Connecting to Data and People for Improved Citizen Service

The Executive Order, Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government (CX EO) put a governmentwide priority on accelerating modernization efforts that impact how the government serves its citizens. A key focus of the CX EO was reducing the "time tax" by simplifying processes for applying for federal aid - particularly in areas where there was already high stress like disaster assistance, financial shock, or adding children to a family. The programs that have emerged as early solutions have focused on two key areas - understanding the journey and experience of the customer and enabling better data sharing across organizations.

Meeting Customers Where They Are

Citizens expect mobile access with personalized service when interacting with nearly any commercial entity. That expectation extends to the government and agencies working to deliver service via apps and streamlined digital portals.

A mobile-first approach is especially critical for reaching the people most in need of aid. Individuals with low incomes tend to rely on mobile phones for services and activities. However, they find that government service websites are primarily designed for larger screen devices. The use of SMS and social media can also increase the touchpoints the government can have with this mobile-dependent population. With SMS, benefit recipients can be reminded of upcoming re-enrollment deadlines or opportunities for additional benefits.

Decreasing the time, it takes to apply and begin receiving aid is also a key goal of CX efforts. The White House has set a challenge to make it possible to apply for benefits in 20 minutes or less and begin receiving them within 24 hours. This speed can help ensure that the people who need support the most actually get it. Today, many people give up on application processes that can be complex and time consuming. Key to this speed is decreasing the number of applications people have to fill out. For example, a "benefits bundle" pilot is being launched to connect low-income families with children with a set of services that meet their full range of needs.

Data Sharing

In order to bundle services and shorten and share applications, agencies are finding ways to better share data across government data silos. Data sharing has to happen within government systems (federal agencies with one another and state agencies with one another) and across all levels of government - coordinating state benefit programs with federal-held data. This happens today in a limited capacity with many state agencies reaching into Social Security, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, or the IRS. To meet CX goals this intergovernmental sharing must be extended.

Current efforts aim to decrease the number of applications individuals have to submit for government benefits by creating a single application that could be shared among aid agencies. In doing so, there is a need to streamline the process so that these shared applications do not become onerous to fill out. One way to do this is with an auto population of data where the form is able to pull data related to an individual from numerous unrelated databases and fill it into the form for the applicant to review and eventually submit. Additionally, the confirmation of eligibility can be streamlined when agencies share access to data.

The White House's U.S. Digital Service and the Office of Child Care at the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families developed a new model application and guide to simplify application processes for federally funded childcare assistance programs. The guide clarifies what federal law requires for the program, allowing agencies to eliminate data calls and processes that are not in fact required.

GovEvents and GovWhitePapers have a number of resources detailing the work happening at all levels of government to improve customer service.

  • Improving Public Sector Customer Experience (September 21, 2023; virtual) - Improving customers' experience when accessing, engaging, and interacting with an agency through contact centers will have a significant impact on their overall experience with government. Learn how to deliver more positive customer experiences in government call centers.
  • Government Innovation Federal (December 6, 2023; Washington, DC) - With tracks dedicated to people, digital/CX, data, and technology, this event will offer inspiring cases of innovation from leaders representing a cross-section of federal departments and agencies.
  • Out-of-the-Box ideas for Community Engagement: Lessons for Criminal Justice PIOs (January 30, 2024; virtual) - With law enforcement under intensive scrutiny, community engagement is more important than ever before. This panel discussion will share fresh ideas from leaders in community policing that have proven successful around the country.
  • Changing the Perception: Using Digital Transformation to Increase Trust in Government Agencies (white paper) - This paper explores the critical factors influencing customer trust and provides recommendations and examples for leaders implementing customer experience and digital transformation initiatives.

Spend some time researching additional resources on GovEvents and GovWhitePapers to get more insight into how the government is building trust through better customer service.

Comments are closed temporarily due to excessive Spam.