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Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government

Restoring public trust in the federal government is critical to our nation’s recovery from past crises. To achieve this, the government must prioritize the needs of the public by providing essential services that are reliable, efficient, and accessible to all. However, simply aiming for satisfied customers is not enough. The government must strive to be a trusted partner that anticipates, listens to, and quickly responds to citizens’ urgent demands.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of government services in times of crisis and has also underscored the need to rebuild trust. To achieve this, the government must focus on identifying and improving trust signals, such as providing a better customer experience and ensuring equity for all citizens. A customer-centric approach can help the government deliver better services that meet the unique needs of diverse populations, promote compliance with regulations, and ultimately restore confidence in government.

The Need for Federal Agencies to Focus On Rebuilding Trust

The Pandemic has changed citizens’ expectations about how they should interact with and receive benefits from government agencies. In addition, since citizens’ interactions with government agencies have become more digital and personal, expectations have changed.

The divide between how people interact with the private sector and government is becoming even more pronounced as people increasingly expect to be able to communicate with businesses via any channel or mode of communication they choose, whenever they choose. Because of a measurable decline in trust, there is a greater imperative than ever for the government. If the government cannot boost confidence in its institutions, it will lose credibility rapidly over time.

According to Deloitte research, a government’s level of trustworthiness increases with its degree of localization, a citizen’s “digital experience with a government agency is a strong predictor of their overall level of trust,” and “the mission of various government agencies can greatly influence citizens’ perception of trust.”

The Impact of Technology on the Citizen Experience and The Trust in Government

Not just businesses in the private sector are seeking to change constantly to stay “in the game” with the ever-shifting market, post-pandemic. Today, government and public sector organizations recognize the value of automation in raising productivity and reducing waste so that more money can be allocated to improving the quality of public services for citizens. As a result, governments and the public sector are on board with the effort to get ready for a technologically advanced and citizen-focused era.

Agencies must balance when to employ technology, what it is capable of, what is necessary for the agency to achieve its goal, and how the public wants to use a government service. IT leaders and mission leads must comprehend how citizens will utilize a particular service to successfully update government services in a way that citizens will use and like. Because users will differ at every point of interaction, organizations should divide users into several categories to better understand their requirements and frustrations. The types might be divided based on age, region, or how users interact with a service.

CX-Centered Government Design

Leaders in customer experience should be proud of their efforts in elevating this important federal objective to the forefront of cutting-edge policy formulation. However, to give all eligible consumers straightforward, smooth, and secure experiences, the government must address the leading fundamental causes of customer experience issues.

The following are the actions to build a government that works for its citizens:

  1. Make sure that the government hires the talents it needs internally and externally, and professionalize the customer experience career field to meet the needs of a customer-centric government.
  1. Allow cross-agency investments, programs, and resources for customer experience budgets, wholly and flexibly funded from the customer’s perspective.
  1. The Federal Agency Customer Experience Act aims to facilitate centralized data-sharing authorities and agreements among federal agencies and enable common customer data sharing in a secure environment.
  1. Regulatory and statutory frameworks for customer experience will be revised to improve recertification, accessibility, and eligibility; COVID-19-driven flexibilities will be permanent. And decision-making cultures will be created that consistently work to benefit customers.

A new era of customer experience has arrived in the federal government. While the current policy has provided a higher-level vision of accessible, frictionless, and secure customer experiences, today’s efforts by federal agencies to reinvent public services build on a decade of reform.

A Collaborative Approach

Expanding the collaborative customer-centric approach to all agency operations is crucial to the administration’s vision. Agencies must integrate these systems with clients’ lives as they gather and analyse data, update technology, conduct legal checks, and carry out other crucial tasks. Teams executing all agency functions, not just customer experience teams, should be responsible for ensuring that everyone who might use those services is aware of their eligibility and that receiving them is quick and straightforward. Only when government offices and agencies collaborate in fundamentally novel ways can this joint effort be successful.

Conclusion

The public demands must align with the design of every aspect of federal agencies. Such a strategy occasionally conflicts with current federal organizational structures or procedures. The same people that the government is supposed to serve—all of us—have been frustrated by the requirement that users use systems created for government convenience. According to Andy Lewandowski, digital experience advisor to the federal chief information officer, Office of Management and Budget, “we now need to match our programs, technologies, and systems to the customer journey, and not align the customer to our systems.”            

Transforming federal CX and service delivery can significantly improve government trust. By prioritizing the needs of citizens and delivering high-quality services that are easy to access and use, the government can demonstrate its commitment to serving the public. In addition, digital technologies, data analytics, and design thinking can streamline service delivery and provide citizens with a more personalized experience. However, this transformation must be approached holistically and involve all levels of government and collaboration with industry and other stakeholders. Rebuilding trust in the government requires a long-term commitment, but the benefits to citizens and the country are immeasurable. The time to act is now; working together can create a more responsive and effective government that serves the people.

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