The federal government provides essential services to every U.S. citizen. From student loan processing and payment to passport and visa applications, COVID vaccinations, and filing your taxes, each one of these services is complex and requires each interaction to be seamless and secure.
Every interaction between citizens and the U.S. government is an opportunity to deliver the services citizens expect and deserve, and when services don’t meet the demands and needs of the citizen, that leads to a lack of citizen trust in government.
At the ACT-IAC 2022 CX Summit, the underlying theme and common phrase heard from both government and industry was the importance of providing equal and equitable services. During a session focused on Designing and Measuring Equitable, Inclusive Services – Kahlilah Harris, Chief of Staff from the Office of Personnel Management, said it best – equal does not mean equitable. It is important to remember that each citizen enters their interaction or experience with the government in a different way.
Under the Executive Order, Government agencies that provide citizen services are taking a closer look at how to create and design an experience that incorporates the public’s perspective and needs while considering performance for the agency’s mission. To effectively create a more intentional, equity-focused approach, various CX and design methods are needed to truly enable all voices to be heard and data shared so that industry and agency can work together to create an equitable experience.
I talked with Barbara Morton, Deputy Chief Veterans Experience Officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs, in a recent webinar about the Executive Order and how Government agencies are working on Building in Equity for Improved Customer Experience.
Our discussion was centered on the following key insights:
- Data is key when creating and developing equitable experiences. Agencies are working to execute their CX approach or plan, and a key pillar in those strategies is to understand the current state of experiences. Gathering information is critical to truly understand the current state of the citizen experience, and leveraging this data helps to provide a multi-dimensional view of where customers are facing problems or poor service.
- Embracing CX at the agency level. Government agencies like Veterans Affairs (VA) are embracing the CX transformation, creating a link between a culture of sensitivity to define and guide the overall customer experience transformation. Turning towards more human-centered design methods to understand the unique needs of the population enables CX teams from both agency and industry to create change to address these needs.
- CX initiatives must be measured. Prioritization of key initiatives must be tied to success measures and demonstratable outcomes to ultimately improve citizen and public trust in government. Sharing CX experiences and best practices among Government agencies is important to help continue this momentum of transformation of the customer experience as agencies work towards fulfilling the objectives of the President’s Management Agenda and Executive Order.
To learn more about how Maximus is working with agencies to create the link between CX strategy and equity, visit Government CIO Media and Research - Building in Equity for Improved Customer Experience.