Improving government services in 2020


In recent years, government and the private sector have begun to recognize the importance and benefits of improving government services. The current administration, Congress and citizens’ expectations are all driving these improvements. The President’s Management Agenda, with its interagency overarching focus on improving government services, and the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA) created a framework for agencies to better understand their clients, provide enhanced digital services and determine their maturity in the provision of services.

There is, however, a lot to do. Here are my predictions for Customer Experience (CX) in 2020.

1. Agencies will assess changes that affect their working environments (ie the presidential election and subsequent leadership changes) and develop plans to defend their success in carrying out their missions. Agencies that provide services directly to citizens will collect performance and customer data. Political appointments and career staff will have very different goals over the next few months, but they have one thing in common: to demonstrate the benefits and value of their programs.

2. Senior leaders of citizen-oriented agencies will increasingly make improving their client experience a priority. IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, for example, recently discussed the importance of employee engagement and the taxpayer experience. Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul also stressed the importance of customer service to his agency’s mission.

These statements are expected to reverberate across all agencies, leading to changes in executive performance plans, gathering client feedback, establishing metrics to measure success, and agency realignments to have someone explicitly accountable for CX. .

3. Agencies will continue to assign responsibility for customer issues to an executive or create an organization responsible for customer data, metrics, performance, etc.

4. Many agencies already have client managers at different levels, while others have identified one person to focus on client work without creating a dedicated office. Most agencies, however, will not give these organizations and individuals the authority and resources to make meaningful improvements.

5. IT modernization and digital services will continue to attract increased attention and resources. However, without designating an organization that is responsible for the end-to-end customer journey, the CX government will not improve to private sector standards. CIOs who are responsible for digital services under IDEA will not make CX a priority given their other responsibilities. But by adding digital services to the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act dashboard, Congress will give those services greater visibility and focus.

6. As agencies begin to implement their CX action plans, they will focus on measurement, culture, client understanding, and service design. Actions will include the creation of customer offices, employee training on the customer experience, mapping of key journeys and consolidation of contact centers. Agencies will also use human-centered design techniques to create future services.

7. The use of digital forms and electronic signatures will receive increased attention once Congress assesses the reports required by IDEA. Such digitalization has been required for years, but the new law gives these requirements much more weight.

8. The Office of Management and Budget and General Service Administration will continue to remove barriers so that agencies can get feedback from their clients. These efforts will include training program managers of high-impact service providers on evaluating client data to inform improvements in the services they provide and offering tools to gather feedback that include deviations from the requirements. red tape reduction law requirements. Social media will also be monitored for customer feedback.

9. Agencies will have a better understanding of the impact of employee engagement and culture on their ability to provide better services to their clients. Agency leaders will increasingly recognize that citizens deserve to interact with professional government officials who are empathetic to their situation.

10. Artificial intelligence and robotic process automation will be used more frequently to improve CX and increase operational efficiency. In addition, facial recognition technology, blockchain and sophisticated analytics will be tested for their value in improving services. The best contact centers will get extra attention depending on the cost of these centers and their importance in providing digital services.

To make these predictions a reality, agencies should continue to assess key customer journeys through the services they provide and design new experiences that meet the future needs of citizens. They should learn from the successes of other agencies and the private sector, and celebrate their own improvements. Agencies also need to assess their performance through in-depth analytics and customer feedback, connect data from their contact centers with their digital services to determine where failures are occurring, digitize paper services, implement plain language, and evaluate the content provided in all channels.


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