Service delivery
May 7, 2012

Ontario’s service approach

CGE Vol.13 No.5 May 2007

Ontario is striving to achieve its service vision to be recognized for meeting or exceeding customer expectations for high quality, cost effective public services. Through its Service Framework, Ontario recognizes the need for enterprise management of end-to-end service delivery across an integrated network of service channels. The linkage between employee engagement and customer satisfaction is critical to the Service Framework.

Ontario is integrating its front and back office operations through the efforts of the Ministry of Government Services. Two ministry divisions, ServiceOntario and Ontario Shared Services, are changing the way services are delivered to the public and to internal government customers. Associate deputy ministers Bob Stark and David Hallett explained the reasons behind the changes.

SERVICEONTARIO
Beyond the Toolkit
ServiceOntario is the key service integrator and delivery arm for routine government transactions – across ministries, programs, over multiple channels, for both business and individual needs. In the long-term, ServiceOntario will be the starting point for every public-facing service offered by the Ontario government. “Our objective is to meet or exceed customer expectations with our service, solutions, leadership and people…every time,” said CEO Bob Stark, who has identified six critical success factors to meet that goal.

1. Brand Values
“As the province’s ‘retail expert’, ServiceOntario is committed to providing high-quality, cost-effective, integrated services across government. We are focused on outcomes and value provided by a sustained, dynamic and innovative workforce that meets customer expectations and improves customer satisfaction with government services,” he said. Four values are the essence of the brand – and using the concept of brand could prove useful in helping conceptualize what is needed to build trust in public service:

·     Access: seamlessly offer services that are fast, easy and convenient to find, use and understand: “People need to know where to go, that’s the first step in customer satisfaction.”

·     Value: provide high quality services, delivered in a timely manner and at a price that convinces Ontarians they are receiving real value – effectively putting their taxes to work.

·     Quality: focus on continuous improvement based on timeliness, professionalism, accurate information, consistent outcomes, and fair treatment. “We need to measure what we do to enhance our ability to track performance,” Stark commented. “We have designed our own ‘STEP’ program (Success Through Effective Processes) to instill a process-oriented culture across ServiceOntario. We need to change our focus from reactive to proactive, and ensure that decisions are based on relevant and supportable data, rather than the folklore. We are committed to process and discipline to achieve consistency.”

·     Trust: “ServiceOntario will earn the trust of our customers by making protection of privacy, security, confidentiality and attention to accuracy paramount in the delivery of services,” Stark notes. Along with accessible, valuable, quality service, that should go a long way to building the brand.

These overlap somewhat with the Institute for Citizen Centred Service (ICCS) drivers. The importance of process quality across the organization is illustrated through one of the ICCS drivers – “staff are willing to go the extra mile.” Stark notes that when a staff member has to go the extra mile, it is often because the system is broken or dysfunctional. “We shouldn’t be asking them to go the extra mile every day. We should be fixing the systems.”

2. Service Offering
Despite the push to IT, half of Ontario citizens prefer to use the telephone to access government information, and a third prefer phones to apply for a program. So ServiceOntario responded by providing a central call centre and telephone support for the website. And in-person hasn’t been ignored. Unlike some private sector organizations, which drive people to their website and don’t provide phone support, or that charge more for a service delivered in person rather than on the web, ServiceOntario continues to provide in-person service. And is making it easier, by co-locating with federal offices where possible. Kiosks in high traffic malls provide license plate renewals, address changes, and fishing licenses. Multiple service options will be maintained, while encouraging e-access. Land Registry, for example, is now done online 85% of the time.

The first service guarantee, reported in our December 05 issue, has a very high success rate. Guarantees will gradually be extended to a wide range of online services.

3. Customer Service

“Our goal is quality service and customer satisfaction. Government has a distance to go on that, to be at the same level as the private sector,” Stark advises. “ServiceOntario allows us to concentrate on service delivery. We’re studying how to get better. We ask citizens – and find they are still confused about who provides what service and how to access it. We’re reaching out, meeting with private sector organizations to study their service operations. We’re looking at global research, and meeting with high quality organizations around the world.

