ATO Client Obsession Case Study
By Jacqui Marchment, Australian Tax Office
What is the Client Obsession initiative?
Client Obsession is an exciting new initiative launched in November 2021 by the Client Account Services (CAS) business line which is part of the ATO Service Delivery group.
In CAS we are focused on transforming our customers’ experiences. We provide tailored services and communications that match clients’ contemporary needs and expectations.
CAS is the ATO’s primary frontline service point for clients engaging in the tax and superannuation systems. We love what we do, and we have a good track record for delivering quality client service to over 10 million direct client interactions a year.
Across CAS we have a strong team of client focused frontline and enabling staff and they all have an important role in delivering the right services and support to our clients when they need it.
Taking into account the environmental context that our staff have been operating in during COVID, we recognised the need to refocus our efforts on our client focus.
“The Client Obsession initiative aims to amplify and strengthen our client focus to take it to the next level and strive for excellence in every aspect of our client’s experience.”Jacqui Marchment, A/g Assistant Commissioner, Client Account Service
What does ‘Client Obsession’ mean?
Client Obsession is equally important for everyone in CAS, whether we’re working directly with clients, shaping product and strategy, developing, and improving procedures, systems and tools or getting the work to the right people. We all play an important role in delivering excellence in every aspect of the client experience. Every business area in CAS contributes to the overall client experience and each of us have something to offer when it comes to making a difference.
Client Obsession inspires and asks our people how they can ‘be the difference’.
- Client Obsession is our opportunity to take our client focus to the next level. It’s about digging deeper and going that extra mile.
- We strive for excellence in every aspect of the client experience.
- We put ourselves in our client’s shoes to understand their individual circumstances – we listen, and we act!
- Our clients are not just numbers; we pay attention to the little things and are hyper-focused on what matters to them.
- We understand the impact of our actions and inactions and aspire for excellence in everything we do to get the right outcome for our clients at the right time.
How are we bringing Client Obsession to life?
Our aim is to embed a culture of Client Obsession in everything we do and strive for excellence in every aspect of our client’s experience.
To kickstart Client Obsession across CAS we have introduced several exciting initiatives designed to build awareness and understanding including:
- The Client Obsession Hub – The Hub has been designed as our one-stop Client Obsession Hub, it is our gateway for our staff to share their stories, access resources and activities to flex their client obsession muscles.
- Engage staff through an interactive campaign to launch Client Obsession across CAS to build awareness and understanding including:
- Engaging staff through a regular series of interactive and thought-provoking client stories.
- Having visible Executive champions. Our CAS Executive are fully committed to Client Obsession and have shared their personal ‘I will be the difference’ commitments and what Client Obsession means to them through creative short videos.
- Engaging all CAS staff through a series of sessions with the CAS Executive. These sessions included smaller breakout sessions to build awareness of what Client Obsession means, why it is important and spark conversation about what they can do to contribute and ‘be the difference’.
- Share - Staff are encouraged to share and celebrate their client obsession in action stories through the Hub. These stories not only provide inspiration to others, but also automatically put staff in the running for our new CAS Client Obsession Champion of the Month award.
- Celebrate - Our CAS Executive review stories that have been shared in the Hub and select three winners to celebrate as monthly CAS Client Obsession Champions.
- Winners receive a certificate, a congratulatory call from our Executive and a ‘connect with an exec’ pass where they can spend 30 minutes with an Executive of their choice!
- Champions automatically go into the running for our prestigious new Annual Client Obsessed Star award.
- Inspiring curiosity – We encourage and champion everyone to look for those opportunities to improve our client experience and ask themselves how they are going to be the difference today? We have made it easy and simple for staff to share their Client Obsession improvement ideas through a dedicated CAS Improvement Hub.
How is Client Obsession making a difference and what’s coming next?
Since launching Client Obsession in November 2021, we have continued to focus on building awareness and understanding of Client Obsession. We know it’s important for our people to understand what client obsession in action looks like for them in their role and for leaders to understand what support they need to be client obsessed.
We are already seeing strong engagement and adoption of Client Obsession across CAS. We have received positive feedback from all areas of CAS and have already received over 150 stories showcasing Client Obsession in action.
We are continuing to see momentum build and have had an influx of improvement ideas submitted with our dedicated CAS Improvement Hub.
To continue promoting and embedding a culture of Client Obsession across CAS we are gearing up to launch our very own Client Obsession Academy. The Academy will offer a tiered certification program designed to build, strengthen, and recognise our staff’s Client Obsession. Staff will earn points to progress through three certification levels to receive rewards and unlock opportunities.
Our monthly recognition program is continuing, and we are looking forward to announcing our inaugural Annual Client Obsessed Star in April.
A newly formed Client Obsessed group involving representatives from all areas across the CAS are carefully reviewing all staff feedback through our Executive chat sessions and team sessions to build a ‘Bring the action’ plan to provide support that staff need to be client obsessed.
We look forward to continuing to embed a culture of Client Obsession across the CAS and our intent is to keep content and activities fresh and tailored to meet the evolving needs of our people.