Doing more with less
Like many cities, most of Horowhenua's key services were hard for citizens to find and complete, or weren't available online at all. For most people, transacting with the city meant having to call or visit their customer service center during working hours, or print and mail requests.
More than just a frustration for customers, telephone calls and walk-ins are a big cost to the city. Research reveals the average cost to government agencies for to serve a customer over the counter is AU$16.90 per request. The same request served over the phone costs $6.60, while the same request self-served online is only 40 cents. (Source: Deloitte Australia, 2015)
Horowhenua wanted a new website that did more to engage citizens and deliver online services, without the expense of external development agencies, or additional staff with specialist skills to build and maintain it.
Assured best practice
Partnering with OpenCities, Horowhenua's small 1.5 person digital team completely re-imagined their public website. The new approach put the needs of their customers at the centre of the digital experience, helping them complete their transactions as quickly as possible.
By leveraging the best-practices baked in to OpenCities rather than creating their own, Horowhenua was able to launch an easy to use, service-oriented website within one month, and immediately start transforming its customer experience.
Within the first month of launching its new website, Horowhenua saw an unprecedented shift from customer service calls to clicks. Online services like dog registrations, a high-touch request that residents needed help completing, saw almost 600 online renewals from customers, who served themselves at a time convenient for them, entirely unaided.