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Defining Your Role in Government Customer Service


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Executive Summary What Makes Good Customer Service? The Jobs of Customer Service Customer Service in Action Making a Business Case for Customer Experience in Gov Role #1: The Agency Leader Role #2: The IT Professional A Strategic Approach to Customer Communications The Role of Technologists in Customer Service Role #3: The Program Manager The Need for Centralized and Strategic Social Media Transforming Customer Experience at U.S. Census Bureau Role #4: The Communicator Engaging Employees in the Customer Service Mission Conclusion Appendix: Worksheets Journey Mapping Template Persona Builder Metrics Worksheet


Executive Summary Leaders across local, state and federal government recognize the need to improve customer service across the public sector. The Federal Agency Customer Experience Act was introduced in Congress in May, while customer service has been a cross-agency priority goal for years. States and cities are hiring experience officers to lead the charge toward better customer service, and a few federal agencies like Veterans Affairs are doing the same. Despite these investments, tangible improvements in customer experience remain difficult. According to a leading customer experience survey, many government services, including USAJOBS.gov and healthcare.gov, are considered some of the worst customer service providers across U.S. industries.

It’s clear that one-off investments and directives toward customer service are not enough to truly improve the way citizen users perceive government. Instead, agencies must engrain customerfocused ideals, strategies and services across their organizations and cultures. In other words, customer service must become the job of every agency employee – not just leaders at the top. This guide, Defining Your Role in Government Customer Service, examines how agencies can bring customer service to every level of their organization. It explains the role of each department and staff member – from agency leaders to frontline staff to HR and IT personnel – and provides firsthand advice from public servants in customer services. This resource also offers practical tips to engrain a culture of service into daily routines, making it the standard rather than the goal of government.

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What Makes Good Customer Service? Before beginning any customer service endeavor, it’s critical to define what customer service means and describe what it looks like. Of course, we all know what good customer service feels like on an individual level, but government has to meet a much wider variety of users’ wants and needs.

So what does customer service look like? The private sector offers some great examples. Disney outlines four keys to great experiences. Ritz-Carlton promotes Gold Standards. Southwest Airlines focuses on the feelings of warmth, friendliness and individual pride. With so many different approaches and advice, it might seem overwhelming to translate those myriad ideas into the already complex world of government. Customer service really boils down, however, to creating four elements in any service provided to users. Here, we outline those four attributes, and offer examples of how they’ve been created in government.

Omni-channel

Proactive

Intuitive

Coherent

Government serves the widest customer base of any industry, which means it also serves the largest set of diverse preferences. To meet those disparate demands, services should be designed to flow across multiple technology and messaging channels.

Government services should be responsive to user feedback, but true customercentered design will also try to predict what users want and meet those needs before the request comes in.

It’s the job of government to make its services easily accessible, especially for citizens who might be unfamiliar with specific technologies, organizational structures or government protocols. Services should be designed to be intuitive, even for the novice user.

Citizens don’t always view agencies and departments as individual organizations. Services designed for customers should create a single message, as well as a central point of access, for cross-departmental programs and offerings.

Example: The city of Boston maintains a mobile app, call line and web portal for residents to access 311 services. Moreover, the city’s IT department collects request data generated from each channel to better understand how individual neighborhoods and constituent groups prefer to access city services.

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Example: When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in September, the National Weather Service did more than just publish consistent reports on weather conditions. The agency updated the composition of its precipitationtracking maps to accommodate unforeseen, real-time rain levels.

Example: The state of Georgia already has a website and multiple call lines where constituents can seek relevant government service information. But now, it’s making it even easier to access that information by integrating its services with the Amazon Echo. Now users can “Ask GeorgiaGov” a question from their home device and receive immediate answers on things like department locations, hours of operation and other requirements.

Example: Navigating the services, benefits and programs available to veterans has traditionally been a headache for even the most tech-savvy citizen. The Veterans Affairs Department is trying to change that with Vets.gov – a one-stop portal where veterans can access all information relevant to benefits, including healthcare, housing assistance and education.


The Jobs of Customer Service

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t’s not uncommon for government agencies to appoint dedicated staff to customer service roles. The Census Bureau employs a Chief Experience Officer, and the Veterans Affairs Department has a Chief Veterans Experience Officer. Some state and local governments, like that of Roanoke, Va., are even launching dedicated departments to increase citizen engagement and services. Then there’s the rise of innovation shops to consider. 18F and the U.S. Digital Service are two innovation departments fully committed to improving the digital services provided at the federal level. The Defense Department also maintains its own Innovation Board, while state governments in Maryland, Massachusetts and Colorado employ their own Chief Innovation Officers. Even some cities like Philadelphia and Riverside, Calif., dedicate resources to maintaining that position.

As with any major organizational endeavor, the heart of the project relies on people – and not just those leaders at the top. But are these customerfocused public servants enough to keep up with growing demands on government services? There’s some criticism that these posts and offices don’t deliver the customer service results agencies seek, due to issues like lack of authority over programs that aren’t customer-exclusive or a misunderstanding of what customer service looks like and what returns it bring. At the same time, it’s difficult to expand the reach of these often siloed positions to truly engrain a culture of service across an organization.

Compounding these concerns are more logistical issues. With limited budgets and a declining workforce, it’s unlikely that every agency will continue to staff these positions. For instance, Philadelphia’s Customer Service Officer position has been vacant for the past two years after the previous leader exited city government. Of course, there are undeniable benefits to dedicating workforce and budget to customer service. These efforts make it obvious to other employees that CX is a priority at their agency, and provide

a clear advocate for the customer in leadership meetings. Nevertheless, it’s evident that one-off positions and departments aren’t the ultimate solution to customer service needs in government. So, what is the solution? How can government truly begin to transform the customer experience? As with any major organizational endeavor, the heart of the project relies on people – and not just those leaders at the top. For agencies to truly transform the way they deliver public service to citizens, every employee – from agency administrators to IT professionals and program managers who manage daily operations – will be required to add “customer service representative” to their job description. In the rest of this guide, we’ll examine what that new responsibility entails for specific positions in government.

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Customer Service

in Action USAJOBs Gets a Revamp The Problem Ranked among the worst customer services across industries, the USAJOBS website portal user experience often deters eligible candidates from successfully applying to federal jobs.

The Solution OPM’s Lab applied humancentered design (HCD) concepts to revitalize the USAJOBS portal. HCD is a structured approach to infusing the customer – in this case, potential applicants – into every part of a service’s development and delivery.

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she said that many people misinterpret that to mean experiences start when someone walks into an agency or logs into a website. In reality, the customer journey starts much earlier – when the citizen starts to think about using a service. “Think about Starbucks. Your first touchpoint isn’t when you walk into the store; it’s when you decide you need a caffeine boost,” Corcoran de Castillo said.

