DEALING with government offices has seldom been known as an exercise in customer satisfaction but Services NSW has changed all that.
Less than a year after the shopfront for most NSW government departments opened on the corner of Kite Street and Lords Place the public’s verdict seems to be that the government has got this one right.
The one-stop-shop eliminates the need to trek around town looking for particular government offices to deal with services as diverse as vehicle registrations and licences, community services or consumer complaints.
There was considerable scepticism when the concept was launched, with the closure of the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) office at Leewood Estate particularly unpopular, however concentrating state government services at one site, on one website and one phone number has produced a streamlined service the public seems happy with.
Even the decision to move the RMS into the central business district seems to have been well received. Apart from the delay of several days while new photo licences are posted out, rather than being available immediately, the RMS is delivering what consumers want.
Its waiting times were never long by metropolitan standards and an average waiting time in Lords Place of less than six minutes for all services is a further improvement.
The extended trading hours also reflect a cultural change in this part of the public service.
Finally service delivery has been built around modern customer demands. A government office which is open from 7am to 7pm on weekdays and until 3pm on Saturdays reflects the flexibility today’s consumers expect and indeed the level of customer service many have to offer in their own working lives.
Service NSW should also deliver cost savings to the NSW government, which ultimately means the state’s taxpayers, as the bricks and mortar style of service delivery is reduced and online access is expanded.
The experience in Orange is that this can be achieved and while actually improving customer service.