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Action 1: Assisted digital

Assist customers to transact digitally, and provide alternatives for those who can't

The Digital Transformation team is working with agencies on Result 10 - making New Zealanders’ transactions with government easier in a digital environment.  Action 1 is one of the ten Actions in the Result 10 Blueprint (PDF 5.9 MB).

Action 1 is about helping customers deal with government in digital channels.  Result 10 has defined ‘digital channels’ in the Blueprint as including:  web, email, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), kiosk, mobile application, web chat, text messages (SMS), electronic funds transfer and social media.
Action 1 includes helping people:

  • use digital channels – choose digital as their preferred way to deal with government
  • shift to digital channels – move their interactions to digital from channels like phone and face-to-face
  • stay in digital channels –because the process is easy and convenient.

Action 1 is also about giving options to customers who can’t use digital channels.  Not everyone has access to the internet or to the right devices to deal with us online. 

Tools to help us work differently

Action 1 held a summit in June 2014.  The purpose was to begin creating an all-of-government approach to assisted digital, and identify the best ways to help customers. 

The summit was attended by:

  • government agencies
  • local tech companies
  • community organisations and libraries
  • customers of government services.

With the help of our advisory group we identified four areas to progress.

Digital concierge

Participants at the summit suggested a ‘Digital Concierge’ – an online chat tool - could help customers stay in the digital channel.  Other participants suggested in-person concierges – e.g. a staff member helping customers use digital services in government offices. This is also being looked at as part of Action 1.6 in the ICT Strategy & Action Plan.

Assisted digital checklist

We’re creating a checklist to help service designers and project managers in government build assisted digital into services. We’ve drafted a checklist using some of the work that’s been done in the UK around digital inclusion and the Behavioural Insight EAST framework.  We’ll be trying it out on New Zealand projects in 2015.

Plain English

At the summit, attendees told us that to be able to transact with government digitally, they needed to clearly understand government information.  They wanted government to communicate in plain English. In December 2014, we invited agencies to a workshop to discuss how we can ensure plain English is applied to digital. In 2015, we’ll continue to build a ‘community-of-practice’ to share examples and solve problems together.

Being clear about who needs support and what they need support with

Participants at the summit wanted a clearer understanding of who needs help to deal with government digitally, and what support customers need to use, shift and stay digital.  We held a workshop in October 2014 with government agencies, libraries and community organisations, to bring together research across our organisations to help us better understand customers’ needs. We’re currently reviewing this information to clarify who needs help with digital, and where we need more research. 

Working together on this action

All of the Result 10 agencies on the Digital Service Council are involved in this action.  We’ve got an advisory group of government agencies, which guides the work we do.  We’re also building an assisted digital community of people working on similar things including government agencies, libraries and community organisations. 

Next Steps

We’re continuing to work on our current initiatives and will work with the Digital Service Council to agree our long term strategy for this action.

Related information

See the Web Toolkit blog for posts about the work Action 1 has been doing: 

Page last updated: 06/12/2016