The role of customer and employee experience in government

Ring Central Blog


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There’s a lot of talk in the private sector about creating “customer obsessed” cultures to help companies win business and loyalty over their competition. Similarly, as entities grapple with the “Great Resignation”, they’re increasingly focused on the employee experience in order to stem a potential tide of workers leaving their jobs.

These issues are currently top of mind in the corporate world, but the notions of customer and experience have long been the domain of the private sector. In a new webinar that we recently held together with GovLoop, we explore why government entities at all levels also cannot afford to give short shrift to how citizens and employees engage with their services.

Delivering on your mission: 6 drivers of the employee experience

Why experience matters

It’s not hard to understand why delivering great experiences may not be an explicit priority for government agencies. When it comes to public services, government bodies don’t have to compete for consumer business: if an individual wants to, say, renew their driver’s license or apply for unemployment benefits, it’s not like they have a range of options to go through.

As far as employees are concerned, it’s often assumed there are different motivators at play than in the private sector. Indeed, the chance to make a difference is often touted as a top reason to work for the government. But government agencies can’t afford to be complacent about fostering engaged, empowered workers who take pride in their work.

For public entities, customer and employee experience may not play the same role as they do in the private sector. But they can have significant effects on impact and outcomes on agency performance due to their influence on behavior.

Research from Forrester found that a great customer experience (CX) drives better compliance, engagement, advocacy, trust, and forgiveness from consumers. Delivering a great employee experience (EX), meanwhile, improves productivity, resilience, and pride.

Government agencies are underdelivering

While it’s not difficult to see how these individual indicators roll up to better overall performance for a government body, agencies are falling short.

In Forrester’s US Customer Experience Index for 2021, the federal government’s CX score—a measure between 0 and 100—averaged 62.6, the lowest of all verticals and 10.7 points behind the private-sector average. (Forrester includes the 15 federal agencies and programs with the largest public footprint in its scoring for government.)

EX is lagging too. In all three pillars of employee experience Forrester measures in its Employee Experience Index—empowerment, inspiration, and enablement—government agencies ranked at least five points behind the private sector.

These metrics significantly influence real-world outcomes.

For example, just a one percent increase in CX score is associated with:

Forrester also sees marked differences between engaged employees—often those who reap the benefits of a great EX—and disengaged workers:

Future-fit: The role of technology in delivering better experiences

So how can government agencies at all levels improve the experiences they offer customers and employees, and drive better outcomes at the same time?

While there’s no simple answer, technology is the backbone of CX and EX alike. But delivering better experiences requires deploying technology not for the sake of it but for its ability to meet the current and future needs of all end users.

That’s where a future fit strategy comes in. A future fit strategy encompasses an agency’s platforms (the technologies it employs), its IT policies and procedures, and its partners and vendors, with the goal of implementing tech that is adaptive to changing or future needs, creative in that it emotionally engages stakeholders, and resilient in the event of unforeseen disaster or outage.

With a future-fit technology strategy in place, a government can efficiently address the needs of citizens and employees regardless of what obstacles may be standing in the way—and deliver a great experience every time.

Is your agency providing quality experiences?

Work is undergoing a transformation. Like other entities, government agencies are grappling not only with delivering great experiences—but delivering them in a hybrid world.

Watch our new on-demand webinar, Delivering on your mission: 6 drivers of the employee experience, now to learn more about how experience drives outcomes and best practices for great customer and employee experiences as the public-sector workforce evolves.

Originally published Dec 02, 2021, updated Dec 20, 2021

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