Customer Experience

The Symphony of Total Experience: harmonising the melodies of visa and consular services


3 min to read

The Symphony of Total Experience: harmonising the melodies of visa and consular services

At TLScontact, we have long believed in the importance of applying a CX-led approach to developing and enhancing our digital services. However, the times are changing, and so must our approach to enhancing customer engagement. Enter Total Experience (TX), a concept adapted to what we are passionate about: travel visa, citizen, and consular services. A more holistic approach to customer experience, TX considers the needs of all the different stakeholders in the process, optimising and harmonising the experience of each group to ensure the best possible outcome for the customer.

Picture a reality where the process of applying for a travel visa is as harmonious as a symphony, where every touchpoint and every interaction are orchestrated to deliver a seamless experience for all parties involved. That world is possible with our high-touch Total Experience (TX) approach.

Gartner, the technology research and consulting firm, defines the TX approach as incorporating customer experience, employee experience, user experience and multiexperience considerations for a product or service. At TLScontact, we take this one step further. As a visa and consular services outsourcer, we need to consider the experience of our own employees, who interact every day with visa applicants, and of the government caseworkers who make decisions on the applications that we collect on their behalf.

As the CIO of TLScontact, I have seen first-hand the importance of understanding the experience of customers (visa applicants), government caseworkers, and TLScontact agents (our employees) when it comes to delivering value through digital services. The visa application process is comprised of a series of interactions among these different stakeholders. Ultimately, the customer’s experience depends on how smooth and easy both the agent’s and the government decision maker’s parts of the journey are: how easily they can process the application, provide the necessary support to the applicant, make a visa decision, and issue a visa if approved.

This requires a design approach that not only considers the usability and aesthetics of the different user interfaces but also the fact that customers access our services through their preferred channels, such as a website, mobile app, kiosk, or in-person at one of the 150 visa application centres we operate around the world. With our TX philosophy, our objective is to make our agent’s experience efficient and effective, and the government caseworker’s experience optimised for their specific needs, so that the applicant’s experience is simple, smooth, and effortless. This is what makes the TX approach more effective and powerful than the CX approach alone.

A holistic, human-centred design approach

User research and the application of human-centred design and business-aware design are integral components of our high-touch TX approach. We have applied them to all the technology products that we have developed for our three key user groups.  

  • Human-centred design is an approach we use to design products, services, or systems with a deep understanding of the people who will use them. It puts the end-user at the centre of the design process, taking into account their needs, behaviours, and preferences. Human-centred design involves research and analysis to identify user needs, brainstorming and prototyping to develop and test solutions, and iterating based on user feedback.
  • Business-aware design is a product and service design approach that puts the end-user needs in the perspective of the goals, requirements, and constraints of our government clients and our corporate and business operations teams. Additionally, business-aware design considers the current and future needs of our clients and our organisation, ensuring that our solutions are sustainable and adaptable to changing circumstances.

In summary, human-centred design and business-aware design are complementary design approaches that prioritise understanding end-users’ needs and behaviour while balancing business objectives. They allow us to create solutions that meet the evolving needs of governments, citizens, and our own employees, taking into account the overlapping requirements and specific pain points of these three groups to create a more compelling experience for all.

Trust, the final ingredient for a note-perfect TX symphony

The final essential component of a successful TX approach is trust. Trust is established through transparency, delivering on our promises and handling difficult questions effectively.

  • Transparency: We provide full oversight to our government clients of our daily operations and we are transparent with our visa customers as to why we collect their data and how it will be used.
  • Consistent delivery: We deliver on our commitments to government clients and visa customers through the application of group-wide standards and processes, regular performance monitoring and the strong buy-in of our employees.
  • Addressing problems when they arise: Finally, we don’t shy away from difficult questions or conversations. We maintain a constructive dialogue with our government clients, seek regular feedback on the quality of our services and our customer satisfaction team is eager to help each and every visa applicant, addressing their concerns via a range of different channels. Every journey counts, every interaction matters.

We are committed to creating a beautiful symphony of total experience by building this trust and harmonising the user journeys of our three key stakeholder groups. Our aim is to provide a seamless and effortless experience for everyone interacting with our brand, and deliver on our promise to make international travel easy and safe for both governments and citizens.

Article written by
Alexander ZVERINTSEV, Chief Information Officer

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