2018 was a year like none other with regard to the focus that government placed upon improving the customer experience (CX). Thanks to initiatives like the GSA Centers of Excellence, the President’s Management Agenda, congressional legislation and more, CX now takes up real estate in the minds of many government leaders. However, 2018 was simply a warm up for what we believe are much greater things ahead. It was a year of evangelizing concepts and theory, debating why CX matters to governemnt in the first place and devising plans for what the future holds. 2019 is destined to focus more on action, paving the way for even further advancement in the years to come, perhaps starting with some of the predictions outlined below.
With so much momentum compelling action regarding government CX, agencies will begin to employ resources specifically focused on improving this area. However, without dedicated agency leadership appointed to own the CX, agencies take a cautious approach, focusing on lower hanging fruit such as scorecard development and benchmarking of top line metrics rather than larger, more transformational efforts borne from customer feedback.
It may be called by different names and roll into different parts of a given agency, but based on the realization outlined in our first prediction, agencies will begin to recognize what the likes of GSA, Federal Student Aid and the Department Veterans Affairs already have – a leader and an office that owns responsibility for the customer and the customer experience is imperative. In the interim, CIO’s will take the lead here and will continue to be invaluable partners as more formal CX leadership emerges.
While IT modernization and digital transformation are key focuses for the federal government, it’s their state and local brethren who are moving faster and driving innovation. With less red tape to navigate and more frequent interactions with customers as a compelling driver, state and local governments will move to the forefront of innovative digital customer experience, likely establishing standards that the fed can build upon.
Private sector learned years ago that highly engaged employees are the key to highly satisfied customers. As Shared Service functions become more prominent across government, agencies will begin to focus on how to provide access to relevant information and empower employees to improve both the backend processes and frontline interactions that impact customer experience.
A new Congress presents new opportunities including the realization that Representatives need a better way, more now than ever, to understand the voice of their constituents. With a number of younger and more technically-inclined legislators taking office or moving up the ranks, it’s only a matter of time until our lawmakers begin looking to technology to help them listen more broadly. We believe 2019 is the beginning of this evolution.
For more insights into the evolution of CX across government or to see a demonstration of how Medallia is helping to lead CX transformation in the public sector, please reach out to [email protected].