To execute the revision, Corcoran de Castillo’s team started by mapping the journey users take to apply through the portal. This mapping exercise is critical to understanding user experience.

To understand the full scope of a customer’s journey on USAJOBS, her team talked to the people who have used, or might in the future use the service. “We did hundreds of interviews with federal employees, veterans and people interested in federal appointment. We asked them what they wanted from the website,” she said. “What we heard is that they felt there weren’t any help services to navigate the website and application process.”

Corcoran de Castillo described CX as “every touchpoint in a customer journey in interacting with an agency, organization, project or service.” But

Those findings surprised the team, because the website already hosted a variety of support options for applicants. Corcoran de Castillo admitted, “Hearing

that, it’s a natural reaction just to say they already exist and blame the user. But in human-centered design, you have to listen to what the user is telling you.” In this case, users were making it clear that current support services weren’t intuitive or accessible. To remedy that problem, the Lab created a central help center that combined all the disparate resources available to potential candidates. They also invested in a social media strategy, where users could ask questions and receive answers on pertinent applications and vacancies. This latter improvement was made after learning in interviews that many applicants were looking at those channels for information, rather than federal websites. Today, the USAJOBS experience is on the upswing. Help desk tickets have dramatically declined, and the Lab is continuing to meet with potential users to learn where further improvements can be made.


A roundtable discussion with Jennifer Piozia, Director of External Communications, Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Blair Corcoran de Castillo, Design Strategist, Lab, Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

TSA Takes Questions The Problem An agency created in reaction to 9/11 and staffed with remarkable speed, TSA wasn’t designed to provide customer service. But today, more than half of all Americans have to interact with the agency to travel.

The Solution By 2015, it was apparent that public perception of TSA was a problem. For many years, the agency worked in reactive mode and accepted disgruntled passengers as routine. “Even if we do our job perfectly, there will still be people unhappy with that process of inspection and screening,” Piozia said. What the agency realized over time, however, was that unprepared and disgruntled passengers had implications for operations and employee morale. Screening lines were long, officers were dedicating significant time to avoidable incidents, and security costs were on the rise.

But instead of taking an operations-focused approach to this problem, TSA focused on the customer. In September 2015, it began a multifaceted campaign to improve customer experience across TSA’s many touchpoints, including online and at airports. The most-used service that also receives significant publicity is “AskTSA.” Via multiple social media platforms, passengers can ask the agency any question about air travel. The most common question is what items can be carried aboard an aircraft, but the service will navigate users to the answer of almost any question within 15 minutes. The program started as a pilot, staffed with 10 temporary personnel on details from other agencies. But it’s quickly become a permanent fixture of the agency. Piozia said the program really gained momentum “once our agency saw the success of how we could get ahead of small problems before they became big problems.”

By informing passengers about operating procedures before they enter the security screening line, TSA has been able to decrease wait times while improving customer satisfaction. Additionally, the service can solve problems – like forgetting to mark TSA PreCheck on a boarding pass – before it impacts a customer’s travel. “More than any press release or interview I’ve set up for the agency, I feel like this program has allowed me to help citizens,” Piozia said. To date, the AskTSA program has responded to over 330,000 inquiries with an average response time of 20 minutes. Demand is only growing. In fact, the now 15-person team has witnessed a 179 percent increase in volume since January 2016 alone.

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Take Your Customer Experience to the Next Level Empower and Inform Citizens Improve Efficiency and Accountability

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Making a Business Case

for Customer Experience in Government For years you've heard about the value of good customer experience (CX). Today, more agencies are realizing the real return on investment (ROI) that comes from customer experience initiatives. Studies indicate that organizations stand to lose more than $62 billion from poor customer service. And recently, Forbes predicted that, for customers, value and experience will continue to outweigh price when they make decisions about service. Engaging with citizens digitally and in realtime not only improves government services, but also helps glean actionable insights from citizens to improve processes. But there are a number of challenges in making a compelling business case for CX in government. To discuss those obstacles and how to overcome them, GovLoop sat down with Jodi M. Thompson, Senior Principal Strategic Business Consultant for Genesys. Genesys is a leader in customer experience strategies and solutions. While government wants to meet citizens’ expectations for the ideal customer experiences, budget constraints and lack of the necessary digital tools hinder progress. Additionally, many agencies don’t use the right metrics to understand how they’re performing and how to improve processes. Without the insights from metrics, it’s extremely difficult for government to progress in the journey to better customer experience. “Agencies don’t have the granularity of data needed to enhance CX,” Thompson said. “They need to start looking at how to partner and join together with other agencies and the private sector while being respectful of their budget constraints. At the same time, agencies are looking to modernize and innovate.

They need to be able to update their data, despite having antiquated and siloed systems for customer touchpoints.” Making the case to invest in CX proves increasingly difficult when agencies already feel budget-strapped. Agency leaders will require proof of future savings and the potential impact of enhanced CX. It’s especially difficult for agencies to make the case for investing in modern customer management relationship systems when you can’t measure the impact of CX. And even when organizations do develop business cases for customer experience, many fail to ground their investment plans in financial or customer measures with clear linkage to value generation. So how does government overcome these numerous challenges to enhancing customer experience? How can employees make a better case for CX? Government needs to look past single solutions that promise faster processing times or increased productivity. Instead, agencies must holistically rethink their entire organizational culture, including strategies and solutions, for transformative CX change. “It begins with having a clearly defined vision or a common message,” Thompson said. “If you want to reduce effort and improve productivity you may have to look at your setup and how services are configured. In a service environment, it’s often processing productivity versus outcome. But rather than getting off the phone as quickly as possible to process more calls, an individual could spend the extra five minutes with someone and resolve the issue. What is the outcome you’re trying to achieve rather than ontime, on-budget?”

An interview with Jodi Thompson, Senior Principal Strategic Business Consultant at Genesys

Once organizations have created customer-focused goals, leaders need to be prepared to invest in CX for the long haul if they seek to really make improvements. “What you’re really talking about in achieving a new set of standards is organizational change,” Thompson said. “It’s about the long-term adoption view versus the implementation of a standalone solution.” One way to get started achieving that strategic vision is partnering with industry. Many private-sector entities already have sophisticated metrics in place for measuring CX outcomes and can collaborate with agencies to get a better grasp of their current state and envision desired outcomes. For example, Genesys offers strategic business consulting services including CX assessments, education, workshops and assistance creating financial business case ROIs. Genesys works with agencies to assess the current state of their customer experience strategy, people, processes and technology to identify how these elements can help them achieve better business results and power exceptional experiences. They also help agencies to align their customer journey metrics with financial justification and business plans to help garner organizational buy-in. With the right strategic vision, agencies can better make the case to invest in CX. By focusing more on customer-oriented goals, empowering their employees and using holistic solutions, government can save time and costs, all while better serving the public.

