delivered in a customer centric manner.
  • Refer to section ‘2.4 Customer experience across all channels’ for detailed information about service delivery to enable a better customer experience.

Government branding

Rationale
  • Government branding portrays a consistent, holistic and seamless government experience. Agencies should consider Queensland Government corporate branding when design/redesigning local service centres.
Implications
  • The branding of the centre should be Queensland Government corporate branding as this ensures customers are not confused about the information and services they are seeking. Customers do not have to understand government agency structure to be served and be provided with the information and services they seek.
  • Further information on the Queensland Government corporate identity can be found at http://premiers.govnet.qld.gov.au/corporate-id/guide.html (Queensland Government employees only).
  • Any variations to this require documented and approved justification that can be presented on request.

Online channels

Conform to Websites policy (IS26)

Rationale
Implications
  • All agencies and franchises must follow the standards set out in IS26. Any queries on this can be directed to the online team in One-Stop Shop Strategy and Implementation Office (OSSSIO) at oss.products@dsiti.qld.gov.au.
  • The standard states that ‘Agency internet sites must provide for maximum accessibility and usability for all groups of the community and maintain a consistent and customer focused view of Queensland Government’ and outlines what agencies must do at a minimum. This includes compliance with the Consistent User Experience (CUE) Standard.
  • If agencies do not use the CUE, customers will not receive consistent information and may not know if they have come to the correct place for that service.
  • Ensure GA360 (formerly known as Google Analytics) code has been implemented to track and monitor the uptake of the service online. Contact the OSSSIO web analytics team on webanalytics@dsiti.qld.gov.au

Customer experience across all channels

Services are delivered through the most appropriate channel for that service

Rationale
  • Not all services are suitable for delivery across each and every channel. It’s important to ensure the appropriate channel(s) are chosen to deliver the service to ensure the best outcome for the customer and the agency delivering the service.
Implications
  • The information provided in a particular way may not be suitable for delivery via that channel.
  • The customer may not receive the best experience.
  • It’s important to note when deciding what channels are best suited to deliver the services, customer preference should also be considered and choice offered to complete the service.
  • It is also recommended that a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) be completed when selecting the most appropriate service delivery channel.
  • Refer to ‘Attachment 1 – Channel choice guidelines in the Queensland Government Channel Management Strategy’ to assist in determining the suitability of the channel for the services to be delivered.

All customers should receive a consistent customer experience regardless of channels delivered

Rationale
  • Information regarding services should be provided consistently across all channels regardless of the channel chosen by the customer to access the required information. Customers often have a multi-channel experience by necessity.
Implications
  • Inconsistent information can mislead and confuse the customer, particularly if they are getting information from a variety of service delivery channels. For example, a customer might be applying for a grant. They look online and find that they are eligible to receive it. The customer then contacts the grants area only to find out the information online is outdated and that they aren’t actually eligible to receive the grant.
  • It is also important to ensure that information provided for any primary channel is supported by consistent information in other relevant channels.
  • The four customer experience principles – Be clear, Be helpful, Make it easier and Do what you say – outline what customers want across all channels delivered in a customer centric manner. Refer to ‘Attachment 2 – Channel improvement principles in the Queensland Government Channel management strategy’.

Customers' expectations should be managed

Rationale
  • It is important to manage the expectations of customers to ensure reasonable customer satisfaction levels.
Implications
  • Operational hours should be readily available across all channels for customers so that they can manage their expectations and know when to call or when to visit a service centre. Alternative contact points should also be highlighted in particular for emergency requests.
  • Industry standards and customer feedback should be reviewed periodically to ensure operational hours and response times match the needs of the customers.

All enquiries are resolved or referred to the appropriate person/area ('no wrong door')

Rationale
  • It is important to ensure Queensland Government customers reach a resolution to their enquiry or are referred to the appropriate person/area for resolution.
Implications
  • The Queensland Government should be able to assist a customer with their enquiry regardless of whether it is a service that’s delivered by the agency. No customer should be turned away.
  • Local service centres should have provisions to enable customers’ access to information that is not being delivered at the service centre, through the use of self-service kiosks or information provided by customer service staff.
  • Through 13 QGOV (13 74 68) the customer will either have their enquiry resolved or be referred to the most appropriate area for resolution.
  • The customer experience should be seamless service delivery for that customer. The customer does not need to know which agency is delivering what service.
  • Customers should be connected to any government service, no matter which channel they choose as their primary entry point.

Services and information provided to customers will be conducted by staff who have completed appropriate training

Rationale
  • It is important to ensure the delivery of quality service and information and a positive experience for the customer by appropriately trained staff.
Implications
  • Customers may access government services via a variety of channels. Using appropriately skilled staff provides a consistent and professional experience each time a customer interacts with government.
  • Any staff interacting with customers will at a minimum be trained in Queensland Government Customer Experience, be aware of corporate communications and relevant legislation such as the Code of Conduct as prescribed in the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 and the privacy principles as prescribed in the Information Privacy Act 2009.
  • All staff should complete specific training pertaining to the service delivery channel used.

