6 Competencies for Government Agencies to Improve Customer Experience

Digital transformation has changed the customer experience that government agencies must provide. These growing expectations heighten the pressure on agencies trying to meet the customer experience requirements set forth in the President’s Management Agenda, new memos (such as the OBM Circular A-11) and pending legislation. But even with a lot of work already underway, customer experience at government agencies is stagnating.

These challenges were the focus of the recent Genesys Tour for Government in Washington, D.C., on transforming the customer experience. Featured speaker, Rick Parrish, VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester, discussed six key competencies that agencies must master to provide great customer experience — reliably and efficiently.

  1. Start the Process With Research

Understand who your customers are as people, what their lives are like and how your agency fits into their lives. Then communicate that insight to your employees and partners.

  1. Prioritize What’s Most Important for Customer Experience

Most organizations have long lists of problems they want to address — but attempting to tackle too many at once spreads resources thin. Take a systematic approach and prioritize what matters most to your customers and what resources it requires. You’re likely to secure more resources for additional initiatives when you’ve completed one that’s high impact and successful.

  1. Design Experiences Based on Your Research

It’s not always about technology. Sometimes improving customer experience is about making intentional changes to processes. These may be physical spaces or customer journeys that aren’t intuitive. Focus on the outcome you want to achieve.

  1. Get Employees the Resources Needed

You can have great customer experience designs available, but if employees aren’t enabled and empowered, then that design delivers no value. Enterprise technology is critical to building competencies. But there’s plenty you can do now, such as employee journey mapping, to understand how they can use technology more effectively.

  1. Quantify the Value of Customer Experiences and Link Them to Your Metrics

When you’re measuring results, use these types of data: descriptive metrics that tell you what happens during interactions and what customers actually did; how the customers perceive that interaction; and outcome metrics that show what they did next as a result. These allow you to connect the quality of customer experience with what you’ve identified as important to your organization.

  1. Develop a Culture of Shared Values and Behaviors

Find ways to show employees that you value their soft skills, including empathy — an essential component of delivering great experiences. Building these values into training demonstrates its importance to the organization overall. When employees are engaged in a culture of service to customers, you’re also building your agency’s brand reputation.

Next Steps

As agencies address customer experience expectations, they often mistake action for progress. Keep in mind that the purpose of metrics is to drive improvements — not to show impressive numbers. In the next blog in this series, we’ll discuss how to use technology wisely when building your agency’s plans for a better customer experience.

Watch the full, recorded event: Genesys Tour for Government, co-hosted by our partner, Carahsoft.