NSW government opens digital communication lines

Optus gives failing marks to Australian organisations on providing 'outstanding service'

NSW Minister for finance and services, Dominic Perrottet, addresses Optus Vision.

NSW Minister for finance and services, Dominic Perrottet, addresses Optus Vision.

The New South Wales government is seeking to catch up with technology to provide a better customer experience, according to the NSW minister of finance and services.

“Some people have said that we are at the tipping point when it comes to these new technologies and that business and government need to think about the ways that they should respond,” Minister Dominic Perrottet said in a keynote at the Optus Vision event in Sydney.

“I think we’re already way past that,” he said. “It is consumers who are leading the charge and it is government and business who are playing catch-up.”

The NSW government hopes to reduce the amount of time to complete transactions with customers by adding new communication channels, he said. The government will this year add live chat and a mobile app “so customers can get to a service at a time and through a medium that best suits them,” he said.

“Customers want easier access to government services, faster service and a single point of contact,” he said.

In its budget released this week, the government tagged $324 million for Service NSW, an agency set up to enhance access to government. Much of this funding has been specifically targeted for digital services, Perrottet said.

More than 3 million customers have interacted with government through Service NSW since it was launched in July last year, Perrottet said. About 98 per cent of the users reported that they were satisfied by the service, he said.

Businesses must strive for more than a "good" customer experience if they want to keep customers, said Optus Business president John Paitaridis. He announced results of the telco's fourth Future of Business report after Perrottet’s remarks.

The Optus survey found that only 12 per cent of Australian organisations had delivered an outstanding customer experience. Optus surveyed 550 organisations across enterprise and government, as well as more than 5000 customers.

Only 39 per cent of customers reporting a good experience said they were likely to remain a customer of that organisation, compared to 95% of customers who reported an outstanding one, the report found.

Customers with an outstanding experience were also five times more likely to become brand advocates compared to customers with good experience..

By contrast, nearly 80 per cent of customers who reported a bad experience said they took some form of action such as complaining to friends or the Internet.

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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