7 Habits of Highly Effective Digital Services

What makes a great digital service experience?

Whether a permit, application, request or report, online forms are central to almost every digital service your city provides. Therefore, a good experience must involve online forms that are intuitive, simple, specific to the customer’s purpose and just as easy for your internal staff to process and manage.

To that end, we’ve summed up seven highly effective steps to help you create optimal online forms and a digital services experience that serves everyone better.

  1. Think data-driven and predictive placement of your most highly trafficked services. Prioritise them with prime real estate on your website, based on seasonality, user device or trending topics.
  2. Keep your content language user-driven, not policy-driven. Align how you write to how your customers think and their level of understanding. An eighth-grade reading level is a good rule of thumb to guide your online forms design. Helpful Resource: Hemingway Editor App
  3. Make sure forms are accessible to everyone. This means more than allowing for visual impairments, though this aspect is essential given more than 575,000 Australians and 7 million Americans are blind or visually impaired. Other key considerations include English as a second language and ensuring a responsive design that works well for mobile devices. Helpful Resource: Tota11y Accessibility Checker, Google Mobile Readiness Checker
  4. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Remember to keep your forms focused on the intended outcome, rather than a traditional process. Take advantage of conditional logic capabilities in online forms to streamline and remove unnecessary or confusing questions or content sections. Helpful Resource: “Don’t Make Me Think” by Stephen Krug
  5. Close the customer communication loop. Approach online forms as a key component of an end-to-end process—meaning once submitted, there needs to be an intelligent workflow to move the request between the right people and tasks until completion or approval. The best digital services keep everyone in the loop—including customers—from start to finish.
  6. Continually measure, iterate and improve. Your digital services are a living, breathing experience, always with room for refinement. Form-level insights provide valuable data about common bottlenecks or form abandonment points, so you can make informed changes to improve customer use and satisfaction. Helpful Resource: Free CSAT Scoring tools, Full CX Measurement
  7. Report and share performance and impact. Be sure to communicate the measurable results of your online forms optimization to stakeholders across your organization. Key metrics like staff time saved, customer feedback, cost-efficiencies and more should be easily visible via a simple but meaningful dashboard. Sharing the value realized reinforces ROI and can lead to further investment in your transformational shift to digital services. Helpful Resource: Google Data Studio, Microsoft PowerBI

Create simple, intuitive digital services for all. With OpenForms, you can manage and optimise your online forms and workflow without any custom code, and deliver a great customer experience from start to finish.