August 2, 2016
This post is part of a series dedicated to the challenges, opportunities, and realities of federal customer experience. Interested in learning more? Check out our recent webinar to learn why CX success is vital for government success.
In my last post, I explained how forces arrayed against federal customer experience (CX) improvement hinder Washington’s efforts. Luckily, there’s a way out of this quagmire. To overcome anti-CX forces and achieve all the advantages of better federal CX, customer experience professionals should:
- Form an unstoppable coalition. Don’t try to fight alone. Instead, join forces with like-minded feds to share information, challenges, and solutions. Start by leveraging the large network of the General Services Administration’s CX Community of Practice, which has over 500 members from more than 70 federal, state, and local government organizations. Then tap into the bureaucratic muscle of the senior program managers, OMB staff, and other officials on OMB’s new Core Federal Services Council, the “government-wide governance vehicle to improve the public’s experience with federal services.”
- Ground your efforts in insurmountable evidence. Government CX pros who believe deeply in the virtue of their work are often tempted to mount principled arguments about “doing right by the American people.” Skip the moralizing. Instead, combine quantitative and qualitative customer insights with driver analysis to prove how better federal CX has measurable benefits to both the public and government. Don’t shy away from evidence of CX failure, either. Go on the attack by linking low satisfaction scores to opponents’ efforts to undermine federal CX and encourage them to become part of the solution. That’s what IRS Commissioner John Koskinen did when he called out budget-cutting members of Congress for weakening his agency’s CX.
- Train the next set of leaders on CX from day one. Members of the next administration probably won’t understand CX – or worse, they’ll think that they understand it when they don’t. As soon as your new leaders are named, learn about their personalities and professional goals and interests so that you can make a convincing case for CX. If your new leader is a cost cutter, show her how better CX saves money; if she’s focused on reputation, demonstrate how good CX boosts advocacy loyalty. When you get the chance to present your case, use your right-brain skills as a CX professional to dramatize CX in a compelling way. Use verbatims, personas, and journey maps to get new leaders connected to the mission and the customer.
If you’re ready to join forces with other customer experience leaders and change the state of federal CX, join us at Forrester’s first government-focused CX event, CXDC, on September 12. You’ll hear from top Forrester experts and a host of senior federal leaders on how agencies are fighting to overcome these challenges and provide customer experiences that are great for both customers and mission success.