Interactions with customers via service delivery channels are to be conducted in a transparent manner

Rationale
  • Conducting activities via service delivery channels in a fully transparent manner in line with the Queensland public service Code of Conduct and relevant legislation such as the Information Privacy Act 2009, promotes government accountability and public trust.  Information security is a necessary part of addressing customer queries via online chat and agencies should refer to Information security policy (IS18:2018) which is the Queensland Government’s general policy approach to information security and is relevant to all information and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Implications
  • Data should be anonymised and encrypted at rest and in transit.
  • In line with the Information Privacy Act 2009, the Public Records Act 2002 and the Code of Conduct, personal information provided by customers via any channel should not be misused or disclosed to third parties. Conversation transcripts should be archived in accordance with the agency recordkeeping policy.
  • Transcripts should be provided to customers on request, and should be retained according to the agency’s recording keeping policy.
  • When interacting with a customer, employees should take reasonable precautions to protect their own privacy and will never disclose their full names or the names or personal details of their colleagues. If first names are not practical, initials or alternative names may be used (in a consistent manner) or reasonable exemptions made.

Consideration is made for the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities

Rationale
  • Services should be designed and information provided with the CALD communities in mind to ensure the Queensland Government can engage with these communities appropriately.
Implications

Governance and management

Apply appropriate governance

Rationale
  • Ensures effective use of government resources and funds by reducing duplication of resources and funds.
Implications

Correspondence via the service delivery channels are considered official government correspondence and is subject to relevant recording policy and procedures

Rationale
  • It’s a requirement that agencies implement appropriate recordkeeping and archiving methodologies for all types of communication. Appropriate means should be tailored to the value of the records and the risks that might occur if the records are not well-managed.
Implications
  • Records created through service delivery channels should be captured and managed in accordance with the Public Records Act 2002 and the Records governance policy.
  • Agencies should develop disclaimers accessible via the social media presence and advise how the agency manages their social media presence and include appropriate privacy notice that complies with the requirements of the Information Privacy Act 2009. The disclaimer should be hosted on the official website and linked to/from relevant social media accounts.

Effective measurement and continuous improvement

Continuous improvement

Rationale
  • The delivery of information and services delivered via the online, local service centre and phone channels should be monitored to ensure continuous improvement and a better customer experience.
Implications
  • Success measures/key performance indicators can assist in identifying whether the set targets are being met and if not, mechanisms can be put in place to resolve the issues.
  • The established Customer Experience Measurement (CEM) framework, as discussed in Appendix C, should be utilised to ensure consistent and appropriate measures are in place and feedback from customers incorporated in the service delivery as required.
  • Any changes in service delivery need to be considered contextually for each channel of delivery.
  • Agencies should consider a service redesign process to ensure customers are receiving the best customer experience whilst reducing duplication of resources and funds when accessing government information and services across any channel.
  • In alignment with the Queensland Government customer experience principles, wherever possible, customers should be encouraged to submit customer satisfaction surveys and key terms should be identified that give an indication of the level of satisfaction provided in the service delivery channels.
  • Local service centres should consider ways to capture customer feedback – i.e. feedback mechanisms built into services to inform continuous improvement whilst also creating a culture to listen, learn and act.
  • The use of GA360 (formerly known as Google Analytics) will help improve services delivered online. Contact the OSSSIO web analytics team by email: webanalytics@dsiti.qld.gov.au to ensure appropriate measures have been applied and the service is tracked for continuous improvement purposes.

Review

The Principles for the Use of Service Delivery Channels should be reviewed annually by OSSSIO and Smart Service Queensland with input from all Queensland Government agencies and entities with all feedback received to be incorporated as applicable to improve service delivery.

Appendix A

Customer flow design

Contact the Service Outlets team in OSSSIO via email on onestopshop@dsiti.qld.gov.au for further information.

Appendix B

Contact the Service Outlets team in OSSSIO via email on onestopshop@dsiti.qld.gov.au for further information.

Appendix C

Based on the research[1] and findings of the Customer Experience (CX) Strategy, the One-Stop Shop Strategy and Implementation Office is working with departments to develop a Customer Experience Measurement (CEM) framework. The CEM framework is built on three major concepts – a standardised question bank, three experience levels, and a ‘listen, learn, act’ feedback loop – in order to measure performance and drive continuous improvement.

While there is a measurement component to the framework (the “listen” phase of the loop), it is a battery of interchangeable survey questions, rather than a single measure. In addition, the survey questions are then combined with other data sources (such as operational data, industry reporting and best practice, and ABS statistics) to provide full context to the results and allow for root cause and detailed analysis (the “learn” phase). This analysis then follows through to the final “act” phase of the framework, whereby the focus is then on making strategic decisions, improving processes and journeys, and responding quickly to customer issues.

The framework can be applied to any of the three experience levels – interaction, journey or relationship.

For further information on the CEM please contact OSSSIO’s Customer Experience team at onestopshop@dsiti.qld.gov.au.


[1] Research conducted by Deloitte in 2014 in developing the Customer Experience Strategy

Last Reviewed: 10 August 2018

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