Rick Parrish

Principal Analyst

Forrester Bio

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Plan Your Summer Vacation Around Customer Experience Inspiration

Rick Parrish July 2, 2015

It's finally here. That time of year when seemingly half of the federal workforce flees Washington, D.C., for a well-deserved vacation. It's a magical time for those of us who stay behind: Less traffic shortens our commutes, the Starbuck's and food truck lines are shorter, and fewer people at meetings means more decisions get made. […]

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Customer Experience News: This Week In Congress

Rick Parrish June 29, 2015

Each Congress considers over 10,000 bills, and virtually none of them ever explicitly focus on customer experience (CX). However, some bills do have implications for federal CX. And although just 3% of bills ever become law, federal CX advocates should stay informed of proposals from the start. That way, we can suggest improvements, help good […]

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How The Social Security Administration Hit A CX Trifecta With A Mobile App

Rick Parrish June 25, 2015

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program had a problem: It was paying out way too much in unearned benefits to program participants. This was happening because participants weren’t reporting their income often enough. As participants’ incomes went up, their SSI eligibility went down — but they continued receiving SSI benefits based […]

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Guerrilla CX For Government

Rick Parrish June 18, 2015

Federal customer experience (CX) professionals are trying to wage a conventional war against bad CX. But they usually don’t have the budget, personnel, or authorities they need to win big, decisive battles. That’s why federal CX pros should consider changing their approach and use some proven CX guerrilla tactics instead. To make the most of […]

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The OPM Hack Is Bad News For Federal Customer Experience Improvement

Rick Parrish June 11, 2015

It’s been a rough nine months for federal cybersecurity. The huge Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack is just the latest in a series of incidents that make people skeptical of Washington’s ability to protect their personal information. Since last fall, we’ve witnessed hacks of the: OPM. Last week’s cybersecurity failure at OPM wasn’t its […]

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How To Implement The Customer Experience Advice In The US Digital Services Playbook

Rick Parrish June 4, 2015

A few weeks ago, I advised federal agencies to build better digital customer experiences. I had no idea how polarizing the post would be, so I’d like to return to the topic of digital customer experience (CX) again this week. Even the US Digital Service (USDS) thinks federal agencies need better digital CX. Last year, […]

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Federal Agencies Must Treat Customer Experience As A Business Discipline

Rick Parrish May 31, 2015

By now we all know that federal customer experience (CX) is disastrously weak and that improving it will boost both agency operations and the health of the political system. We’ve also seen some pockets of hope popping up, as I predicted a few months ago. For instance: The Department of Education’s new portal is complete, the […]

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How Governments Can Improve Everyone’s Customer Experience

Rick Parrish May 21, 2015

I spend a lot of time talking about the poor quality of federal customer experience (CX) and the effects it has on the public. I’ve already talked about how federal agencies averaged the lowest score in Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™). In fact, most of the worst performers in any industry were federal agencies […]

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Federal Agencies Must Focus On Emotion To Create Great Government Customer Experiences

Rick Parrish April 30, 2015

Think about the last time you went through airport security. Or applied for federal benefits. Or paid your taxes. How did those experiences make you feel? What specific emotions did they invoke in you? Did you feel comforted, hopeful, and valued — or insulted, frustrated, and nervous? Questions like these are the most important things […]

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How To Beat The Top Five Excuses For Not Improving Your Government Agency's Customer Experience

Rick Parrish April 28, 2015

Naysayers love to complain that real customer experience (CX) improvement is only for the private sector because government is subject to unique and insurmountable pressures. Don’t believe these cynics. Many major corporations must overcome the same hurdles, and some federal agencies are finding ways to break out, too. Use this list of comebacks to subdue […]

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The Top Four Reasons To Improve The Federal Customer Experience

Rick Parrish April 16, 2015

Mandates for better federal customer experience (CX) have been piling up for more than 20 years. The trend began way back in 1993, when Executive Order No. 12862 required federal agencies to create basic CX standards. The strongest and most recent mandate is last year’s “customer service” cross-agency priority goal, which requires federal agencies to provide […]

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The Rise Of Federal Chief Customer Officers

Rick Parrish March 6, 2015

Hundreds if not thousands of leading corporations have created chief customer officer (CCO) positions in recent years to help them become more customer-centric. Now US federal government agencies are toying with the idea of adding CCO positions and four have already taken the plunge. In my first Forrester podcast, I spoke with hosts Sam Stern […]

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Improving The Federal Customer Experience Is A National Security Imperative

Rick Parrish November 7, 2014

Improving the U.S. federal customer experience (CX) is crucial to our nation’s long-term security. I’m not exaggerating. Improving federal CX is about far more than just boosting an agency’s ranking on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) or raising a Net Promoter Score. It’s even about more than influencing the success or failure of major […]

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It’s time for police departments to start measuring the customer experience

Rick Parrish September 8, 2014

In response to recent tragedies, many commentators have suggested requiring every police officer to wear a video camera and microphone at all times. Some activists even suggest that these videos be publicly live-streamed for maximum accountability. That’s not necessarily a bad idea, despite some technical, budgetary, and legal hurdles. Other commentators have pointed out that […]

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Is Improving The Customer Experience A Moral Imperative?

Rick Parrish May 21, 2014

When I ask government employees why improving customer experience (CX) is so important, I often hear a version of the same answer: "It's the right thing to do." But I'm not about to take an easy answer like that at face value, so I dig deeper. I try getting them to admit that they're really […]

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Sneak Preview: The Latest On The Customer Experience Ecosystem

Rick Parrish May 16, 2014

When Forrester first introduced the customer experience (CX) ecosystem concept three years ago, we found that companies’ attempts to innovate their CX were limited by tunnel vision. They couldn’t see beyond the surface layer of individual touchpoints to understand the intricate web of behind-the-scenes dynamics that really create the customer experience. To update our research […]

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