Unleashing the Voice of the Customer: When Government and Deep Tech Start-ups Combine
Fay Cooper, DWP Digital & Pete Daykin, WordnerdsData
In government, when we develop a product, we start with user needs. Understanding the voice of the user is our nirvana. It’s a real challenge - our products need to work for users of every age and every demographic. Understanding user needs is both time intensive and costly, relying upon regular surveys or dedicated user researchers who scour the country targeting as many users as possible.
That was until we met Wordnerds and saw the potential to scale our research and user insights.
DWP Digital were delighted to enter into a partnership with the Gateshead-based deep tech startup, and it’s a relationship that is producing game-changing results.
Wordnerds’ award-winning AI platform helps us carry out unstructured data analysis for our Child Maintenance Service, gaining insights from users across social media and specialist forums such as MumsNet. These insights are at a significant scale – hearing the voice of millions of users.
We are either exploring datasets to understand trends across topic, sentiment, time and space, or targeting specific hypotheses or themes of interest, adapting what we’re listening for as our focus changes. The insight we glean helps keep us agile and allows us to deliver at pace.
It also helps us design products users want to use; our new Apply for Child Maintenance Service has achieved over 93% take up in its first month of release and 97% satisfaction rates.
This learning has also proved valuable to our policy makers, helping show them what users need from our service and what is causing them friction. Our initial analysis shocked our stakeholders: across 300,000 tweets about our service one of the most deeply-felt user reactions was stress and anxiety.
This made our policy team pay attention, we’ve got a real problem to solve and now we can focus on how to make things better. We’ve been able to identify key areas to focus our intensive user research - using both AI and real people - to find out answers as to why people don’t have a child maintenance arrangement in place? Why do fathers feel anxious and stressed by our service? What can we do to make the service improve the speed at which money is paid to children?
In this talk we will show how we are collaborating for success and how unleashing insights from unstructured data can help drive a culture of putting your user at the heart of both policy and product design; making a real difference to the lives of people, every day.