The federal government is making progress on the customer experience (CX) goals laid out in the President’s Management Agenda (PMA), but the 2018 Forrester Federal Customer Experience Index indicates that there is still room for improvement. According to the report, federal customers maintain that agencies make processes too difficult, struggle with customer service, and show less respect for customers than they used to.
Still, there are signs of hope that government is advancing toward the PMA’s recommendation of “a customer experience that compares to – or exceeds – that of leading private sector organizations.” For example, the results of the 2017 ACSI Federal Government report indicate that citizen satisfaction with government service is the highest it’s been since 2007. Perhaps this is due to increased emphasis on using technology to improve citizen interactions; the latest Government CX Insights report indicates that CX scores are higher when citizens can complete transactions digitally.
Indeed, the PMA centers on the importance of technology in supporting a better CX. Part of the PMA calls for the creation of IT Modernization Centers of Excellence (CoE). These CoEs are focused on five pillars, or key activities, which all aim to modernize government. The five pillars, listed below, specifically focus on improving citizen experience:
- Accelerating cloud adoption
- Optimizing IT Infrastructure
- Optimizing call centers with the latest technology
- Improving service delivery analytics
- Assisting agencies with the development and implementation of an optimal customer experience strategy
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) volunteered to serve as the initial “Lighthouse Agency” to implement and use the CoE model. GSA will communicate lessons learned and best practices from the USDA implementation as it rolls out other CoEs for subsequent agencies.
The GSA and USDA are making progress on implementing CoEs. The initial contracts were awarded in March during Phase One.
Rather than simply relying on headlines, interested parties can track the progress USDA and GSA are making on implementing each of the five pillars here. One recent accomplishment includes the creation of customer personas to accurately capture USDA citizen needs when creating journey maps.
Phase Two of CoE implementation will kick off during an Industry Day and Reverse Industry Days jointly hosted by GSA, FAS (Federal Acquisition Service), and USDA on June 27–29. In addition to updating attendees about the progress made on the USDA CoE, the government will solicit feedback and ask industry experts for recommendations about what to include in RFPs for Phase Two. This collaboration between government and industry should provide agencies with new insights resulting in better proposals and procurement processes. The government should be commended for hosting industry days, especially in the accelerated timeline for the USDA COE. It will undoubtedly be worth the effort, as greater collaboration will result in more clarity of government requirements and better solutions from industry.
HighPoint Global looks forward to attending the Industry Day on June 27 and engaging with government officials as Phase Two kicks off. We are thrilled with the speed and progress we’ve seen so far—may it continue!
This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Cal Shintani, Chief Growth Officer at HighPoint.