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The Agency Leader It’s no secret that when an agency fails to meet its mission, the fallout often hits the leader first.

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Role

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Think about the OPM hack, the GSA conference spending scandal or the Justice Department’s handling of the 2016 racial tensions. It was the leader who shouldered the blame and stepped down. Why? For most citizens and many government workers, the administrator is the face of an agency. Sometimes that means they have to take the fall for service failures, but it also means they’re uniquely positioned to champion their agency’s customer service agenda.

Your Top 3 Customer Service Priorities Establish a culture of service

Align customer service with agency goals

Customer service shouldn’t just be an item to tick off a list of agency objectives. To really engrain customer service in every interaction your agency has with citizens and other users, it must be part of your culture. As the agency leader, you set the tone for your agency. It’s up to you to establish a culture of service by setting an example and encouraging your agency to put users at the center of any conversation.

Especially given limited budgets, it’s imperative to connect customer service to other mission-critical goals. This alignment will not only help you procure the tools and resources needed to provide robust services, it will also help others see the connection between their daily objectives and the customer service imperative.

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Set standards As leader, it’s your job to set expectations for your employees. That extends to customer service projects, for which you’ll want to set baseline expectations and standards. This doesn’t have to be a deep-dive spreadsheet of metrics, but through your messaging and evaluations you should establish a standard of service.


Challenges to Facilitating Customer Service Changing landscape

Lack of insight

Insufficient buy-in

Especially after major administration or legislative changes, agency leaders can find it challenging to consistently pursue a single objective when resources and priorities are in flux. Nevertheless, they must find a way to keep the internal or external customer at the center of every major agency decision.

As an agency leader, you have to make decisions that impact every facet of your organization. But often, you don’t see the day-today routines and services that are impacted by those calls. As the champion of customer service at your agency, you’ll need to create ways to better understand the citizen-facing intricacies of your service offerings before changing them.

While you might fully understand how customer service impacts the agency’s other goals and bottom line, others might not see those connections so clearly. As with any major project, you’ll be faced with managers and employees who aren’t as sold on prioritizing service over other more tangible outcomes (like lowering costs).

Steps to Start Your Customer Service Journey 1. Define your vision What does customer service look like at your agency? If you make it a priority for your employees, you’ll need to guide them in what that service means and looks like. Explain who your customers are and what tactics you want to pursue to meet their needs. Simply encouraging service, without a definition, won’t suffice.

2. Create baseline service expectations While you can’t manage every project in your agency, you can create a baseline of expectations to guide individual service initiatives. While some of these expectations will be qualitative and fluid, others should be more defined in quantitative terms to create common standards for all employees (see the metrics worksheet on Page 32 for examples).

3. Recruit champions Again, you can’t be everywhere, overseeing every customer service engagement. Instead, you’ll want to find others in the organization who share your vision and recruit them to help monitor and encourage customer experience programs. They’re not just your eyes and ears, but champions to help spread the ideas of customer service.

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The IT #2 Professional Role

When the solar eclipse covered the U.S. earlier this year, NASA’s livestream drew more than 1 million viewers – more than 100 times its normal site traffic. Aside from forces of nature, that event was largely made possible by IT professionals. Because it invested in a scalable cloud infrastructure and prepared the website’s user interface for an influx in traffic, NASA’s IT department was able to turn a natural phenomenon into a citizen engagement event across the country. That’s the role of IT professionals in customer service.

They ensure customer-facing digital programs run smoothly and meet constituent demands, all while maintaining the daily operations of government agencies.

Your Top 3 Customer Service Priorities Maintain performance

Keep pace with technologies

Prepare for surges

Of course, as an IT professional, you’re in charge of keeping the IT trains running. You can, however, incorporate customer service ideals by prioritizing those systems that directly impact users’ most critical processes and needs. That will likely require a better understanding of how each system is used by internal and external stakeholders.

It can seem like a nice-tohave to acquire the latest technologies for your agency. When those new tools can drastically improve user experiences, however, they may very well be worth the investment. IT professionals should keep up-to-date with private-sector technology trends and advocate for those acquisitions that can improve user experiences.

IT professionals are required to maintain systems and operations to meet the everyday needs of agency and citizen users. The customer-focused IT pro, however, will also be ready for those one-off events that put additional stress on technology resources. That requires both strategic planning for events, as well as technology investments that scale with demand.

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Challenges to Facilitating Customer Service Departmental silos

Ongoing operations

Technology adoption

While many IT professionals understand their technology decisions impact users both inside and outside an organization, they have difficulty determining how and when departmental silos prevent them from directly interacting with stakeholders. That disconnect can result in deploying inappropriate or disruptive solutions.

IT admins are constantly challenged with the notion of building the ship while sailing. In other words, they have to create and improve digital services without disrupting critical, ongoing operations. Operation and maintenance of cumbersome legacy systems can especially prevent innovation.

Many digital service projects involve the adoption of new technology. With new tech comes the need for system integration, user training and even new skills within your IT department. IT professionals must seek user-friendly, easy-to-deploy resources to move forward with new digital tools.

Steps to Start Your Customer Service Journey 1. Meet your managers

2. Invest in elasticity

3. Seek intuitive technology

Program managers and analysts will have the best understanding of individual project needs, as well as the behaviors and expectations of their services’ citizen users. Solicit their input on any technology decision that could impact their programs.

To prepare for citizen engagement events like the solar eclipse, IT professionals must proactively procure and deploy elastic resources that scale up or down with user demand. Many of these solutions, especially those offered as-a-service, won’t require significant upfront costs or deployment labor.

As you start to explore new tools to enhance service delivery, seek technologies with intuitive interfaces and dashboards. User-friendly services decrease the cost of training customers, as well as internal IT administrators. Plus, they’ll make for happier users if they can use the tools to find what they’re looking for without help.

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Technology for people who are changing our world 3,000 public sector agencies use Granicus to connect with citizens Granicus helps turn government missions into quantifiable realities. Granicus products connect more than 150 million people, creating a powerful network to enhance government transparency and citizen engagement. By optimizing decision-making processes, Granicus strives to help government realize better outcomes and have a greater impact for the citizens they serve.

Learn more at granicus.com


A Strategic Approach to

Customer Communications

An interview with John Duckwitz, Customer Experience Team Lead at Granicus

When it comes to creating consistent, impactful citizen experiences, all levels of government face many challenges. But according to John Duckwitz, Customer Experience Team Lead at Granicus, “The biggest challenge for government communicators – even government as a whole – is engaging with citizens where, when, and how they want to communicate.”

