BETA Reports: Improving service delivery through SMS

BETA Reports: Improving service delivery through SMS

Domestic Policy Behavioural Economics BETA registered trials
Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA)

Beta report showing finger on mobile phone screen

Small simple changes in service delivery can make a big impact on people’s lives. Partnering with the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Behavioural Economics Team (BETA) explored how SMS reminders could be used to improve notifications that effect income support and assessment. In the ‘Timely Reminders to Report on Time’ trial, DHS sent an SMS to remind income support recipients to report their income to DHS on time. The second trial ‘Improving Government Confirmation Processes’ , sent a confirmation SMS to parents who were changing their Child Support assessment, making the whole process more transparent.

The findings of the trials were clear, introducing a simple SMS reminder helped those looking for work report on time and receive the income they need. Sending a confirmation SMS also reduced the number of parents calling the Child Support team, reducing call wait times for other Australians interacting with DHS.

For more information on the trials, or the Australian Government’s central unit for behavioural economics in public policy, head to the BETA page.