Improving the customer experience through self service and task based content
The State Revenue Office (SRO) is the Victorian Government’s major revenue collection agency.
Responsible for collecting $15.7 billion in 2015/16, SRO wanted to make it easy for their customers to do business with them, particularly online.
To support this, we were engaged to co-create an accessible, seamless and helpful website.
SRO’s website is the gateway to online transactions, forms, rulings and publications. However the site was not fit for purpose. It was unappealing and difficult to use, and customers couldn’t self-serve.
This resulted in low levels of online task completion, ultimately in opposition to SRO’s vision for better customer service.
Critically, this caused more calls and over-the-counter enquiries, which meant an increase in operational costs. Since one phone call can cost up to $16 more than one online transaction, a key challenge was to reduce the 260,000 phone calls that SRO receives each year by making it easier for customers to self-serve online.
The new website was also to be compliant to WoVG (Victorian Government) and WCAG 2.0 Level AA Standards.
Firstly, we conducted a peer review of the Federal tax website (ATO.gov.au) and three State Government websites.
We spoke to each about their current website and what they wanted in the future. We sought views on different types of navigation style, particularly task-based versus user-based, or a mix of the two.
We then held a series of one-on-one interviews and workshops with key stakeholders and users to:
- understand aspirations and pain-points
- explore solutions to simplify structure
- generate ideas to improve content and discoverability.
Some key success factors emerged:
- confirmation of a diverse range of users
- users’ readiness to self-serve
- the need for simpler content.
Based on this we tested and then implemented:
- a task-based navigation
- an Information Architecture that supported self-service
- the use of video content
- iconography to support tasks
We also implemented a new Drupal Content Management System to manage over 1,000 web pages and more than 15 different types of content.
Customers can now:
- contact the SRO through their channel of choice,
- understand their tax obligations
- and be communicated with in a convenient and timely manner.
And the website supports the SRO to provide a highly efficient and effective service:
- SRO met all their 2015-16 key performance indicators, reflecting outstanding commitment to the customer
- Leveraging operational efficiencies with digital transformation
- Operational calls reduced by almost five times in comparison to website visitor sessions (footnote 1)
- SRO improved task completion score of 1.4, compared to 2.2 in 2013 (footnote 2)
- The site adheres to WCAG 2.0 Level AA and Whole of Victorian Government requirements.
Key metrics show increased engagement with the website (footnote 3):
- File downloads (forms, publications etc) +94.29%
- Bounce rate -22.58%
- Visits on mobile devices +11.43%
- Average session duration +6.26%
- User sessions (approx. 750,000 visitors) +4.88%
(footnote 1) 16.2% increase in website visitor sessions and 3.4% increase in operational calls in FY 2015/16 compared to 2014/15. Source: http://annualreview1516.sro.vic.gov.au/content/digital-transformation
(footnote 2) Source: http://annualreview1516.sro.vic.gov.au/content/statement-expectations. A lower score means better task completion.
(footnote 3) Source: Google analytics comparison 2014 (old site) & 2015 (new site) from 1 July – 31 August