The citizen experience funnel is broken into five steps. First, leaders and communicators must define the outcomes they wish to achieve through an engagement campaign. These could be focused on enhancing public awareness on an issue, improving citizen involvement in a government service, or more simply promoting revamped online services.

After determining the appropriate channel for your audience and message, make sure to tailor your content to those aspects. Use language, formats, and messaging that will resonate and engage your audience. Where possible, personalize that content further by connecting it to related government services and information to further engage citizens.

Granicus provides strategic support and tools to help agencies engage citizens through digital communications. In a recent interview, Duckwitz explained why government organizations often require that external support to reimagine the way they approach citizen services.

This first step is crucial to narrowing down your communication objectives and messaging, as well as defining what you want successful engagement to look like. Once an outcome is defined, map your current services and messaging to determine what outlets you’re already using, and what other channels could be used to expand the reach of your efforts.

Finally, after you have defined your objectives and tailored your communications to that goal, make sure you’re actually driving the outcomes you established. That requires measuring the impact of the entire communications campaign, as well as smaller details such as the efficacy of certain calls to action, headlines, channel use and even the time of day that messages are sent.

For government, the task of effectively communicating with customers can feel overwhelming. “When you think about how to communicate, you have to consider where to automate processes, how to reach people with different levels of digital capabilities, and how to remain compliant with multiple accessibility and privacy regulations – even as you map touchpoints to a wide variety of citizens,” Duckwitz explained. ‘There’s a whole list of things that your agency communicators must consider at once.” But with the right approach, agencies can tackle all of these objectives while also effectively engaging users. “When we engage with government communicators on these bigger picture conversations, we try to walk them through a more strategic approach – what we call a citizen experience funnel,” Duckwitz said. Marketers and salespeople in the private sector are familiar with this funnel approach, by which you define broad outcomes and then distill those objectives into tangible steps that convert business aspirations into consumer actions. Government communicators can use the same process to target and engage citizens.

At this stage, some government communicators may again feel that overwhelming uncertainty given the vast array of social media, online and traditional channels available. But Duckwitz cautioned against pursuing every available medium without considering your audience. Once you’ve discovered available communication options, make sure to tailor your channels and messaging. “What this really means is deciding what are the right channels to connect with certain segments of your audiences, with the right content,” he said. For example, if you’re trying to remind a largely mobile population about upcoming appointments at a government office, a text message or SMS might be more effective than email or social media bulletins. In contrast, alerting citizens on a subject that requires more understanding and information may be better suited to longform, traditional channels like email or post.

A/B testing, as well as other common strategies used by private sector, can be valuable tools in determining what is and isn’t working. These discoveries can in turn empower communicators to improve their processes and messaging for the next iteration of a campaign. This ongoing, cyclical development of messaging and communication channels is often the most difficult part for government organizations to understand when it comes to citizen engagement. “Citizens want a consistent experience and they want an improved experience each time they come back to government,” he said. “That’s a change in mindset for government, because it means constantly rethinking and revitalizing the way they do things.” That’s why Duckwitz recommends seeking a strategic partner like Granicus that can provide both the tools and strategic support to help agencies rethink their communication strategies and better engage their citizens across channels.

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The Role of Technologists in Customer Service An interview with Hardik Bhatt, former Illinois Chief Digital Officer and Secretary Designate for the Department of Innovation & Technology

The Customers of Illinois IT Technologists, like systems administrators, web developers and even information officers are rarely framed as the customer service owners of governments. But according to former Illinois Chief Digital Officer Hardik Bhatt, that’s exactly what they are. In a recent interview with GovLoop, Bhatt explained how his IT team views customer service and how it’s used technology to enhance the state’s digital capabilities in a way that meets citizen and public servant needs. 14

Bhatt outlined three customer groups that government technology professionals serve: employees of the state, citizens who use state services and small government organizations like cities, municipalities and school districts. "Once you define those three sets of customers very clearly, then the question is: What role do you play as providers of technology?” he said. For the first two customer groups – employees and citizens – Bhatt said his department’s role is clear. It provides the tools and support to enable better service delivery, usually through the development or procurement of digital applications. Additionally, his team uses data analytics to provide more comprehensive customer views for state employees. “We provide a kind of direct assistance and direct application of technology for these first two sets of customers,” he said.

The third group, government organizations, is served differently by the state IT team. Nevertheless, Bhatt views that role as one of customer service. “For that third set of customers, our focus is how we get those municipalities and school districts the best economies of scale by using the state’s authority for joint procurement,” he said. “That way, we create an equal playing field for these organizations to get the technologies they need to achieve their missions.” Bhatt’s team also works in conjunction with the Chief Information Security Officer’s group to increase awareness regarding things like cybersecurity and technology best practices, ensuring that other organizations appropriately buy and use the tools they need.


The Smarter State Vision

the ones who were really suffering because they had no single point of reference for Illinois services.”

This multifaceted view of IT as a customer service enabler is embodied in Bhatt’s Smarter State initiative,

which launched in 2015. “We really built a strong story, where the absence of coordinated technology and business creates lots of fiefdoms,” Bhatt said. “We were spending unnecessary money, we were unsecure and then beyond that, our customers were

1. Smart IT

2. Digital Government

3. Smart State

This goal better positions IT teams to serve state interests. The plan consolidated 38 siloed IT departments with about 1,500 employees into a single Department of Innovation & Technology. That makes it easier for other state agencies to access IT services in a single location, and receive coordinated support. At the same time, the department can pull information from multiple agencies and databases to better understand customer processes, goals and needs.

This idea focuses on integrating better tools into government processes and services, in order to meet the demands of citizens and state employees alike. A prime objective of this initiative is the creation of mobile technologies. Within 18 months, the department built 37 mobile apps or mobile-responsive websites. It’s also focused on moving internal workloads to the cloud so it can scale power and costs as service demands increase.

This approach takes the ideas of Smart City plans – namely, applying Internet of Things ideas to make public services and infrastructure more effective and efficient – and applies them across Illinois. Part of this initiative is focused on leveraging a statewide procurement authority, so that other Illinois government bodies can purchase the same tools at the state rate.

To ensure the IT team meets its customer service objectives, it involves any relevant cohort – whether that’s an employee, citizen or another organization – in the ideation, planning, procurement and deployment of each part of this strategy.

In those conversations with stakeholders, for instance, the value of initiatives is framed in business terms. “If you’re a plain IT shop, you generally measure your value in terms of downtime versus uptime, or the number of help desk calls that you receive or return,” Bhatt said. “In our case, we’ve always focused on the business impact, so we measure the dollars saved because of a process change, or hours of productivity generated because of a specific implementation.”

gets a lot of credit for that, because he made sure that we are talking about the comprehensive digital transformation of the state. We’re not just talking about IT projects. Smart State is a comprehensive way of transforming government.”

