Drew Howell

“It is the sense of Congress that all agencies should strive to provide high-quality, courteous, effective, and efficient services to the people of the United States and seek to measure, collect, report, and utilize metrics relating to the experience of individuals interacting with agencies to continually improve services to the people of the United States.” – Federal Agency Customer Experience Act of 2017
With the Federal Customer Experience Act of 2017 (S.1088; HR.2846) – the “Act” – having passed the Senate and now awaiting the House of Representatives, let’s return to the subject of the Act and focus on amendments to the original bill.
There are two key provisions in the final bill passed by the Senate – establishing a Performance Improvement Officer role in covered agencies and requiring that agencies report on how they are using feedback to “improve the customer service of the covered agency.”
These additions to the bill are important because all feedback should be directly and immediately used to drive positive change – not just to produce a scorecard. Taking action holds the key to the improved service delivery, mission effectiveness, and trust in government services – the Act’s goals.
The Act will enable agencies to capture transactional citizen feedback more easily. However what they do with that data, and how quickly they do it, is what’s most critical to achieving the Act’s goals. By turning rich data into action at the frontline, the government will be able to significantly improve its citizen-facing services – demonstrating to both citizens and employees that it value their feedback and is committed to continuously improving.
Transactional feedback is most valuable for agency teams that are delivering experiences every day to citizens. For it to have the highest, most immediate impact, the government must ensure that transactional feedback is pushed to the front-lines – the IRS contact center, the USCIS field office, the local Post Office, or the National Park ranger station – in real-time. Arming citizen-facing teams with this data enables a better user experience for both employees and the citizens they serve. Furthermore, employees are able to learn in real time and improve their performance from one call to the next. Medallia research shows that employees are 22 percent more likely to recommend their workplace when they review feedback regularly. Happy, more satisfied employees who see the value and impact of their work deliver better experiences.
Based on the Act, it would benefit the federal government to implement real-time alerts for when citizens are unsatisfied, are not able to complete a task, or do not believe they were treated with respect. In these cases, callbacks serve two purposes – first, they enable agencies to fix what went wrong for the citizen and help that individual complete a task. Medallia research shows that organizations that follow-up with customers based on feedback have an 8-point higher Net Promoter Score® than those who don’t follow-up. Second, callbacks enable the agency to understand and document what went wrong and why.  Understanding the what and why is critical to determine the how and ultimately impacts an organization’s ability to take relevant  action at a higher level – fixing a policy or process that is the root cause of what went front in the first place.
New amendments to the Act will require agencies to demonstrate how they are using feedback. While, collecting transactional feedback is a great first step, in order to truly transform the citizen experience, government entities must understand how commercial organizations are utilizing customer feedback to take purposeful action and drive systematic change. In the end, it’s simple – organizations that gather actionable data, take immediate action on it, and make changes based feedback, will deliver better experiences resulting in both happier citizens and employees.
Find out more about how Medallia enables organizations to act on feedback at all levels in an organization and deliver great experiences! Engage with us today!
Photo Credit: Brandon Mowinkel