“A service-oriented mindset is crucial for ServiceOntario to be successful. Staff must be energized to customer service at every level of the organization. To achieve this, we created ‘ServiceOntario YOU‘ – an internal program that provides employees with specialized training, rewards and recognition in support of service delivery, and introduced the program to staff earlier this year. Staff had an opportunity to share and discuss our vision, mission and values. We asked for and received their suggestions, and had real and meaningful discussions about what excellence in service delivery means. Through ServiceOntario YOU we try to create a safe environment in which they can express their concerns; 80% of staff ‘get it’ and desire to be on board.”

4. Cost-Effective Service Delivery
Through strategic alignment and an organization-wide commitment, ServiceOntario is building a culture that promotes operational excellence and effective process management in all aspects of its service offerings, leading to cost effective service delivery.

5. Partnership

A reliable, accountable and agile infrastructure supporting strong delivery partnerships is crucial. “Building strong partnerships, both within the OPS and beyond, is critical to ServiceOntario’s success,” said Stark. “We are working with a number of stakeholders who are equally committed to helping us be successful in achieving our vision.”

6. High Performance Organization

A relative newcomer to public service – he previously worked at Imperial Oil, ScotiaBank, and Rogers – Stark marvels at the depth of experience and knowledge. “The calibre of people I have met within the OPS, and at ServiceOntario in particular, continues to impress me. Government does a lot of things right. In the private sector, outputs are clear and easy to measure – for ex

About this author

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

Service delivery
 
Due to lockdowns and border closures around the world, Covid-19 has...
 
Whether you’re trying to decide on which brand of cereal to...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones talks with...
 
From Executive Government to Crown Corporation to Public Traded Company. Today...
 
Earlier this year, the federal government kicked off an auction for...
 
In the show, J. Richard Jones talks with Colin Earp, Partner...
 
Leadership, service delivery, change management, performance measurement, big data, transparency, digital...
 
China’s Shenyang is traditionally an industrial city, but when work began...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones talks with...
 
The Northern Federal Council (NFC) is a collaborative network of over...
 
We risk missing out on the potential “Artificial Intelligence” has to...
 
Tornado warnings broadcast a few weeks ago in Eastern Ontario and...
 
Everyone wants to change, become more efficient, and drive better value...
 
Artificial Intelligence is creating a great stir across many industries today....
 
In the spring of 2018, the Auditor General of Canada, Michael...
 
By June 2017, the Public Engagement Team at the Privy Council...
 
Everyone wants to change, become more efficient, and drive better value...
 
In July 2017, a local company unveiled a “virtual statue” on...
 
In 2016, the community of Fort McMurray, Alberta, located in the...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones speaks with...
 
We are excited to share with you the latest issue of...
 
Welcome to the era of Smart Cities where connectivity will drive...
 
In this episode, J. Richard Jones sits down with Martin Joyce,...
 
Over half a billion children live in countries that are falling...
 
According to a recent McKinsey study there is a potential for...
 
As Executive Director of the UK’s Government Digital Service, Mike Bracken...
 
Having a clear definition of success is one of the key...
 
Public servants are responsible for providing advice and support to the...
 
Public sector managers from all levels of government across Canada increasingly...
 
With businesses and government agencies increasingly operating in a highly information-based...
 
Blockchain. There’s probably no other technology trend in recent years that...
 
Rankings of public sector entities has been big trend for quite...
 
In March, the Canada Revenue Agency’s website was shut down by...
 
The latest issue of Canadian Government Executive is currently available. Some...
 
The association representing more than 42,000 physicians and medical students in...
 
As Toronto’s city staff prepares top release proposed regulations for taxis...
 
In the face of mounting public support for supervised injection sites,...
 
It appears it was not just the Mounties that were affected...
 
Last year, the Canada Revenue Agency rolled out a pilot program...
 
