Will 2016 be the federal government’s ‘Year of the Customer?’
That’s what DigitalGov asked in December when they reviewed the changing customer experience landscape for government:
“There is little doubt that 2014 saw the government make great strides on this front, setting in motion a number of initiatives that will help ensure that CX [Customer Experience] will soon take root as a central management discipline across the Executive Branch. If this was the year of planting seeds—and if 2015 will be the year of germination and nurturing—then we can look to 2016 as the year in which agencies’ CX efforts may begin to truly bear fruit.”
Based on our insights working with over 1,000 government agencies across the United States and Europe to help them connect digitally and engage with over 90 million citizens, we’ve seen how mastering customer-centric communications has taken center stage as the key to enhancing satisfaction.
Customer expectations are rising in light of the fast-paced customer-centric experiences citizens have with the private sector. Public sector organizations are now being held to that same standard.
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which measures customer satisfaction across sectors and industries, the federal government received an overall citizen satisfaction score of 64 in 2014, placing it below nearly every private sector industry measured. Among more than 40 industries covered by the ACSI, only Internet service providers have a lower score.
So how can customer-centric communications help?
Citizen perceptions are influenced primarily by the ability to access information and services when, where, and how they want. Improving that experience, and therefore improving citizen satisfaction and engagement, requires the measurement of actionable data. Who is your customer? What is their customer journey when they interact with your organization? What is the scale, context and timing they prefer when interacting with your agency?
Once you have collected the data to understand what that customer experience looks like for citizens through the numbers, your agency can tailor a digital strategy focused on reaching the broadest audience, driving more audience engagement, and converting that engagement to action in a way that improves the work you do for citizens.
The agencies that tackle challenges head on and look to constantly improve will reap the rewards of healthier, happier, more engaged citizens.
Inability to meet and exceed citizen customer expectations could result in reduced outreach engagement, declining public perceptions of your value, limited ability to receive the necessary resources to achieve strategic priorities, and failure to comply with federal customer experience mandates.
(Photo by Andrew Bossi, Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/talllguy/3205974480)