One of the key aims of transformation was to make tax and social policy payments as simple and painless as possible.
Our intention was to move high-volume, simple transactions online so we could free our people up to help customers with more complex needs. However, we also recognised that, despite uptake of digital services, there would always be customers unable or unwilling to use them or who needed to contact us for other reasons.
Phone calls and appointments continue to be a key part of our service offering and are available to customers in these situations. Through transformation, we have invested in ensuring that our contact centres, our Community Compliance teams, and front-of-house teams in our offices have continued to be able to support customers. This has been in addition to the investment we have made in digital channels.
Improving digital channels
We made big improvements to our digital services to make it easy for customers to understand their obligations and entitlements in www.ird and manage and track their tax and social policy affairs in their myIR account. We made sure we had a clear view of the outcomes we wanted to achieve, the purpose of our digital channels and what customers valued in them, and what success would look like. We avoided coming up with technology solutions for as long as possible so that we could focus on answering these questions.
We focused on the things that would deliver the most value to customers by helping customers to do things differently and better. If you try to do everything, you will not be able to focus on the really important things. We encouraged a less-is-more and close-enough-is-good-enough approach. This helps to avoid the traps of perfectionism and designing for exceptions rather than the majority.
Changing customer behaviour
It’s important to understand what using digital services and channels will mean for customers and what changes they will need to make to use them. Delivering something new is just the start of changing customer behaviour. A great service might never get used if customers do not get the right support so that they know what to do. New, flash technology is worthless if it doesn’t change customer behaviour. Simple and usable beats fancy and complex every time.
Working with third parties
We also significantly increased our ability to exchange data with other organisations through digital channels that support our digital service providers. We can now partner more easily with other organisations to deliver services through them and make more of the information we hold easily and securely available to them. This meant building our capability to work with third parties and to ensure we built their development timelines into our plans.
Further digital documents can be found in our co-existence and testing sections.