Federal agencies must align their systems with how customers live their lives to deliver a simple, seamless, and secure customer experience (CX) that cuts across multiple programs and agencies, according to a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Accenture Federal Services.
“Designing a Government for the People: Collaborative Approaches to Federal Customer Experience” is designed to provide agencies with a concrete path for better understanding and addressing the root causes of customer experience challenges. Importantly, it cites exclusive findings from interviews with experts within the federal government, as well as academic and national research institutes, on the bold actions necessary to design a government centered around its customers.
“The coordinated efforts of many agencies across key functions during the pandemic demonstrated how customers can be better served in times of crises,” said Megan Peterman, customer experience and design leader at Accenture Federal Services. “But truly shifting from a culture of waivers and workarounds to a deeply embedded, customer-centric mindset requires greater collaboration and investment among multiple stakeholders beyond the core CX community – including finance, human resources, legal, and beyond – to address long-standing barriers. Our report lays out a blueprint for building on the progress made to design customer journeys that mirror life experiences and deliver more equitable services for all.”
Highly collaborative CX centered around a life experience organizing framework will require serious investment across all functions of government but will generate significant benefits, the report says.
“When we give federal agencies the correct tools to implement positive change in their customer experience systems, they do so effectively. In our report, we identify seven key steps for achieving a customer-centric mindset across all federal agencies,” said Loren DeJonge Schulman, vice president of research, evaluation, and modernizing government at the Partnership for Public Service. “Specifically, our final recommendation, to co-design services with customers, has me excited about the potential for future interactions with the government. If agencies listen to customers first, they can overcome historic physical, emotional, and resource barriers.”
Along with DeJonge Schulman, the report’s authors are Kathy Conrad, director of digital government at Accenture Federal Services; Nadzeya Shutava, manager at the Partnership for Public Service; and Sarah Hughes, senior manager at the Partnership for Public Service.
Accenture Federal is a member of the Government Technology & Services Coalition (GTSC), a non-profit organization for government contractors in the homeland security market.