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Part 2: Modernisation and Technology

Young person sitting on grass and using a smart phone

The department puts people at the centre of everything we do. We engage with customers and with other organisations to ensure a customer‑centric approach to transformation. Through understanding and building on what our customers think, feel and do as they interact with us, we can improve the customer experience, creating benefits for our customers, our people and government.

The department is undertaking a process of transformation with the aim of making life as easy as possible for those dealing with government. We are moving towards the simpler and more personalised services Australians expect. This includes a focus on increasing protection of customer data as the government digitises more and more of its services.

In 2018–19, the department introduced a new look and feel for online claims that improves the experience for customers, along with digital assistants to answer enquiries as they arise and help people use our digital services. We also made it easier for customers to move from one payment type to another by streamlining transfer claims.

In 2018–19, we introduced, for the first time, an online option for customers to claim ABSTUDY, the Disability Support Pension (DSP), and the Pensioner Education Supplement. We also provided additional online options for a range of payments and services, enabling customers to manage their claims entirely in the digital channel. For example:

  • the new claim process for students has cut the number of questions they need to answer from 117 to 37 (68 per cent)
  • the new claim process for the parenting payment has cut the number of questions from 69 to 20 (71 per cent)
  • the new claim process for jobseekers has cut the number of questions from 100 to 26 (74 per cent).

Designing with the customer at the centre

Older person with a prosthetic leg leaning on fence in rural setting using a tablet device

The department continues to transform the customer experience by learning directly from customers about how they use our services and redesigning those services around their needs.

Through a design session in March 2019 we met Ken, a Disability Support Pension customer, and heard his story of claiming the Pensioner Education Supplement.

Ken was surprised by how easy it was to use the new online claiming process. His online claim was pre-populated with information that the department already held, making the process much quicker than completing a paper form. He only needed to check his information and update it with any changes to his circumstances.

Ken was also able to upload any additional documents as part of the online claim. There was no need for him to call us or visit a Service Centre as he would have had to do previously. He was able to complete the entire claim process from the comfort of his own home.

‘The online claim is much better—I love it!’ was Ken’s verdict.

Experiences like Ken’s are representative of the work the department is doing to improve customer experiences.