Customer service for public services in a digital age: part two

hpDigital by Default has produced a two-part interview with Martin Hill-Wilson, founder of Brainfood Consulting. In this second part we speak to Martin about measuring success in the changing customer service environment and the effect digital transformation has on workplace culture. 


What experience have you had with workplace culture being affected by digital transformation?

From my experience within the corporate world, large corporations repeat cycles of behaviour that have served them well in the past. Whilst self-governing, agile teams are appearing even in highly regulated sectors such as finance, talented employees are still being overlooked. As digital transformation forces the customer service sector into a new era, talented, progressive employees will have the opportunity to flourish.


How do you instil the right culture within an organization to ensure that the opportunities afforded by digital technology are maximised to their full potential?

Attempting to break down an organisation’s silo mentality is key to creating a culture that can exploit digital to its full potential. Customer hubs – customer data centralising system – provide both the structure and discipline to rapidly test and scale new ways of delivering services. By employing cross-functional representatives to focus on real-time engagement, discovery and change the hub drives innovation, improvement and responsiveness.


What challenges will these changes bring in relation to leading and managing teams and what new skills will managers need?

Once this new form of engagement has been fully rolled out, the role of human interaction becomes more specialist. It is important to remember that humans remain uniquely capable when involved in emotional, complex and relationship nurturing interactions and can remedy incomplete self-service interactions. The profile and role of advisor will evolve as the work becomes increasingly specialist. Managers will need to adapt to coaching much smaller, highly capable teams.


What are the most useful metrics for measuring success in this changing environment?

The feedback loop is a particularly insightful tool drawing input from citizens, employees and partners to produce actionable customer insight and drive improvements.

KPIs are great tools for monitoring and measuring success that also help to drive forward new initiatives. They can also be positioned as motivational tools for employees to enhance performance, trigger greater employee engagement and in turn, improved productivity.


What do you regard as the next frontier for government digital customer services?

The public sector should look to develop the ‘Digital by Default Service Standard’ criteria to create an environment of choice for citizens. Digital transformation should meet demands but in an inclusive manner, one that offers the balance of self-service through digital means coupled with face-to-face support and human interaction for the more complex customer requirements.

Martin will be sharing knowledge, insight and discussing disruptive topics in the customer service sphere at Agilisys’ ‘Customer Service for Public Services in a Digital Age’ event on Wednesday 16th November at 9:15am on 5th Floor of One Hammersmith Broadway. Email to receive further information and to book a place.

To find out more about how Agilisys can help you transform service to enhance customer experience, click here.

Related reading