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Government surveys play an indispensable role in helping public organizations support their citizens and prioritize their needs. As Customer experience (CX) is gaining importance across every industry and the government sector is no different, government agencies should not leave any stone unturned to delight their citizens with improved services. While the customers are accustomed to the exceptional experiences provided by companies like Amazon and Uber, let’s understand why government agencies need to institutionalize CX for gathering information on public ideas and opinions.
Government agencies are in touch with everyone, every day. Be it passing through a security check at the airport, seeking a loan for starting a new business, or receiving support in case of disasters or calamities, every interaction between the public and government comes as a powerful opportunity to showcase that government cares about the citizens and their needs. As trust, transparency, and effectiveness lay the foundation of this relationship between a government and its residents, it’s crucial for the agencies to deliver what citizens really expect.
As per a consumer survey, the federal government scores lower in customer satisfaction as compared to its private sector counterparts. On ignoring CX, the government agencies invite unwelcome scrutiny, hinder progress, and fail to meet citizens’ expectations. This negatively impacts legislation.
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The survey data that government agencies rely upon is typically incomplete which makes it difficult to understand the key drivers behind customer experience. As surveys conducted through call centers provide limited feedback about the way respondents think and feel, operational data siloes across various legacy systems further make it challenging to analyze the overall customer experience.
While conducting government surveys, many agencies rely on third-parties which prove to be an obstruction for gaining visibility into customer satisfaction levels. Moreover, budget constraints, outdated technology & systems, and resistance to change are other challenges faced with government surveys. According to Aileen Lee Smith, former operations head for the US State Department’s Passport Services, “government agencies need to be resourceful as their level of insights, analytics, or research does not match the level of private biggies like Walmart or Target. So, they have to do all that they can by using the information available to them.”
So, how can government agencies overcome these issues and build a comprehensive view of the customer experience? Let’s find out:
Before embarking on a CX transformation journey, it’s imperative for the government agencies to understand who it actually serves. While the government agencies cannot avoid “undesirable” customers (like private organizations) and aspire to cater to everyone as per their mandated mission, there is no value for an “average” customer whose behavior and requirements match with the rest of them. So, it’s crucial for the agencies to seamlessly analyze the core segments of the customer base and develop a clear picture of the needs, beliefs, and behaviors of the individuals within each group. By developing customer personas, agencies can step into the shoes of customers to effectively understand their perceptions and traits.
Constituting the life cycle of a customer’s relationship with a specific agency, a customer journey is the series of end-to-end experiences, based on the customer perspectives. Effectively mapping customer journeys and realizing their importance plays a pivotal role in improving the customer experience.
While conducting surveys to understand what matters most to the customers, most of the government agencies experience gaps in the journey measurement. To enhance the overall customer experience, it’s important to focus on journey satisfaction instead of touchpoint satisfaction. Sometimes, individual touchpoints perform well even if the end-to-end journey satisfaction is low. A journey-centric approach empowers government agencies to prioritize their efforts for moving forward in the right direction.
As every citizen has some particular preference regarding the way they’d want to be served, these preferences are the key drivers that have a huge impact on customer satisfaction and experience. Realizing the importance of these drivers can empower government agencies to easily focus their efforts on elevating CX. Since bad incidents are more likely to shape experiences than good ones, it’s important for agencies to identify the possibilities of such negative defining moments. So, government organizations that succeed in mitigating negative incidents have more satisfied customers and can build great momentum towards long-term relationships.
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With a key focus on CX, government agencies can effortlessly ramp up their survey data collection and analytics capabilities, thereby delving deeper into their customers’ needs and challenges. Voxco offers powerful omnichannel solutions to help government agencies understand the constituents & communities they serve.