Make it personal

Result 9 – Better for Business

Businesses need to know about government compliance obligations and opportunities but are often overwhelmed by either too much or too little information. When government agencies distribute information it is generally by sending the same information to every business. The business must then work out how this applies to their business.

Information is often sent when the agency is ready to send it rather than when the business is ready to receive it. This overwhelms the capacity of smaller businesses to take in and engage with government information.

When information is not distributed, businesses often aren’t aware of the obligations on them and opportunities they could have. Information may be simply offered up on a website and they may have no idea that they need to go and find out more.

This R9 Accelerator opportunity will explore how information about requirements and opportunities can be delivered to businesses in a way that makes it useful, relevant and timely to their business. This will rely on using what is known, learnt or predictable about their business – the right personalised information at the right time.

Louise’s experience

Louise runs a small business creating high-end food products. It has been a steep learning curve to come to grips with the requirements for setting up and running a business, along with the compliance aspects of manufacturing food products.

When she first started the business everything was very overwhelming. There is a lot of information available, but Louise just doesn’t have the time or capacity to engage fully with this if it isn’t useful to her then and there. Understanding what is useful right now, what she will need later and what doesn’t apply to her is also time-consuming. The day-to-day running of her business always wins out.

One of the issues that Louise faces is that the material she does receive, often talks about businesses in general and she struggles to understand what it means to her boutique food business and what she needs to do about it. Because she doesn’t want to get things wrong she will often need to meet her accountant, lawyer, or food tech consultant to clarify the meaning.

Additionally she feels that she is missing out on information or opportunities that could be useful because she doesn’t have enough knowledge about what she could be looking for.

Overall, Louise wants to receive the information about government requirements, services and opportunities when she is ready to use them (and only then). She needs be informed of what she doesn’t know about yet and get information that is relevant to her specific business.

Problem’s experienced

Businesses:

  • Get little or no information that is written for businesses like theirs. They only receive the same generic newsletters or information brochures as everyone else.
  • Information either comes too early (when the business is not ready to use it) or too late (when the business realise they have done something wrong, or they have missed an opportunity).
  • Some businesses have seasonal peaks that mean they don’t have the resources to do something new at those times. Changes need to be planned.
  • Each agency creates and sends information separately which increases the places to look and collate an understanding of everything the business needs to do.
  • Email has become a ‘cluttered’ channel and often important information is missed or ignored.

Government agencies:

  • Each agency knows valuable information about a business but doesn’t use it when deciding what and how to communicate.
  • Emails from agencies that aren’t immediately relevant in the headline will likely be ignored by businesses.
  • Agencies don’t have a common understanding of business customers groups and how best to break up and disseminate information.

Why is this the right time?

The issue of getting customers engaged with messaging is not unique to government. The volume of material being disseminated from all sectors is steadily increasing – and many businesses and consumers are losing the battle to keep on top of the information clogging up their inboxes.

Government agencies are now at the beginning of a journey to take more and more services to a way that puts the customers’ needs at the centre of the design. The R9 programme and agencies are now all focussed on putting the customer at the centre of their strategies when it comes to service design.

What does success look like

A successful solution would provide a proactive and trusted source of information regarding government compliance requirements, legislation change, and support opportunities.

Business customers are able to experience a significant reduction in the effort and cost to find and interpret information by having relevant and personalised content delivered to them (at a time that this matters to their business).

Agencies see improved compliance and better uptake of support services as they have a valued and trusted channel to distribute key messages to the right businesses (and they have an improved view of where each business is and where it is going).

A solution to this problem would:

  • Use information known or predict about a business and its activities to trigger the delivery of relevant information
  • Bring information from multiple agencies together to tell a relevant story to a business
  • Consider other methods than email to deliver information (or several different channels)
  • Understand the business’ seasonal peaks, troughs and challenges
  • Develop an understanding of different customer segments and how best to identify target audiences for messaging
  • Join up the commercial and compliance elements of a business
  • Follow government rules around privacy of information
  • Deliver to businesses, the right information at the right time