What does it mean to be customer-centric?

A customer-centric government is one that recognises its citizens as customers, puts them at the centre of decision-making and enriches the community.

How does this apply to the NSW Government?

The NSW Government is committed to delivering for its customers through one of the Premier’s Priorities – Government made easy. This priority ensures the NSW Government puts the customer at the centre of everything we do.

What is the customer-centric approach for nsw.gov.au?

Placing the customer at the centre is the core driver of our design. The current landscape can be difficult for customers to navigate as information and services tend to be siloed based on agency structures, rather than designed to meet the needs of customers.

The nsw.gov.au website will consolidate online content from across all of government and present it in a customer-centric way to make it easy for customers to find what they need.

If a customer has come to nsw.gov.au, they’re on our website because they want to seek information, have their say, or complete a specific task.

The nsw.gov.au program focuses on 4 key customer-centric phases:

  • User research
  • Design
  • Testing
  • Reviewing and iterating

Research is an essential part of the process; it uncovers the user's needs, behaviour, goals and motivations. It also shows pain points for users in the current experience. Thinking from the perspective of the user and empathising is critical in this phase. We use the understanding that we gain from the research phase when we move to the design phase.

To make sure the design works well, we test with real users to understand if the problem we are trying to solve makes sense for them. Once the design is live, we continuously review how the users interact with it. If the users struggle, we iterate, and the process starts over.

Building with the customer

During each stage of the nsw.gov.au relaunch, we conducted research and testing with real customers.

To develop the content strategy, we held interviews with citizens in metropolitan and regional NSW to understand their current experience with government, then gained early feedback on our nsw.gov.au content models and information architecture concepts. Treejack testing with 1000 participants showed us where customers expected to perform key tasks on the website, and we have refined the information architecture over 17 (and counting!) iterations.

Real users in Service NSW centres helped us answer specific questions around visual design and how users might click around the website to complete a task.

Our Beta website analytics and feedback tools gave us direct feedback from customers. We use the feedback to build our backlog and continuously improve. For example, the popular COVID-19 heatmap of NSW was built in response to users wanting to know where the active cases were located.

Continuous improvement

We track our analytics tools to understand user behaviour and identify gaps in performance.

  • direct customer comments from feedback channels
  • ineffective site searches, where trending search terms fail to find relevant content
  • inclusive average reading age of Grade 9 or lower
  • technical and content accessibility conformance to WCAG 2.1 at an AA level
  • website page speed.

We share these insights with agencies that publish content on nsw.gov.au so that all nsw.gov.au contributors can work together to build a better customer experience.

Keep it real

Customer-centricity is not a new concept, with many successful companies attributing their success to this approach. Our focus on the customer will help us to build trust, brand value and satisfaction on nsw.gov.au.

What does customer-centricity mean to you? Are you currently on the journey to become more customer-centric? Post your comments, thoughts and feedback below. 


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