Voices from Accenture Public Service

My colleague Brian Lee-Archer recently wrote a blog drawing an analogy between delivery of social services and a children’s fairy tale. In the story Goldilocks goes into the house of the three bears, and explores to find what is “just right.” While this may seem a little too genial when discussing revenue agencies, this analogy can be very helpful as agencies think about how to transform their service delivery.

In the case of customer service, “not too hot, not too cold” becomes “not too onerous, not too easy” – the aim is to deliver just the right service experience according to the context of the situation. Not too much information, not too little, just the right information to the right taxpayer at the right time. That’s when you are in the Goldilocks Zone and it implies that instead of a one-size-fits-all model, agencies adapt and personalize.

Some taxpayers prefer to contact agencies by phone. Making this interaction “just right” might involve equipping the service agent with highly relevant context about that individual and his problem so that the agent can more quickly and accurately address the taxpayer’s needs. Or it may mean providing a better automated response with options personalized to the caller and their spoken reason for calling. For taxpayers seeking to self-service and searching the website when they need something, “just right” could mean personalized search and recommendation capabilities and chatbots offering personal and situational context. “Just right” also extends to the administrative experience such as tailoring the filing process to taxpayer context making forms easier to understand and culling the amount of non-relevant information.

The insight required for a personalized and differentiated service experience comes from having a holistic view of the taxpayer through the aggregation of digital data from various sources. The key is using personal data and contextual insights to create personalized experiences. Also key is a design approach that brings users voices into the process from the very beginning.

As a primer, Accenture has identified four key components of a best-in-class personalized experience, which we call The Four Rs of Personalization. When citizens interact with a business or agency they expect to be recognized by name and to have their preferences remembered without having to be reminded. They expect the agency or business to pay close attention to their unique preferences and make recommendations that are relevant within the context of the situation.

Companies succeed when they cater to the individual customer and make it easier for them to consume what they want, how and when they want. Agencies can benefit from personalization as well. Making it easier to interact with the agency can increase compliance and streamline problem solving, which will save time and cost for citizens, their accountants and the agency.

So, have you found the Goldilocks Zone for the various taxpayers you serve? Let me know by leaving your comments, thoughts, and suggestions at the bottom of this blog. To learn more about how to improve taxpayer experience through personalization, visit us here, and follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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