For instance, the IT department is working with other state departments, including Commerce and Education, smaller municipality governments, as well as external partners like the Internet of Things Consortium. Bhatt also emphasized their commitment to constantly keeping individual stakeholders like community business leaders or other agency leaders involved in individual projects, to make sure their concerns and needs are included in development plans. Each of these initiatives meets clear customer needs within and outside of Illinois state government. But more than that, Bhatt explained that they’re using the Smart State program to reframe the role of technology in government.

That approach keeps technology conversations focused on the customer, ensuring that stakeholder objectives are kept in mind through every stage of development. The discussion also emphasizes the role technology can play in meeting customer service goals. “We widened our Smart State initiative beyond just the technology focus into more economic development, workforce development, infrastructure, education, regulatory issues and other aspects,” said Bhatt. “The governor

Since 2015, Smart State has grown to comprise three separate but related goals:

Now, Bhatt is focused on expanding his IT team’s efforts to a fourth customer set: other states. They’re currently working with the National Governors Association to expand and replicate the Smart State model for other state governments to follow. At the same time, the Department of Innovation & Technology is keeping an eye on emerging technologies that can be incorporated into its current programs. But again, Bhatt emphasized the customer as the center of their efforts. “It’s all about thinking of our efforts as comprehensive customer service transformation. This isn’t just IT transformation,” he said.

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The #3 Program Manager Role

According to a self-published report, the U.S. Postal Service offers 34 external application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow customers to complete myriad tasks online. In 2016, those APIs processed over 46.4 billion requests for over 70,000 customers. That’s a wealth of information that USPS could use to better understand its customers’ actions, preferences and needs. That same report noted, however, that “While the Postal Service collects customer API usage data, it is not currently using that information to plan for future needs.”

It’s your job to learn your customers and turn that information into decisions.

The reason? It was unclear who was responsible for turning that data into customer insights. To avoid this pitfall, program managers must step up to the customer service plate.

Your Top 3 Customer Service Priorities Know your customers

Communicate program needs

Coordinate teams

As the person closest to your agency’s programs, it’s your main priority to understand who those projects serve and what those customers want from your service. Even if you think you know your audience, you’ll constantly want to dive deeper to inform your decisions.

Think of yourself as the advocate for your service, and the people who use it. It’s up to you to align customer service needs to broader programmatic and agency goals, in order to secure the necessary tools and resources you need to serve citizens.

While this seems like an internal management priority, if you coordinate teams and projects with the user in mind, you can have a significant impact on external customer experiences. Creating a unified front for the user starts from within and, as program owner, you have the power to start making those internal connections.

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Challenges to Facilitating Customer Service Competing priorities

Resource shortages

Lack of information

Juggling multiple priorities is the challenge of every public servant, but it can be especially difficult for program managers whose service isn’t overtly customer-oriented. Not only do you need to supervise employees, manage budgets and allocate resources; you also have to find the time to advocate for and promote customer service.

Similarly, with tighter budgets and dwindling workforces across government, it can seem overwhelming to fit another objective onto your plate. It will be your challenge to find low-cost, high-impact ways to improve customer services, without letting other mission-critical objectives suffer.

There’s a wealth of data about the way citizens use government websites and other services. But there’s a good chance you don’t have all that information. When your IT department manages web analytics, your finance department maintains citizens’ payment data, and your call center works independent of your program, it can feel impossible to understand who you’re serving or what they want.

Steps to Start Your Customer Service Journey 1. Define your customers

2. Solicit feedback

3. Seek partners

Before you begin any formal customer service initiative, take a step back to ensure you’ve defined your audience. That audience will be the driving force behind every decision you make in customer service improvements, so it’s important to do this first. One way to do this is by creating an ideal persona of your target customer, including their needs, expectations, goals and other challenges (see persona worksheet on Page 30).

Before you start revamping all the services under your purview, make sure you understand how and why they need revision. Gather input from all key stakeholders, including external and internal users, to understand how services are perceived today. No budget? That’s OK. This doesn’t have to be a lengthy or costly process. A simple hallway test will do if you’re in a pinch.

Recognizing that your program is only one in an entire ecosystem of customer services, you’ll want to find other program owners to collaborate with. Not only can you discover ways to connect your services for users’ ease of access, you can also use the partnership to share resources and ideas that can improve your individual services.

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Government is social. Is your agency/department adapting? Citizens today expect their government to engage with them on more channels than ever before. Social media is where you can meet—and exceed—their expectations.

Find out more at carahsoft.com/vendors/hootsuite


The Need for Centralized and Strategic

An interview with Jaime Stein, Industry Principal, Government at Hootsuite

The relationship between government and its citizens is rapidly changing, due in large part to the exponential growth in the use of social media by both agencies and the constituents they serve. In a recent interview with GovLoop, Jaime Stein from the citizen engagement platform, Hootsuite, explained why government must embrace social media and how agencies can leverage social tools to maximize service and efficiencies.

By creating pre-approved content that can be shared in times of crisis, governments can provide instant updates to citizens. They can also use social media analytics to monitor social conversations about the crisis to provide information to first responders or address any false information before rumors spread.

resources tracking down and regulating information.

Finally, social media meets a clear service demand from citizens. Increasingly, people are turning to social media channels, rather than government websites, when they have an enquiry, request or complaint. According to Accenture, 40 percent of U.S. citizens placed priority on integration of government digital services with social media in 2017. This was double the 20 percent who said so in their 2014 survey.

Back in 2011, New York City set the goal of becoming the world’s premier digital city. With Hootsuite, the City assembled teams from across its various agencies and assigned individual levels of publishing access, responsibility and authority for social media channels.

Social Media

“Citizen participation and engagement have been transformed through social media,” Stein said. “The conversation between governments and citizens is no longer one way. Before, citizens only had a voice at the polling booths. Today, the conversation is held in the open and it’s transparent.” In a government primarily concerned with information security and minimizing risk, this increased transparency can spark some concerns. However, Stein outlined a number of benefits that make social media worth the investment. First, social media can reduce the cost of communications. “Federal agencies spend $1.5 billion on public relations alone each year to get their message out there to their citizens,” Stein said. “Yet, 42 percent of U.S. adults say they get their news from Facebook while only 20 percent get their news from traditional outlets.” Second, social media makes it easier for agencies to share information during a crisis and nullify rumors before they create hysteria. “Communication is critical in moments of crisis, both for the people affected and for those far away who are anxious for news,” Stein said. “Governments can prepare for critical communications using citizen engagement platforms like Hootsuite.”

