In 2011, President Obama announced "Improved Customer Service" as a cross-agency priority. Since then, a concerted effort has been put forth to improve the citizen experience with government services. The goal was for each agency to develop a customer service plan that included ways to use technology to improve the customer experience. Agencies posted the plans on their Open Government websites in October 2011, with the goal to build on these plans to streamline and improve customer service delivery.[Tweet "Improving the Citizen Experience With Government Services #GovEventsBlog"]
Since then, the "digitization of government" has become a hot trend followed by the media. More and more agencies are moving formerly cumbersome and paper-intensive processes online as Internet access via smart phones and other devices has become prevalent. All this work has resulted in some positive outcomes.
In 2015, customer satisfaction with the government was at its lowest point in 16 years according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. In 2016, that number rebounded by over 6%. This does not mean the work is over though. Government still ranks near the bottom of the list in terms of customer satisfaction when compared to other industries, ranking around the same level as cable companies.[Tweet "Government still ranks near the bottom of the list in terms of customer satisfaction #GovEventsBlog"]
The improvement overall is thanks to enterprising organizations across the federal, state, and local levels trying new and innovative programs to involve citizens in the work of government and better respond to their needs. From opening up data for transparency and public input to moving paper-based processes online, to expanding social media use, government organizations are looking for new ways to ensure citizens have a role and say in their government - fulfilling the promise of democracy.
Leaders on the cutting edge of citizen engagement are excited to share their successes (and their failures). Below are just a few upcoming events that have a citizen engagement focus.[Tweet "Check out upcoming events that have a #citizenengagement focus. #GovEventsBlog"]
- Virtual Public Sector Digital Engagement Day (Virtual event; August 23) - This day-long virtual summit tackles citizen engagement and digital service challenges with proven best practices. Sessions focus on digital communications and streamlining internal processes for better engagement.
- Governing Leadership Forums (Nationwide; various dates) - Produced by Governing, these state-focused events bring together public sector and private sector professionals to discuss solutions to the challenges of governing and communicating to citizens. There are currently events planned in Colorado, Tennessee, Virginia, and Massachusetts.
- Government Customer Experience Conference @930gov (Washington, DC; September 6) - This event explores the policies, applications and technologies involved with improving customer experience and citizen services. Presenters will share practical, actionable information on successful programs, obstacles overcome, future plans and recommendations to boost citizen experience programs.
Let us know where you are getting the latest information and insights on delivering service to citizens in the comments.