2021 Customer Awards: NSW Government - Department of Customer Service - Rookie of the Year

2021 Customer Awards: NSW Government - Department of Customer Service - Rookie of the Year


Company: NSW Government - Department of Customer Service

Company background: The Department of Customer Service was established on 1 July 2019 and wants to give the people of NSW a great customer experience when they interact with the NSW Government. There are more than 30 agencies, entities and business units in our department. Our work impacts affect millions of people on any given day.

Contact: Erin Tierney

Title: Social Media Community Manager

Related URLs: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/

Kudos Category: Rookie of the Year

1. Describe your company and your organization.
The NSW Department of Customer Service (DCS) aims to make it easier to deal with government by driving improvements in customer service. DCS wants to give the people of NSW a great customer experience when they interact with the NSW Government.

There are more than 30 agencies, entities and business units within the department, with our work impacting millions of people on any given day. Customers can connect with the Department’s various agencies through one of 20+ social media channels including those for Service NSW, Fair Trading, SafeWork, and the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

The mission of the Department of Customer Service is to deliver excellence in customer service, digital leadership and innovation in government services. We aim:

  • to establish the customer at the centre of all programs and initiatives across the NSW Government
  • to deliver a more consistent and efficient digital experience for the people of NSW
  • to use data and behavioural insights to drive customer service improvement

The DCS social media team generally consists of eight employees, two of whom actively moderate and respond to incoming comments and messages.

2. Why did you choose to invest in Khoros and what was your experience before making the switch from a previous solution or investing in new technology.
The DCS social media team faced a major challenge when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020. Drivers licence tests were cancelled, Service NSW service centres were operating at reduced hours and numerous customers sought guidance from Fair Trading on cancelled travel and rental agreements – all of which lead to rapid spikes in conversation volume across DCS’ social channels.

Without a social media management tool in place at the time, the social team was navigating these 20+ social channels natively, a process which was proving painfully time-consuming and inefficient. Response times climbed to upwards of 8 hours, comments and enquiries were being missed and the social media team was steadily growing overwhelmed by an ever-growing cascade of messages that were not being easily triaged and prioritised. The social media team consequently became purely reactive in function, unable to adequately feed back into the organisational trending themes and topics, or report on basic metrics.

Over 2020 and 2021, as COVID-19 continued to take its toll through various lockdowns, border closures, mandatory mask-wearing, QR code check-ins in addition to standard BAU comments and inquiries, volume spiked across all DCS social channels.

3. What were your goals when investing in Khoros technology and what successes have you already experienced because of the investment? Please include metrics, if possible.
Recognising the urgent need to improve service delivery workflow, the DCS social media team partnered with Khoros in July 2020, streamlining our 20 social media channels through Khoros Care, to:

  • cut down response times to an average response time of 5 minutes 30 seconds
  • improve Median TAR by 36% over 9 months
  • better track open, pending conversations (we can now see over the past 9 months we have tracked over 8,000 conversations and 100,000 incoming posts)
  • report on trending themes and topics
  • track sentiment conversion
  • have greater visibility of volume/capacity, response times, agent efficiency and customer satisfaction
  • achieve almost 80% of what is considered a good SLA (faster than the call centre at times!)

Since partnering with Khoros, the social media team has felt empowered to tackle the ensuing 100,000+ incoming comments and 8,000 incoming conversations received, effectively tagging conversations so that feedback could be reported back up to the executive level. The team is now in a position to be proactive rather than reactive, getting ahead of potential enquiries by creating content based off trending topics and enquiries.

The aim was to ensure that NSW customers received a world-class experience via social media.  The improvement to both staff and customer experience upon employing Khoros Care was instant. Some further gains experienced include:


  • Common FAQs being more easily managed through the template functionality, cutting down time needed to answer simple questions and allowing for focus on more intricate enquiries.
  • Customer profiles proving invaluable to provide updates and actions across the team. The ability to utilise the profile functionality to provide the latest updates on customer communications was integral to providing a more personalised customer experience – particularly during remote working over 2020 and 2021 when having effective communication for existing issues and resolutions was as essential as ever.

The social media team have been able to significantly pivot the online experience for customers, being state citizens, using Khoros to become a world-class point-of-contact for NSW customers, delivering important COVID-19 and operational information across the department’s multiple initiatives. Khoros Care has allowed us to directly fulfill the mission, goals and priorities of our organisation where the customer is at the heart of everything we do.


Amazing story and very impressive results - congratulations to the DCS team! Thank you for your partnership, we are excited to see how you will continue to put our customers at the heart of all you do.