“Perfect”, “Can’t be improved”, “No further improvement needed” - reading through customer feedback for the Carers Allowance Digital Service it strikes me how many of our users think that there’s nothing more to do. We can pack up and go home. Au revoir. Sayonara. Farewell!
Far be it from me to suggest these particular users are wrong, it’s just that they’re not quite right on this one. Excellent, yes. Perfect, no.
And it’s not just our users. We achieved Live Accreditation Status in November 2014 and for many people this translated as ‘job done’. Erm…no!
We haven’t ‘gone live’ in the old fashioned sense. The interpretation of go-live that applies to traditional projects is ‘go-dead’ in the context of agile. We ‘go live’ every fortnight. When we went Live there was a backlog of changes and features still waiting to be prioritised. We didn’t get to live and stop, we got to live and started doing more.
Since November we've made over 20 releases covering around 300 user stories. We haven’t done that for the sake of it, it’s in response to the needs of our users. These needs drive everything we deliver, they don’t stop, they change and evolve. We’re here to ensure that the service meets those needs.
As the service matures we've put even more focus into our analytics to identify barriers within the user journey; why are we losing so many people at the disclaimer? Why are so many people calling to find out whether we have received their claim? Why do people spend so long at certain questions?
This analysis feeds the research, the research feeds the backlog and it all contributes to continuously improving the service for users.
Here’s just a few of the many improvements delivered since live, we've:
- moved the Disclaimer to the front of the service so users know what they are signing up to before they start – completion rates have rocketed from 60% to over 80%. Simpler for users.
- introduced email notifications to let users know that we've received their claim resulting in reduced calls to our contact centres. Clearer for users.
- reviewed and clarified all the questions – completion times have tumbled below 25 minutes. Faster for users.
It doesn't stop with research. We’re trialling new technologies, pushing new infrastructure and security features that will enable smoother delivery of the Departments other digital initiatives. This means more and more services will be delivered this way. Services that will work better for users.
With a satisfaction score consistently at 90% and being told we’re perfect, we’re in a happy place but this journey is far from complete. We’ll continue to do more until the service no longer needs to meet the need of its users – and that doesn't feel like any time soon.