Citizen engagement; that is the holy grail of government. To improve engagement, the citizen experience (CX) needs a full, 360-degree view of interactions with each citizen. Government CIOs should make a plan to capture, measure, and improve the experience in all user interactions.
Transitioning to digital government must be guided by the benefits it will bring to citizens. However, the siloed nature of government can negate even the best digital government initiatives. To break down the silos of citizen support and engagement, governments need to learn from the private sector, while recognizing the differences in motivations for users of government services versus customers.
Customer engagement involves more merely handling phone calls, emails, texts, responses on social media or web sites. The challenge is to synchronize these interactions. Barriers to a consistent experience include:
- Experiences vary by the channel selected.
- Multiple channels are managed in isolation.
- Delivery of an accurate customer context is difficult.
A comprehensive approach is required to provide a consistent exchange of value between citizen and government entity.
Example Consistent Experience
It is helpful to consider your own experience with a company known for a consistent, high quality customer experience. Apple, for example. Whether it is in person at the Apple Store, on the phone, or chatting with support on the web site, you can count on great service.
Governments typically don’t have the resources of a highly successful firm like Apple, but the principles and wholistic approach of Apple can guide the use of existing technologies to provide consistency when serving the public.
Prepare the Organization for The Change Necessary
Silos and politics; the legacy hurdles that prohibit cross-department collaborative efforts. It is the responsibility of the CIO and other leaders to prevent this from happening to a CX initiative. Implementing a new CX model requires significant change to both business processes and technologies. Leaders need to recognize that staff may face “change fatigue” and plan for it. Related projects need to be aligned and sequenced.
Communicating the progress of the initiative is critical. Reporting important metrics to both employees and constituents will drive momentum. Providing multiple opportunities for comment will help address issues as they arise.