What we do

A smarter approach to achieving your digital ambitions

Are you wanting to increase the take up of your online services whilst maintaining excellent customer service? We help improve and increase online services, drive down costs, and most importantly enhance customer experience. We use tools and techniques to gain a deep insight into customer needs and experiences and have developed a range of innovative user focused digital services.

Understanding who your customers are and what they want is key to delivering excellent user focused services.

Customer Contact Reviews

The SDS team can carry out reviews of customer contact and gather data to help you understand who your customers are, what they are contacting you about, when they are contacting you, how they are contacting you and how much this is costing you.

Web Analytics

Although many local authorities collect data on face to face and telephone contact less know details about their digital channel performance, this is something the SDS can help you to explore through the use of web analytics.

User research

To really understand your users the SDS team carry out interviews with service users to gain a deep insight into their experiences, feelings and emotions when accessing services. We work to understand the entire end to end customer experience, capturing their user journey and mapping this out.

Tools used

● Customer Contact reviews ● Web analytics ● Face to face interviews ● Telephone interviews ● User Journey mapping

To really improve services and realise efficiency savings we need to fully understand how the services work from the point of customer contact to point of service delivery and all the parts in between. This often involves a number of internal and external stakeholders and a number of different systems.

Collecting baseline data

The SDS team can analyse existing data and assist with the collation of data to assess current performance and develop cost to serve estimates.

Stakeholder engagement

Through observation, interviews and workshops with staff and stakeholders the SDS team can capture every aspect of how the service works. This is then mapped out into the current or 'as-is' process. Through mapping the process insights and ideas for improvements can often be found from within the service areas themselves and quick wins can be identified and implemented.

Process analysis

Having captured the current or ‘as-is’ process the SDS team begin to challenge this. They can carry out further root cause analysis, identify and prioritise issues to resolve and the roadblocks to deal with. They can also carry out good practice research to see how other local authorities or the private sector deliver the service.

Tools used

● Staff and stakeholder engagement ● Collecting baseline data ● Observation ● Interviews ● Workshops ● Process mapping ● Cost to serve analysis

The SDS team can assist local authorities with developing digital solutions to enable them to deliver a user focused end to end digital service.

End to end digital service design

The SDS team can facilitate workshops with staff and key stakeholders to develop the ‘ideal’ service process, with emphasis on meeting user needs, self service, automation, reducing face to face or telephone contact.

Best practice research

The team are always learning from other authorities, central government and the private sector and often find that digital solutions have already been created that they can then support local authorities to adopt.

Create and develop innovative solutions

Once the best digital solution has been identified the team can help to create a business case for this, evaluating all the potential risks and carrying out a cost benefit analysis. The team can then assist the local authority with developing digital tools and solutions. If these would be beneficial to other authorities the team can co-ordinate partnership working to access partnership grants and carry out joint procurement.

User testing and continuous development

The SDS team can carry out user testing on prototypes and feedback recommendations for improvements to ensure that the tools are meeting users needs and expectations.

Tools used

● Staff and stakeholder engagement ● Process Mapping ● Cost/ benefit analysis ● Risk evaluations ● User testing - screen capture software

The SDS team can support local authorities to implement effective user focused digital solutions and can help to evaluate and monitor the impact of these solutions.


The SDS team can create standard operating procedures and training materials. They can deliver training directly to staff or can train the trainer.


The SDS team can carry out data analysis following implementation and compare this to the baseline data captured in order to assess the impact of the new digital service.


We can help to develop performance monitoring frameworks to monitor and analyse on-going digital service performance, recommending and implementing incremental improvements and optimisations to ensure continued success.

Tools used

● Web analytics ● Data analysis

The SDS team can help local authorities create websites that are responsive, well designed, easy to use and meet users expectations.

Appraisals of existing sites

The SDS team can appraise existing websites, use web analytics to identify top tasks, low visit rate content and user activity on the site.

User testing

The team can conduct user testing using various ‘real life’ scenarios to understand in more depth where users may be experiencing issues and to capture their views on the site.

Design and content reviews and advice

The SDS team are constantly exploring best practice in responsive website design, reviewing design principles and accessibility. The team have a number of tips to help local authorities to write good content for their websites.

Structure development

The team can facilitate workshops with staff and stakeholders to develop new website structures and can then test this with users through card sorting exercises.

Tools used

● Web analytics ● User testing ● Card sorting ● Facilitated workshops ● Content frameworks ● Mock ups ● Wireframes

The SDS team use behaviour change techniques (MINDSPACE) to encourage residents to self serve, giving them more control and reducing costly avoidable contact.

Applying MINDSPACE theory

The SDS team can apply MINDSPACE theory to correspondence and online content, making recommendations for often small changes to content and lay out that can make a big difference to the actions residents take.

The team are always learning and share industry knowledge, digital standards and practical insights to help develop the most effective digital solutions.

Thought provoking research

The SDS team are constantly horizon scanning and carrying out research into topics such as artificial intelligence, open data and Government as a Platform.

Training and development

The SDS team run events, workshops and training to help increase and develop digital and transformational skills across Kent and Surrey.

Learning together

The SDS team facilitate partner meetings and sending monthly e-newsletters to share what we learn through our projects with all our partners across Kent and Surrey.

Our Partners