The following blog post first appeared on GovLoop, and is an excerpt from their new report “How to Improve Your CX Strategy,” featuring insights and commentary from ForeSee Vice President of Public Sector Dave Lewan.
Creating a stellar experience for customers who interact with your agency is about more than tracking metrics and checking boxes. At its core, an excellent customer experience (CX) provides a seamless, pleasant, and efficient end-to-end journey — for the veteran searching for benefits information online, to the individual waiting in line to be served at a local office, or the taxpayer reaching out to your agency’s call center.
To help your agency build on its current efforts, here are seven best practices to drive better outcomes from your CX strategy:
1. Identify and understand who your customers are. Your agency serves a wide variety of people who live in different geographic regions, have different needs, and require various levels of assistance. “We have to understand who those customers are and present information in clear language so it can be consumed by different types of visitors,” said Dave Lewan, Vice President of Public Sector at ForeSee. Agency leaders need to know if visitors are internal, external, and how frequently they interact with the organization. What are visitors’ intentions? Lewan encouraged agency leaders to diagnose strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in each audience segment by building personas, and he also noted that “delivering a great customer experience doesn’t happen with a one-size-fits-all approach.”
2. Actively listen to customers. This is a best practice that should extend beyond your call center to the various interactions between your agency and the people you serve. For example, you may get feedback from website visitors, but are you following up when they don’t receive the experience they expected? Contacting customers directly if they’ve had a bad experience can give you a deeper understanding of what went wrong — and how to fix it.
3. Measure. The mantra of Total Quality Management (TQM), is you cannot manage what you do not measure. ForeSee stands by these words, too. It’s important to integrate both quantitative and qualitative data, and measure performance against goals and objectives. We can’t just look at the satisfaction of an experience. Rather, agency leaders need to understand which desired agency outcomes are driven by satisfaction, and what’s driving satisfaction. When done right, leaders can prioritize the investment of their limited time, money and resources.
Specific to the scales used to measure the customer experience, Lewan suggested that government have a common yardstick when it comes to measurement. “An application process at the VA [Veterans Affairs Department] may get a six out of 10. An experience with Health and Human Services Department may produce a four out five, while an experience with Treasury’s mobile app might get a 72! If government moves to make significant strides toward a common index, performance metrics could be clearer for both bureaucrats and taxpayers.”
Many processes in government can start offline and end online or vice versa. But the siloed nature of government agencies and programs makes it difficult to find what they’re looking for. Agency leaders need to understand the entire customer journey — end-to-end. “Citizens are multi-channel, multi-device consumers,” Lewan said. “We tend to throw the term ‘omnichannel’ around without realizing the simple definition is, citizens/ customers interact with your organization the way they want to — seamlessly. It’s not easy to do, but it’s definitely the objective we should all strive for.”
4. Analyze employee engagement. When it comes to optimizing the…
If you’re looking for more agency CX insights, be sure to watch our webinar, “How USA Staffing (OPM) and Other Agencies Drive Results with CX“.Categories: Government