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The e-gains of e-government

The e-gains of e-government

Making life e-sier

E-services are ubiquitous these days; we do our banking, pay our bills, shop and book travel online. For most of us, it’s way more convenient than lining up at a bank or Post Office, and it’s seen by many government agencies as an efficient way to service their customers and reduce costs.  

VicRoads is one such agency, handling a wide range of vehicle-related tasks such as renewing driving licences, registering new or sold cars, paying fees, etc. As Victoria’s population (and numbers of drivers) grows, these service centres are busy and about to get busier.

In collaboration with VicRoads, BehaviourWorks’recently explored several techniques to increase online uptake of its services.  

Inline to go online

Described as a ‘quasi-experiment’, the intervention sought to promote online services to customers while they were visiting VicRoads customer service centres. Techniques included altering defaults (customers were invited to complete a form online rather than joining a queue), providing customer support for those going online, and promoting the benefits and ease of the online service via customer service representatives and in-store written materials.  

A lot to like

Results indicate the intervention worked – people not only increased their use of online services, they very much appreciated the benefits, such as time savings, ease of use and customer support.

This study is one of the first to rigorously test an intervention designed to encourage the use of e-government services through proactive engagement.

The BWA researchers involved in this project were Nick Faulkner and Bradley Jorgensen, working with Georgina Koufariotis from VicRoads. They have published a paper on the topic in Government Information Quarterly.  

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