Report calls for personalisation in government services


Tuesday, 23 February, 2021


Report calls for personalisation in government services

The majority of Australians have a preference for digital engagement with government, and for that engagement to be tailored to them. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, websites across government have had 1.7 billion visits, with a report from Adobe and Deloitte revealing that 76% of Australians are more or equally likely to use government websites if they are personalised and tailored to their digital profile.

Research shows that almost nine in every 10 Australians looked for government services online in 2020, with Australians aged 15 and over transacting with government on average more than once a week. However, Australians reported a range of frustrations when seeking information from government sources including websites, call centres and in person.

Approximately 75% cited long hold times, 59% said they were unclear when they would get the requested information, and 53% said there are too many passwords to remember. When asked about preferred communication channels, 56% of Australians said their preferred access to government information is online, despite 50% still encountering inconsistent information across departments and agencies, and 22% having to check multiple sources when searching for government information.

Suzanne Steele, Vice President of Adobe Australia and New Zealand, said the report highlights the importance of enabling personalisation, and the current absence of a ‘digital front door’ to government services and information.

“Australians are needing to invest too much time researching for important information published across disparate departmental websites. The data states three in four Australians today want a personalised digital experience from government. By reading the signals that citizens elect to share online, government can personalise an individual’s digital experience based on their needs and digital profile, while honouring user choices ” said Steele.

This deficit in the digital experience could explain why so many Australians are turning to non-government sources like search engines, businesses or media articles for government-issued public information.

The report found that 41% of people relied on search engines when looking for government-issued public information, while only 27% said they went to government websites first. In 2020, 70% of Australians looked for public health updates, yet only 24% said they accessed that information directly from government sources.

Australians also ranked ‘trust’ as the most important factor when seeking public information, with 60% of people surveyed ranking it number one in their top three important considerations when trying to access public information. The next two considerations were ‘easy to understand’ (54%) and ‘most up to date’ (53%). Since the pandemic began, citizen trust in Australian governments and agencies has been reported as being on an upward trajectory.

Steele said the report disputes the notion that citizens are reticent to share information with governments, with 81% of Australians saying that they are more or equally likely to use a government service if it remembered previous interactions on all government websites. Additionally, 77% of Australians said they are more or equally likely to use a government service if it used their location to provide information specific to their needs.

“Government must move from a one-size-fits-all approach to deliver the right information at the right time to individual citizens. Beyond driving efficiencies for both parties, this shift to personalisation has the potential to strengthen public service outcomes and continue to build on already increasing levels of trust in government,” said Steele.

Deloitte Australia CEO Richard Deutsch said the report reveals that digital has become the medium of choice for Australians seeking government services and information. Deutsch added that the current focus on the digital economy presents an opportunity for government to better meet the needs of its citizens.

Deutsch said the report conclusively reveals that digital has become the medium of choice for Australians seeking government services and information.

“The current focus on the digital economy presents a timely opportunity for government to better meet the needs of its citizens. The next step in the government’s digital transformation is to provide each citizen with a more personalised digital experience, directing them to the information they need based on who they are by reading the signals that citizens choose to share online,” said Deutsch.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Denys Rudyi

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