“Across industry and government agencies, social media has transformed from a ‘nice to have’ to an essential component of information delivery, communications and service strategies,” said Stein. Yet even though the benefits of social media are evident for government agencies, those tools are being underutilized. While 85 percent of local government agencies are using social media, only 63 percent of these have an enterprise-wide social media strategy. But when agencies don’t apply organization-wide social strategies, positive outcomes quickly decline. Messaging across platforms often becomes inconsistent and disorganized – confusing or misleading constituents. Media accounts are prone to misuse as multiple agency employees receive ad hoc access to disparate systems. Plus, content managers and public relations personnel spend significant time and

To avoid these pitfalls and decrease risk, while still gaining the benefits of social media, agencies have to take a holistic approach to their social media strategies. Stein offered an example of what that looks like.

This allowed them to expand their digital reach with a consolidated approach to social media. The city’s leadership could maintain a consistent voice, while decentralizing communication to thousands of municipal departments and agencies; share information and updates in multiple languages for a diverse multicultural population; and provide consistent, accessible information during emergencies. Ultimately, the city was able to use social media to listen to, engage with and gain valuable insights from constituents. Social media can be a powerful tool for government, but only when agencies take a strategic approach to managing their entire organization’s social presence. By developing a centrally managed social media strategy that empowers personnel across the agency to interact with citizens as they need to, agencies can enhance the citizen experience and create a transparent, social government.

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Transforming Customer Experience at the

U.S. Census Bureau An interview with Michele Bartram, Customer Experience Officer for the U.S. Census Bureau

Citizens increasingly rely on a variety of digital channels in their everyday lives. People want to engage with their government digitally, but research shows that most are dissatisfied with the platforms and services currently available. Especially when compared with the digital experiences offered by the private sector, government agencies’ tools are lagging behind. 20

Michele Bartram, Customer Experience Officer for the U.S. Census Bureau, understands the importance of prioritizing customer needs in shaping technological innovation. To change negative perceptions of federal digital services and adapt to a rapidly changing digital landscape, the agency has focused on integrating and simplifying what had previously been a fragmented data and content experience; providing consistent access and functionality across devices; and developing smart solutions grounded in analytics and key metrics. Customer experience should be at the heart of digital service design. This requires knowing your customers — determining what their needs are and understanding how they encounter and experience federal digital services.

“The customer journey includes both digital and physical touchpoints,” Bartram explained. “But with so many different silos and groups, it’s hard to get people speaking the same language.” For this reason, it is crucial to ensure that there is an ingrained commitment to customer service at every level of your agency. There should be a clear framework and common language for agency employees, because they are the ones responsible for engaging customers and delivering the outward-facing services.


Bartram outlined five questions of “customer journey thinking”: • Who is the customer? • What is the customer’s real goal? • What did the customer do right before coming to your website or digital platform? • What will the customer do right after engaging with your digital tools? • What will make the customer happy? The Census Bureau redesigned its website, Census.gov, and enhanced its digital platform to provide a more personalized and relevant experience for citizen users. After receiving feedback that the data and information on the website were difficult to navigate, the Census Bureau tailored its services to better meet customers’ needs and varying levels of experience. For the average site visitor, many of the terms and tools on the Census Bureau website weren’t necessarily intuitive. The agency subsequently prioritized simplifying interfaces and “getting the words right” — using clear, novice-friendly menu topics and modifying SEO search algorithms to better account for common synonyms. The Bureau also made data easier to find, read and understand by shifting to a centralized data dissemination platform, EDDE, and moving away from unwieldy, difficult-to-read data tables and system diagrams. Bartram also provided a number of other examples and suggestions for agencies trying to simplify their services. She recommended augmenting text with images and utilizing video. These tools can also serve a dual function of helping users better understand the digital platform — online tutorials, for example, “can help get novices to the level of experts.” After

implementing these changes, Census reported higher levels of customer engagement with the agency’s digital services and increasingly positive user satisfaction scores.

Government agencies must focus on providing a better and more consistent digital experience.

A key component of improving citizen services and knowing where to begin involves gathering data. Bartram recommended mining customer feedback — through online surveys or other evaluation forms — and drawing out important takeaways from the responses. But, she cautioned against spending resources and time to collect meaningless data. “Gather the data that matters,” Bartram said. “The government has plenty of performance metrics, but not everything is useful or applicable.” One-size-fits-all metrics (e.g., total site views) or vanity metrics (e.g., number of social media followers), for example, are so broad or arbitrary as to not be particularly useful. Instead, agencies should utilize targeted forensic analytics to better ascertain the efficacy and usability of their digital services for their audience.

Digital transformation shouldn’t be limited to internal changes alone. According to Bartram, agencies should aim to think out of the box, engage traditional and non-traditional channels and analyze how their services align with those of other organizations. For example, she noted that customers looking for demographic data might not necessarily visit the Census Bureau website to find this information. To make sure citizens can still access Census information, the agency developed channels to make its information available on sites like WikiData and Wikipedia, as well as through various online widgets and apps. The Census Bureau also noticed that a number of users were being directed to their site from the Department of State, in order to use their “age search” service. This service provides age verification for Social Security and other retirement benefits, passport applications or other situations where a birth certificate would be required but is not available. To meet this recognized need, Census created fact sheets and a topical page with information on this particular service. To improve site traffic and continue to expand the number of digital users, agencies also need to think creatively and aim to provide timely content. During Hurricane Harvey, for example, the Census Bureau provided data and helped produce emergency management maps that could be used by first responders and rescue teams. “People respond to storytelling,” she said. Government agencies must focus on providing a better and more consistent digital experience. Instead of putting technology first, the federal government should ensure that customer experience and customer service are guiding their program design.

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#4 The Communicator Role

According to one report, 41 percent of local government leaders said they use citizen engagement tactics but don’t let residents know how they’ve made a difference through those efforts. Additionally, the same group said they don’t notify residents when citizen ideas from feedback forms are actually put to use. It’s the job of the government communicator to change that.

It’s not enough for agencies to solicit feedback and create great programs for citizen users. Those initiatives have to be effectively communicated to constituents, other agencies and internal stakeholders to really make an impact.

Your Top 3 Customer Service Priorities Provide information

Be a navigator

Highlight successes

Of course, informing the public is the core responsibility of any government communicator. But it’s also a way of providing customer service when you provide the information that citizens want and need. Focus on offering relevant, interesting and timely information, rather than ticking off items on an internal communications agenda.

Even though you’re not the one designing websites or digital services, it’s your job to make sure users know where to get the services they need. This promotion might be through the creation of one-off press releases, but more often it will require thoughtful planning of full media campaigns that connect disparate services in a meaningful way for users.

