Designing future citizen services – Inspirations from our youth
16 September 2021
On the eve of Malaysia’s 64th National Day, I had the opportunity to engage with a few of our youth on their expectations for future citizen services. It was inspiring to see the passion, energy, and ideas flowing as they aspire to build a better tomorrow. The conversation helped me gain useful perspectives on what is important and possible next steps for us to build the next generation of citizen services. Here are my five (5) key takeaways from the session:
A high benchmark in term of expectations – This generation has grown in a digital-first world and are the recipients of great customer experience (CX) from some of the world’s best brands. In the case of these six youngsters, it is best exemplified by Grab, Revolut, Etiqa, BigPay, AirAsia and Foxtons. Each of these companies has established incredible benchmarks in delivering intuitive, frictionless, personalised, efficient, and completely digital services. This is now the minimum benchmark for the delivery of next-generation citizen experience. Anything lower will only result in an unhappy citizen.
A customer-centric view – The service delivery must be designed from the lens of the citizen and his or her life journey – from womb to tomb – all integrated into one place. The user or a citizen should be the centre and focus of service delivery. As the citizen traverses through the various stages of life, he or she should be able to access the services through a unified channel. This is in stark contrast to the way citizen services are delivered by individual agencies, requiring us to engage with each of them separately.
Build the foundational layer – The first step would be to build and integrate some very essential components that are fundamental to digital experiences as we know them. Some of these include:
Mobile-first and digital-first approach
Single Sign-On for all services
Consistent user interface/user experience (UI/UX) across all federal, state and municipal agency services
Data-once – citizens need to enter data only once; it is shared subsequently by the various agencies
Predictive – anticipate and pre-empt citizen needs
Omni-channel and One-stop customer service
Develop a digital coalition – Further sustained innovation in citizen services can be achieved only through open innovation and co-creation among government agencies, technology partners, citizens and the start-up ecosystem. Human needs and behaviour are extremely complex and unpredictable. Co-creation enables the delivery of better services in a dynamic manner by leveraging the capacity to use resources of a wider ecosystem. It should be treated as a fundamental requirement for the delivery of next-generation citizen services.
Driving industry transformation – It was interesting to hear the youth pointed out that the biggest impact of digital on the country will reside in our ability to transform some of the essential citizen services, such as education and healthcare services. This proves that digital can help improve access to every section of the society. They also discussed about the urgent need to modernise our core infrastructure (such as ports) so that we can be competitive in the region.
I was immensely inspired - every youth on the panel was part of a social initiative. Beyond just sharing ideas, they involved themselves actively and contributed to help build a better Malaysia. The onus is now on us in the government and institutions to channel that same energy into driving collaborative projects and creating world-class citizen services.
Looking forward to this exciting future. Selamat Hari Malaysia!!