Solace Summit: 8 digital thoughts

Suzanne McArdle

Tuesday, October 14th 2014
Author: Suzanne McArdle, Head of Digital

Suzanne McArdle, Westminster's Head of Digital offers her 8 digital thoughts ahead of the Solace 2014 Summit.

Suzanne McArdle, Westminster's Head of Digital offers her 8 digital thoughts ahead of the Solace 2014 Summit.


1 Be customer centric. First and foremost the customer must be at the heart of every decision and organisations need to move from a Customer Service type culture to a Customer Experience type culture.

2 Don’t rush – think. There is too much rush towards technological solutions without fully understanding the problems we’re trying to solve. That’s not to say we put the brakes on but rather that we use insight, behavioural economics and business service redesign to ensure that our digital solution hits the spot and is value for money. There’s no point using technology if the back office isn’t on board and up to speed.

3 Hit the sweet spot. Find the spot where technology, economics and psychology meet. See Westminster’s Park Right App for a good example.

4 Create emotional connections. The world of online is very much alive and vibrant with market leaders such as Apple and Amazon leading the way for digital best practices. The emotional connection with a brand has never been so pertinent. World class brands are known to create an emotional connection with their customers and so must we. The connection is brought about by anticipating customer’s needs, trusting them and understanding their wants.

By taking the customer experience to the next level and unlocking the true potential of technology citizens can secure outcomes for themselves.


Added benefits include a reduced number of failed interactions and a fluid flow throughout all the customer touch points. Enhanced personalised services will deliver an experience to citizens that promotes loyalty engagement and trust.


5 Prioritise and deliver. Efficiency reports prove that online transactions are 20 times cheaper than phone calls and 30 times cheaper than post. But in order to digitise services you need a planned and agile approach. Which services to do first? How do you bring officers and members with you?

6 My three pillars of digital:

  1. Enhance the Customer Experience
  2. Drive efficiencies thus reducing cost
  3. Digitise services where possible

7 Content is king. The world of online is not limited to forms or wow content, many of the “how to” questions can be addressed by creating You tube videos, Twitter feeds, Community forums and other popular user generated content platforms. Make content that fits users needs in a form they want and at a time that suits them. How do you know? Ask them and then follow the analytics.

8 How do we measure the success of this? The key performance indicators of Customer engagement and Net Promoter Score deliver a best in class pulse of how the business is doing and more importantly are we delivering what we set out to do for our citizens.