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A Human Centered Approach for Government Agencies to Respond in Crisis

Blog Gov Crisis

More than ever government agencies need a real-time capability to listen, understand, and act with urgency on feedback from citizens

-Lee Becker, Medallia

As the world comes together to respond with urgency to the global pandemic, it is a critical time for government agencies to have the very best technologies to listen to the voice of the people as directed by the President’s Management Agenda and act with empathetic urgency to address the people’s needs. How can agencies proactively respond to the burning needs of citizens and anticipate their evolving needs in crisis response and recovery?  

Approaching the emergency and crisis management framework with a customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) approach is a helpful guide for government leaders to vanquish the virus and meet the needs of the people. 

Customer & Employee Experience (CX and EX) Approach in Emergency and Crisis Management

Customer & Employee Experience (CX and EX) Approach in Emergency and Crisis Management

Here are a few steps on how government agencies can integrate customer and employee experience through the emergency and crisis management framework that includes the ability to prepare, mitigate, respond, and recover.

Preparedness and Mitigation: Understand Citizens’ Needs to Prepare and Mitigate Accordingly

During the preparedness and mitigation phases of the crisis, it is important to have listening channels enabled by the very best digital capabilities for employees and citizens to share information and insights for action. Whether that’s through global-sourcing, digital listening, etc., you can offer citizens a voice and the opportunity for collaborative problem-solving. By creating this ecosystem of signals you’re helping to arm yourself with first-hand transactional and experiential data and insights to launch you into action as you approach the peak of a crisis.

For example, by listening across multiple channels specific demographics that are trending with negative experiences may be pinpointed, which can serve as an early warning indicator that could help your agency focus on moments in the journey that may be an issue later, and help you to close the feedback loop.   

Response: Amidst a Crisis, Action is Key

It is important to remember that collecting input from citizens is only one step in the process. You must take action, and clearly communicate how you are adapting efforts based on their feedback. During the response phase, everything is about action. People provide feedback not because they’re hoping to be a data point on a scorecard, but because they have a problem or see a reason for change, be that in their specific circumstance or for an interaction writ large. Meeting ever-changing needs and caring for citizens are the most important objectives, and it may seem that the opportunity to gather feedback is scarce. 

For example, agencies and healthcare systems reported a shortage of medical supplies could pose an obstacle for delivering efficient experiences to citizens in need. If we could gather the logistical and operational data, the insights from providers, employees, and citizens, and layer in geographic filters – we could then better understand the risk severity by location most impacted, and more efficiently and effectively allocate resources. 

Recovery: Anticipating the Needs of the People

Citizens’ needs will change during, and on the other side of, the crisis. Whether that’s helping them find a job, obtain a loan, file a claim, childcare, healthcare, or buying food, citizens will look to agencies for support as we work towards stability.

How do we help ensure that we are future-proofing our capabilities to respond properly? Text analytics using artificial intelligence can be a cost-effective and efficient way to gather insights, which can allow you to segment your citizens based on anticipated needs and resources. Actionable CX and EX insights will help agencies understand the empathetic needs of employees and citizens to guide changes to the care, benefits, and services that our people will need to recover from the crisis.  

In Conclusion

We are at war with an invisible enemy where our government employees and first responders are heroically serving. Taking a CX and EX approach enabled by technology can provide government leaders the signals and ability to anticipate the needs of their employees and citizens. During this time of crisis there is an urgent need to take a human centered approach rooted in CX and EX to reassess processes and systems, and act with extreme urgency in response and recovery for the people, by the people.