When an agency program is successful in meeting citizen needs, let the public know. Customer service is not just delivering results, but also showing how investments pay off. Use your position to highlight when your services are effective and who they serve.

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Challenges to Facilitating Customer Service Government silos

Regulatory restrictions

Directing the narrative

Unlike many other groups in government, communications professionals tend to have more access within their agency as they route and manage cross-departmental requests from media and citizens. Regulatory and organizational barriers between agencies, however, often make it difficult for communicators to access related information from other government bodies (think: getting environmental information from EPA to use in a DOI report).

With laws and directives in flux, it’s often unclear what information can be legally shared, through which channels and with which parties. The challenge is not only to stay up to date with current restrictions, but also not to default to less information when it’s unclear what level to share. Take the time to truly understand what information you can offer stakeholders.

The difficult part of any communicator’s job is staying ahead of the press, in order to tell the story you want to tell about your agency. Making sure you’re highlighting service successes and owning up to missteps requires proactively putting out information that speaks to your narrative, even as you answer day-today media requests.

Steps to Start Your Customer Service Journey 1. Inventory citizen services

2. Map your citizen journey

3. Create one story

Talk to program managers to understand popular customer services, as well as to discover underutilized services. Once you’ve got a better understanding of the full suite of services your agency offers, you can begin to rethink the way they are presented to the public.

As you work to catalogue your services, you’ll also want to consider how they appear to citizens. Take a step back. Pretend you know very little about your agency but want to complete a complex task as easily as possible. Map what that journey looks like (see worksheet on Page 28) for novice users, to understand how they navigate your agency’s interconnected services.

Once you understand what your agency provides users and how citizens perceive those disparate offerings, start looking for ways to bridge those two perceptions. You might not have the power to reorganize programs or update your organization’s website, but you can use your position to paint a story of the collective services your agency provides, as well as intuitive ways to navigate them.

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Elevate the Employee Experience Employee engagement is critical to a successful citizen experience. When engagement is high, your employees will advance your agency’s mission. Take your agency’s customer experience to the next level by elevating the employee experience. HighPoint partners with agencies to provide custom training workshops on employee experience and the tools needed to understand employees and citizens. Start by understanding your employees’ journey and the different personas within your agency.

Learn more at highpointelevate.com


Engaging Employees in the Customer Service Mission

When organizations pursue customer service strategies, they often focus solely on the external clients they serve. Agencies dedicate significant time and resources to understanding the citizen, public preferences, and the constituent journey between services. In a recent interview with GovLoop, Senior Director Doug Taylor and Citizen Experience Lead Instructional Designer Nancy Wulff at citizen experience company HighPoint Global, explained that the real key to improving external customer service is to focus on your own employees. “We’ve all been in situations where we’re getting service from an employee, and we can tell the difference between someone who’s just going through the motions,” Taylor said. “Compare that with someone who genuinely cares and is engaged and wants to make sure an issue is resolved. There’s a huge difference.” Employee engagement is the first step to a successful customer service journey, because agency personnel are the people who will actually create and deliver services to constituents. When morale declines, so does productivity and service. On the other hand, when engagement is high, your employees will be driven to provide exceptional experiences that serve the agency’s mission. HighPoint Global provides services and tools that agencies need to improve customer experiences. Taylor and Wulff explained that these same tools should also be used internally, to better understand and engage public servants in their roles. Specifically, managers can leverage tools like persona building and journey mapping to better understand their employees and facilitate real engagement.

An interview with Doug Taylor, Senior Director, and Nancy Wulff, Citizen Experience Lead Instructional Designer at HighPoint Global

Managers are the key. “The open dialogue that a manager has with their employee is such a crucial part of employee engagement, as well as making them feel valued in what they bring to the table,” Wulff said. “Working together as a team to create personas and journey maps is an invaluable experience for everyone involved. Taking the time to understand your employees is where the magic happens.” Taylor agreed. “The biggest mistake that agencies make is underestimating the impact a direct manager has on an employee’s level of satisfaction and level of engagement. The best investment you can make is providing those managers with the skills they need to create a better relationship with their employees.” To equip managers with the understanding they need to engage employees, agencies don’t need to invest in new tools and tactics. According to Wulff and Taylor, many agencies can leverage their existing customer engagement tools to empower managers. For instance, agencies commonly deploy journey maps to understand how constituents execute specific service requests. That same tool can be used by a manager to map the process employees take to fulfill their daily tasks. In the same way the external process might illuminate pain points for a constituent, the manager can collaboratively identify points in an employee’s day that might decrease productivity, overcomplicate processes, or otherwise prevent engagement. This exercise can act as an engagement tool in its own right, allowing the manager to directly involve their employees in improvements. It also helps managers better understand their

employees. That understanding can then be used to build personas – templated breakdowns of a person’s goals, needs, and challenges – to guide managers as they make future decisions for their employees and engagement strategies. But while these tools can be great resources to help guide managers, Wulff and Taylor emphasized that they aren’t the only solution to engagement. More important than any one tool is an understanding of your agency’s engagement and service objectives. An effective engagement strategy will directly align customer-focused mission goals to employee actions. “At the end of the day, the primary driver of employee engagement is helping public servants see why their work’s important and the value that their work brings,” Taylor said. “And managers have to help position them so that they can use their personal strengths and what they’re good at, in order to achieve that outcome.” In many cases, managers will require tactical and technical support to effectively engage their employees. From agency leaders, managers need a clear definition of service expectations and mission goals. Administrators and other leaders must “walk the walk” of service and strive to highlight how employee actions impact the constituents agencies serve. Ultimately, agencies will need to create a clear alignment between customer service and employee engagement. They can do that by empowering managers to deploy the same customer experiences internally as they do when engaging citizens. An engaged workforce is the first and most necessary step toward better serving the public.

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Conclusion Positions like Chief Customer Service Officer and Chief Innovation Officer are often created and dedicated to improve citizens’ experience with government. But even the smallest departments and local agencies must deliver superior service to citizens if they’re going to keep government running smoothly and meeting its mission. And even those agencies with dedicated customer service leadership and resources won’t get far if they don’t spread that culture and tools of service throughout their entire organization.

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Heightened citizen expectations, coupled with dwindling resources and a smaller workforce, mean that agencies have to rethink the traditional approach to customer service. It must become the job of every agency worker, including those public servants whose roles don’t obviously connect to customer experience. Whether you’re in IT, public relations or program management, it’s up to every public servant to help government achieve its mission of serving citizens.


Appendix

Worksheets

27


Journey Mapping Worksheet

Process: Signing Up for Emergency Alerts

Stage

Awareness

Research

Decision

Receive

Follow-Up

Customer Touchpoint(s)

See another citizen receive an aler.

