Low uptake is one of the largest risks facing government agencies which are seeking to increase efficiency and reduce costs by providing services online.
To date, very few studies have tested interventions to increase citizen’s use of e-government services.
In this study, BehaviourWorks Australia developed an intervention to increase citizen’s use of an e-government service and tested it using a quasi-experiment.
The intervention involved altering defaults (customers who visited a customer service centre were invited to complete a form online, rather than joining a queue), providing facilitating conditions (customer support was made available) and promoting the benefits and ease of use of the online service (a customer service representative and in-store written materials emphasised these points).
Results show that the intervention significantly increased customers’ use of the online service and indicate that customers appreciated the time-saving benefits, ease of use, and customer support.
This study is the first to provide a rigorous quantitative test of an intervention to encourage citizens to use online government services and can be used by other government agencies to inform practical efforts to increase uptake.