Strengthening Government Trust Through CX.

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How The Biden-Harris Administration is Improving Customer Experience (CX) to Rebuild Trust in the Government.

On December 13, 2021, the Biden-Harris administration released Executive Order no. 14058 with the title: ‘Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in The Government.’

In it, the Biden-Harris administration recommits the government (citing: ‘of the people, by the people, [and] for the people) to be held accountable for designing and delivering services with a focus on the actual experience of the people whom it is meant to serve. 

The executive order further mandates that the government work to deliver services more equitably and effectively, especially for those who have been historically underserved. It goes on to read: ‘Strengthening the democratic process, requires providing direct lines of feedback and mechanisms for engaging the American people in the design and improvement of Federal government programs, processes, and services.’

In the face of challenges like the global pandemic and tackling the climate crisis, the Executive Order outlines its intention to ‘drive priorities for service delivery improvements.’

Time Taxes

Through this Executive Order, the administration recognizes the annual paperwork burden imposed by executive departments and agencies on the public to be more than 9 billion hours and acknowledges that inefficient customer experience and service delivery results in lost time, which it creatively refers to as a ‘time tax.’

The goal, therefore – it states – is to ‘effectively reduce administrative burdens, simplify both public-facing and internal processes to improve efficiency, and empower the Federal workforce to solve problems.’

Broken down, the objectives are threefold: for government to deliver services in a manner that people of all abilities can navigate; to use technology to modernize government; and to implement services that are simple to use, accessible, equitable, protective, transparent, and responsive.

Furthermore, interactions with the government, such as renewing a passport, or getting a status update on a farm loan application, should be seen as an opportunity for the Government to save an individual’s time (thus reducing ‘time taxes’) and to deliver the level of service that the public expects and deserves.

The Voice of The Customer, and People at the Center

In a refreshingly forward-looking acknowledgement, one that dovetails well with the principals of customer service (or ‘Customer Life Experience,’ the definition for important points in a person’s life at which time they interact with a government entity), the executive order proposes that the Federal government’s management of its customer experience and service delivery be fundamentally driven by the ‘voice of the customer.’ It mandates that this be done through human-centered design methodologies; empirical customer research; and the understanding of behavioral science and user testing, especially for digital services; and other mechanisms of engagement. Expanding on the voice of the customer, the Executive Order directs Federal agencies to put people at the center of everything the Government does. Specifically, it includes 36 customer experience (CX) improvement commitments across 17 Federal agencies, all of which aim to improve people’s lives and the delivery of Government services.

An Encouraging Development

“This is an encouraging development,” says Todd Coen, MD of leading CX agency Tactis, headquartered in Washington D.C. “We have long petitioned for a smarter, improved level of customer service on the Federal level, attainable through the adoption of technology tools and innovative services, the very same tools and services already embraced by companies in the commercial realm. In a way, this Executive Order perfectly overlaps with the Tactis services and technologies already on offer to Federal, State, and Local Governments, Non-Profits, and Commercial entities.”

About Tactis

As a full lifecycle customer experience agency working for organizations across all points of communication, combining human touch with digital expertise to create outcomes that matter, Tactis delivers high-touch solutions that span marketing, technology, and human interactions. Through leveraging data and embracing technology, Tactis generates transformational customer experiences that ensure that both Federal government and Commercial entities own the high-expectation, high-attention moments from which truly human experiences can emerge.