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Looking at the customer journey

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital, Future planning, Insights, OPG Team, Research

Katrina Morrison and the OPG Insights Team have been carrying out work to create a “customer journey map”.  Here we discuss the different experiences of our customers and what’s next for the project.

Three women sitting at a table having a conversation

As part of  OPG’s 2020 – 2021 business plan we pledged to “Continue our research to find out why more people do not take out LPAs, what support our customers need and how we can support them.”

We made this pledge because we recognise that it’s important to learn about the experiences of customers. We want to understand what works well in our processes but also the barriers or sticking points, so we can continue to improve our services.

Our customer journey mapping project is part of fulfilling this pledge.

We’re broadening our insight into the customer journey and how we can better support our customers through their LPA application.


What did we do?

Our first step was to carry out interviews with donors and attorneys who have recently registered their LPAs.

We transcribed and analysed this interview data which enabled us to ‘map’ the different experiences or ‘journeys’ of using our service. From deciding to start the process of making an LPA, through to the arrival of the registered documents, and if necessary – using them.

This has been mapped in a visual format but has also enabled us to draw out insights such as thoughts, feelings, barriers and frustrations.


Why have we been doing this?

This process allows us to understand not only the difficulties or ‘pain points’ that customers might experience, but also the wider context in which they are choosing to register an LPA.

For example, has there been a specific trigger for the LPA being taken out? Has it been an emotional experience?


Insights from the journeys so far
We discovered:

  • There are common triggers for taking out an LPA (such as becoming a parent, completing a will).
  • There are mixed experiences of using the online LPA service. Many of these were positive but there were some pinch points, especially around printing and posting the LPA forms (where COVID-19 has added extra complications for those not wishing to venture to the Post Office).
  • The conversations (or lack of) that take place between the donor, attorney, witnesses and the certificate provider.

We’ve uncovered plenty of misconceptions too, such as:

"I don't need a Health & Welfare LPA; my family will be able to make decisions for me”

“I don’t need a Health & Welfare LPA as I wouldn’t realistically disagree with doctors”

“On our deaths, my son will contact the Certificate Provider”

We‘ve also learned about the emotional journey of customers. Such as the relief of receiving their LPA, to the stress of family conflicts and attorney choice. We’ve also uncovered plenty of ‘customer pain points’, which are particular stages in the process which cause frustration and confusion.

Hands typing at a laptop keyboard


What’s next?

We are currently finalising the visual customer journey maps for donors and attorneys, which will help facilitate conversations about service and customer experience improvement.

We are currently planning information sharing sessions to present these to teams across OPG. This will facilitate discussion to identify improvements we can make in our processes and activities that could benefit our customers.

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  1. Comment by Peter KEMBLE posted on

    Is it going to result in presenting your findings to organisations OUTSIDE the OPG? I am sure the biggest frustrations that Attorneys have is when they actually have to start using it e.g.
    a) the organisations that do not follow OPG Guidelines by insisting on a Solicitor certifying copies - when all the Solicitors I contacted would not do it, nor Police, GP, bank etc etc
    b) Or some accepting (fortunately) certification by Post Office. Very grateful to them and PO!
    c) Companies that remove online access to even view status of account…

  2. Comment by Tony A. Jay posted on

    I am 85 and my sister is 87 and she has become a Donor using two of my three nephews.

    Unbelievably the LPA's seem to be 'protected' by the Law and there is plenty of scope for unworthy LPA's to take advantage of their Donor.

    This makes me very wary about becoming a Donor.

  3. Comment by Jonathan Maskew posted on

    Any challenges and hurdles with digital signatures need to be addressed & tech solutions found ... it’s inevitable in my view and ultimately will be client driven who will expect to undertake this online.

  4. Comment by Diane MacRae posted on

    As a couple who’ve each just completed both LPAs, glad to see you’re keen to improve the service. We’d agree with much of your findings to date. The main shock for us was the huge difference between the simplicity & convenience of the online service - compared with the prodigious amount of paper it produced! Much can & should be done to streamline the paper forms & reduce redundancy.

    We understand that ‘customer’ & ‘journey’ are fashionable ‘continuous improvement’ concepts that have recently entered the Civil Service lexicon - no doubt via ubiquitous business consultants. What you call us among yourselves is up to you - but please don’t use those inappropriate labels when talking to us - the public! Yours is a public service we ‘citizens’ all have to use - to live, work & die in the UK - no different from HMRC, DWP & HMCTS. But ‘customer’ implies a choice - even a degree of influence. We citizens/users/clients have no choice or influence over our need to interact with government departments.

    And ‘journey’ is a greatly over-used & frankly ridiculous term - more appropriate to reality TV than an important administrative process. LPAs may cause some users to go through a ‘journey’ with their family members about it - but OPG certainly have no involvement in that. Not unless you propose to introduce an LPA arbitration or counselling service!

    Completing an LPA is important - but it’s just a process: like filling in a tax return or an application for Universal Credit. If you start using such emotive terms with service users - you’re more likely to put them off doing it. People don’t like to face up emotionally to the possibility of serious incapacity & getting old - many would rather ‘stick their head in the sand’ about it. So the more neutral the language & the more impersonal the process - the better. This will allow users to take an objective responsibility for these future risks - without having to get upset about it. Make it as normal & natural a thing for everyone to do as applying for your 1st driving licence!