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Effective Digital Programmes for Good Customer Experience in the U.S.

A recent study asked consumers to rate how well different industries, from airlines to grocery stores, understand and adapt to their needs. The federal government scored at the very bottom of the list, with only 33% of customers rating it as “good.” The Biden administration has ambitions to change that: As 2021 came to a close, President Joe Biden issued a key executive order requiring agencies to improve Customer Experience (CX) and service delivery for the American people. This EO recognises that bad experiences lead to decreased trust.

CX professionals in the federal government have been true pioneers, cutting new paths and shifting their organisations toward customer-centricity. Civil servants working in the CX space have mastered the art of getting scrappy for a quick win, using case studies to showcase the value of customer focus, and enabling leaders to make data-informed decisions.

The government has seen a steady decline in trust over the past 20 years and can no longer afford to ignore the role customer experience plays in this trend. Agencies must immediately act to place the customer at the centre of the design and delivery of policies, programs and services.

The first step federal agencies must take to achieve compliance and accelerate improvement is implementing the right technology to make a meaningful and sustained impact. Collectively, government departments spend 9 billion hours on paperwork every year. To provide a simple, seamless and secure customer experience, agencies must modernise digital interactions, reduce administrative burdens and strengthen their use of timely, holistic customer experience data.

Commercial firms have long deployed cloud-based, CX platforms that collect customer feedback, evaluate experiences and deliver actionable insights to decision-makers. CX platforms can integrate data from multiple sources to provide government IT managers and other decision-makers with a single source of truth on the effectiveness of their services and programs. Advanced CX platforms also help agencies develop customer-facing tools and technologies that are easier to use and lead to the experiences citizens now expect in their interactions with service providers.

The government’s current IT infrastructures and information environments do not consistently gather user feedback and insight. A modern CX platform can collect and analyse all the experience data — which includes the thoughts, feelings and intents of customers — from a broad range of channels through which customers interact with government services.

These channels include websites, SMS, call centres and social media. Bringing omnichannel data together in one place provides a view of the entire customer experience instead of a single touchpoint. This is critical for uncovering pain points along the customer journey – also called “experience gaps” – and identifying specific improvements that can be quickly deployed to prevent further pain.

Accompanied by strong data solutions and a set of IT tools designed for effective customer experience management, the CX movement in government will provide fresh insights for every agency along with an opportunity to deliver on the government promise of citizen service. When IT leaders listen to people through the entire CX lifecycle, they can reduce organisational risk, speed up timelines and improve program performance.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, according to a new report, although 90% of state and local government agencies have improved their use of data analytics in the past two years, four out of five say the gap between how much data they collect and how much they use for meaningful analytics is widening.

A study also found that 89% of respondents agree that data analytics is “the lifeblood of modern government,” but 63% are still in the early to middle stages of analytics maturity, and only 36% grade their agency’s use of analytics to create meaningful information an A. What’s more, 78% of respondents said the amount of data their organisation collects is growing faster than their ability to keep up.

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