Search internet for “emergency alerts in my county�

Enter mobile number to sign up for emergency alerts on county website

Receive text alerts in times of emergency on mobile phone

None

Directly access county website for emergency alert sign-up

Ex am pl e

See advertisement at local bus stop

User Experience

Experience an emergency and wonder about service

Actions

Passive discovery of alerts

Searches for way to sign up for alert

Signs up for alerts by entering mobile number in form

Receives text alerts

None

Questions

What is an emergency alert? How do you receive them?

How do I sign up for emergency alerts? Who provides these alerts?

Do I know what to expect from this service?

Am I confident that I have successfully signed up?

How do I tell the county what I think about these alerts? How do I change my subscription?

Pain Points

Limited public awareness outside of word of mouth and bus stop advertisements

None. The sign-up window is prominently displayed in multiple agency website locations. Search engine optimization also used to route internet searches to the website.

Little communication around what the texts will look like or when they will come in times of emergency

No confirmation text or other communication sent to citizen before first emergency alert

Unclear if citizen is happy with content or frequency of alerts

Positive Above Average Average Below Average Negative

Positive Above Average Average Below Average Negative

Positive Above Average Average Below Average Negative

Positive Above Average Average Below Average Negative

Positive Above Average Average Below Average Negative

Experience

No way to cancel alerts once signed up

Recommendations Ideas for Improvement

Create an integrated web and community campaign to advertise existence of mobile alert service

None for now

Provide a sample text on screen in sign-up form

Create confirmation text that automatically sends upon sign-up

Low lift: Create user feedback form on website. Higher lift: Incorporate interactive feedback service into text systems

Internal Owner

Public communications officer

N/A

Program manager + website content manager

Program manager + text message developer

Program manager + website content manager OR text message developer

28


Process:

Stage

Awareness

Research

Decision

Receive

Follow-Up

Customer Touchpoint(s)

User Experience Actions

Questions

Pain Points

Experience

Positive Above Average Average Below Average Negative

Positive Above Average Average Below Average Negative

Positive Above Average Average Below Average Negative

Positive Above Average Average Below Average Negative

Positive Above Average Average Below Average Negative

Recommendations Ideas for Improvement

Internal Owner

29


Customer Persona Worksheet Demographics

Gender: Male

Persona Name: Self-Server Sam

Annual Income: $75,000

Location (urban, rural, suburban): Lives in two-bedroom apartment in an urban area of California

Title: Project Manager at Dept. of Army

Education: BA from West Point, master’s from Cornell University

Age: 30

Background

Company information

Hobbies and Interests

Career-oriented: • Networking and attending local DoD events • Research on intelligence

Personal: • P90x with the wife • Long walks on the beach • Loves to travel

Likes/Dislikes

Business: • Loves the idea of innovation, wishes his workplace could keep up • Dislikes red tape and not having liberty to try new things

Personal: • Would like to start new program evaluation initiative but feels his superiors won’t take him seriously • Dislikes being told no/feeling of wasting time

Goals

Short-term: • Become Senior Project Manager within 2-4 years • Achieve salary of $97,000 to purchase family home

Long-term: • Eventually work at Federal Reserve System on Board of Governors in D.C.

Challenges

Business: Wants more flexibility within his department

Personal: Struggles with perception of being the “inexperienced millennial” at work

When dealing with your agency:

Doesn’t appreciate having to wait on others to get things done

Expectations

When dealing with customer service representatives:

Expects comprehensive website that allows him to browse and figure it out for himself

Needs utmost efficiency - doesn’t want to have to wait in line or on the phone

Wants a one-stop shop where all his problems can be addressed

Ex am pl e

Family status: Married for two years with newborn

30


Persona Name:

Demographics

Gender:

Annual Income:

Location (urban, rural, suburban):

Title:

Education:

Age:

Background

Company information

Hobbies and Interests

Career-oriented:

Personal:

Likes/Dislikes

Business:

Personal:

Goals

Short-term:

Long-term:

Challenges

Business:

Expectations

When dealing with customer service representatives:

Personal:

Family status:

When dealing with your agency:

31


Metrics Worksheet

Customer Service Goal

Organizational Goal

Short-Term Indicators

Long-Term

Behavioral

Users will successfully complete basic applications online.

More citizen information, necessary for agency tasks, will be digitally accessible.

15% increase in accurate, completed applications

40% increase in accurate, completed applications

Emotional

Users will enjoy engaging with our online services.

Citizens will be more likely to access our online information in times of emergency.

Average rating of 3 on 5-point, post-service survey

Average rating of 4 on 5-point, post-service survey

Emotional

Users will enjoy engaging with our online services.

Citizens will be more likely to access our online information in times of emergency.

5% increase in website traffic from repeat users

10% increase in website traffic from repeat users

Unseen

Users will require less personal support to complete online forms.

IT staff will be freed to support other mission-critical tasks.

10% decrease in help-desk call volumes

25% decrease in help-desk call volumes

Unseen

Users will require less personal support to complete online forms.

IT staff will be freed to support other mission-critical tasks.

Fewer than 200 website errors per month

Fewer than 50 website errors per month

Ex am pl e

Metric

32


Instructions

Metric

Customer Service Goal:

Organizational Goal:

Short-Term Indicators:

Explain what feeling or behavior you want to elicit with your customer service.

Explain how this service goal aligns to organizational priorities.

Describe which metrics will indicate success within the first three months of service deployment.

Customer Service Goal

Organizational Goal

Short-Term Indicators

Long-Term: Describe which metrics will indicate success within the first year of service deployment, taking into account incremental improvements to service design.

Long-Term

Behavioral

Emotional

Emotional

Unseen

Unseen

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Thanks to Carahsoft, Genesys, Granicus, HighPoint Global and Hootsuite for their support of this valuable resource for publicsector professionals. About GovLoop GovLoop’s mission is to “connect government to improve government.” We aim to inspire publicsector professionals by serving as the knowledge network for government. GovLoop connects more than 250,000 members, fostering cross-government collaboration, solving common problems and advancing government careers. GovLoop is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with a team of dedicated professionals who share a commitment to connect and improve government.

For more information about this report, please reach out to info@govloop.com. www.govloop.com | @GovLoop

Authors Hannah Moss, Senior Editor and Project Manager

Designers Kaitlyn Baker, Lead Graphic Designer Marçal Prats, Design Fellow


1152 15th Street NW, Suite 800 Washington, DC 20005 Phone: (202) 407-7421 | Fax: (202) 407-7501 www.govloop.com | @GovLoop

Defining Your Role in Government Customer Service  

GovLoop Guide

Defining Your Role in Government Customer Service  

GovLoop Guide