Digital by Default or Digital by Choice?

6th Apr, 2017
Read time: 2 minutes

So, you may have heard – it’s the digital age. But what does that mean for your council? With 9 in 10 UK adults now online, increasing numbers of the UK’s population are opting to use digital channels to communicate. As demand increases, so does the opportunity to advance digital experiences whilst reducing the cost to serve.

Naturally, a team of very senior decision makers were astonished at the opportunity in front of them. A thumb and forefinger rubbing their chins, they said “We can transform digital services, empower 24/7 access to services AND significantly reduce the cost to serve per transaction to balance saving initiatives”. It almost seemed too good to be true.

And there it was… the birth of Digital by Default as we all know it. Although clear progression has been made, there is still certainly lots to do. What this raises is an important question: Digital by Default or Digital by Choice?

Let’s think for a moment…

By definition, defaulting would mean to revert automatically. Us citizens, we are an empowered bunch. Could we be forced down a certain route against our will? OK, so it’s not quite that serious. We know you would just like us to – for now.

We at Netcall prefer to discuss the challenges of going digital with our customers as offering Digital by Choice. After all, not all of us have access to the internet. Being aware of digital exclusion is as important as service inclusion for those of us online. The key is making digital services so good citizens want to use them.

Picture this for a moment:

  • Citizen raises a request though the online portal.
  • Case is automatically created in CXM – citizen is notified of receipt via SMS or e-mail.
  • Smart workflows automatically decide which team should be handling this request and raises an action for them.
  • If a mobile worker is required to complete a task. They can open, action and close the case straight from their mobile device.
  • When the case is complete the citizen is notified via SMS or email.

As opposed to:

  • Citizen fills in e-form.
  • Case is emailed into the contact centre, sits in queue and is then re-keyed into CRM/CXM. Delay has meant that citizen called in to check progress.
  • Case manually sent from contact centre to back-office team to be actioned.
  • Citizen calls in to check the progress but contact centre team don’t have access to back office systems and has to transfer them.
  • Mobile worker completes the case, but has to wait until they are back in the office before updating and closing the case. There’s no process in place for advising citizen the task has been completed. This results in a final call from a frustrated citizen, which could have been avoided.

Which experience would make you opt to use digital again? Ticking the Digital by Default box by using basic e-forms will result in both frustrated citizens and staff. Fully or partially automate processes and be pro-active with outbound. Citizens should only have to tell you their story once - your people and processes should to the rest.


In short, the quantitative achievement of channel shift is down to the qualitative aspect of services offered. Don’t just tick the Digital by Default box. Embrace Digital by Choice and ensure your digital services are too good not to use.

Liberty CXM improves overall citizen experience whilst reducing the cost to serve. Talk to us today to see how you can embrace Digital by Choice.

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