There’s a lot of noise out there about digital government. Yet...
 
Somewhat surprisingly in light of ongoing budget constraints at all levels...
 
commentEmail””:””thomk@rogers.com”” Related posts: The Socialization of Big Tech...
 
There are many reasons why governments should move to a citizen...
 
Governments around the world are integrating services as a means of...
 
The New Zealand government and public service went through major reforms...
 
The government of Langford, British Columbia, received last week the 2014...
 
Since 1998, the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service has been conducting Citizens...
 
Labour intensive with slow response times, limited data and obsolete technology:...
 
As the only official bilingual province, with a third of its...
 
The government of Nova Scotia has introduced a Seniors Navigators Program,...
 
Like all provinces, Nova Scotia is grappling with transforming the way...
 
Yesterday the Globe and Mail reported that the federal government hopes...
 
The drive to contain costs within the public sector will likely...
 
ServiceOntario has helped change the way the Ontario government serves people...
 
In 2012, two major initiatives changed the face of Ontario’s Student...
 
On December 6, Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak released a...
 
There is little doubt that a crisis of relevance has hit...
 
The PrimesChris McGoffJohn Wiley, 241 pages, $35.95 As the World Bank...
 
Long, long ago when the world and government service delivery concepts...
 
Government citizen-centred service delivery is undergoing a re-think. The growing number...
 
More than 15 years ago, the Ontario government implemented a model...
 
The P3 model is different from traditional procurement: it transfers significant...
 
For First Nations, a child’s birth must be registered before parents...
 
That Alberta Works office reflects a philosophical shift that has transformed...
 
On March 29th, the federal government brought down one of the...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.5 May 2007 In late 2004, the Ontario Public...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.4 April 2007 Western countries and institutions have for...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.5 May 2007 Ontario is striving to achieve its...
 
By 2017, visible minorities will make up almost 29 percent of...
 
For leaders, the biggest challenge to improving public sector service delivery...
 
The Public Sector Service Delivery Council (PSSDC) is a coalition of...
 
Quote of the week “‘Deliverology’ challenged government to be both clear...
 
Quote of the week “We expected, and found, a negative depiction...
 
Quote of the week “…governments bear responsibility for producing public value.”...
 
Essentially, the Office asked in its audit whether the Australian Public...
 
Les services généraux ou ministériels ont souvent du mal, surtout dans...
 
Corporate services branches, particularly in small organizations, often have difficulty balancing...
 
Government services around the world face the following challenge: how to...
 
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment is in the midst of significant...
 
A recent study conducted in the Ontario public service elaborates our...
 
As the Internet has grown and evolved, so too has the...
 
While most North Americans today have a limited experience with trains,...
 
Leadership of public sector organizations is one of Canada’s most important...
 
La Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) a décerné...
 
Le Groupe d’experts indépendant sur les subventions et contributions prône un...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.9 November 2007 There is a resurgence of quality...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.8 October 2007 Ron McKerlie is Ontario’s Corporate Chief...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.7 September 2007 Governments and their public service organizations...
 
The past decade has given rise to tremendous experimentation in public...
 
« Les différents intervenants au Canada n’arrivent tout simplement pas à bien...
 
The Civil Service Commission was created in September 1908 to eradicate...
 
"Oh, the land of cloudless days," Willie Nelson croons in one...
 
À vos yeux, quels sont les plus grands défis de l’IAPC?...
 
Quand Willie Nelson vante les charmes d’une contrée sans nuages dans...
 
The tragedy of the E. coli outbreak in Walkerton in 2000...
 
“Help wanted” has again become a common sight in windowsills and...
 
Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport is poised to...
 
A short 18 months ago, the Ontario Public Service made its...
 
According to the people who know it best – its residents...
 
La prestation de services à guichet unique fait maintenant partie intégrante...
 
This article considers emerging and possible future developments through four windows...
Due to lockdowns and border closures around the world, Covid-19 has...