Success Story

Customer portal strategy for Smart Government platform enables the City of Bern to offer online services

The residents of the City of Bern use the municipal services every day. A SmartGovernment platform is intended to integrate this service into the digital life of the population in the future. Working with the City of Bern, mimacom developed a customer portal strategy.

"The basic idea behind the portal strategy is the quest for the sustainable development of municipal services. This means easy access, pooling resources, more time for the people and stronger democracy."

Jonathan Gimmel, Head of Human Resources, Finance & Digital Development

The challenge: Online services that address a range of different needs

Background The residents of the City of Bern contact the city administration with a wide variety of inquiries, creating a large administrative effort. This is why the city administration wants to use a portal to offer online services to its residents in the future. Nevertheless, the development of online services presents a major challenge: digitization allows easy access to public services, but to do so, the platform has to accommodate a variety of age groups and issues. Only then it will be able to offer low-threshold, inclusive access to all its residents.

The City of Bern, therefore, decided to work with mimacom as a user experience expert. Together, they developed a customer portal strategy enabling the city administration to translate the needs of its residents efficiently into online services.

Solution: Human-centered design for a new understanding of service

In-person visits to access government services are a thing of the past – digitalization and automation are creating new opportunities. The aim of the portal is to bring the online services of the City of Bern closer to the people and to contribute to higher quality of life. From the perspective of the city administration, this is based on a service understanding that focuses on user experience rather than technology. As part of the E-Bern innovation project, municipal services will be systematically developed from the user's perspective going forward. For example, residents who have recently moved to Bern will automatically receive all the necessary documents automatically and have access to online information available in their language.

mimacom approached this understanding of service with human-centered design, a methodology that puts the needs of users first. mimacom used regular interviews and tests to understand the needs and requirements of the residents and to develop a customer portal strategy that meets them.

"I don't care whether it is fancy or not, I just want the level best," Gimmel said. “mimacom's agile approach enables us to pinpoint the actual needs and requirements."

Jonathan Gimmel, Leiter Personal, Finanzen & Digitale Entwicklung

Fundamental change for residents and the city

With regard to the customer portal strategy, Jonathan Gimmel speaks of a fundamental shift in the relationship between the city administration and the residents. The new platform is designed to provide residents with the highest quality of service and to make services easy to manage. The services of the City of Bern can thus find a place in the digital life of its residents.

Digital touchpoint for residents and the city administration

The benefits In the future, the residents of the city of Bern will benefit from personalized and convenient access to municipal services. The digital touchpoint also promises to save time thanks to smart technologies. Digitalization should not only create more virtual interactions, but also free up more time for analog services thanks to resource savings achieved by the city administration. "No one should be left out. While we want to use the customer portal to promote digital solutions, we also want to use the new resources to help people without digital access," says Mr. Gimmel.

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