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  • Writer's pictureNinth Life Consulting

Addressing CX in the Public Sector: Top 3 considerations when developing a customer-centric culture

For years local, state and federal agencies have placed the customer experience on the backburner. Private-sector business have traditionally placed more focus on addressing the needs of the customers because it’s always been tied to revenue.

In fact, their constituents demand a seamless experience or they will take their business and money elsewhere. While most government agencies are sole source providers, meaning there is only one place that customers can pay their utility bill or get a driver’s license – understanding and mastering the customer journey is becoming more important now, than ever and it starts by putting the customer first.

Considering the rising cost of services, increasing paperwork and constant PR blunders reported by employees and customers alone, the private-sector has much to gain by taking a straight forward approach.

Take a holistic approach

The concept of CX goes beyond just looking at the customer experience on a transactional level. It transcends beyond the customer standing at the counter or an electronic engagement. Those are just touchpoints throughout the customer journey that should be evaluated as each organization seeks to understand and identify the customer’s needs and wants. The customer journey usually crosses many channels and touchpoints – and has an undetermined timeframe. For instance, a new local small business owner wanting to understand the process of applying for a business license may begin by visiting the city’s website to learn more about the requirements, hours of operation, or opportunities to apply online, before physically completing the process. The role of local government is to understand what happens for customers as the move along this journey as well as what could happen to make this experience more rewarding.

True change can only come from knowing. The best way to start is by taking an assessment of the data that you have from customers. Most organizations are sitting on a treasure trove of data that can be used to guide their understanding of the customer journey. Pulling together data from your organization's website, verbal feedback, annual surveys and even your organizations Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn platforms can be used to shed some light on what areas you make should make a priority.

It’s all about the people

Not only is government looking at their constituents to provide a better experience, it also requires a holistic, cross-functional assessment of organizational cultures that are supporting or causing them to miss the mark with customers. Before embarking on a CX initiative you will want everyone from executive leadership down to your front line employee’s to be supportive. You will want your people to be the eyes and ears helping to highlight issues. Learn more about what motivates them to provide good service to customers and encourage them to be out of the box thinkers, who exercise empathy and provide solutions that put customers first. A genuine effort needs a champion who works alongside all parties to drive change. This role will be effective in evaluating the performance of those needed to succeed at CX and also pinpoint training opportunities to achieve the goal.

Use technology as an enabler

There is no doubt that digital technology plays a large role in customer satisfaction. The public sector can leverage the digital technology to make sure that they are meeting the diverse needs of their customers. As organizations think about how best to enable their customers digitally, they should first consider, the core capabilities that you are using to connect with customers and citizens, and the organizational enablers that support those capabilities. This can help to determine how best to outline digital priorities for your organization. In most cases, private sector industries usually focus their efforts around four capabilities: services, processes, decisions, and data sharing.

A study of 1,200 government officials from over 70 countries, found that three-fourths of survey respondents said that digital technologies are disrupting the public sector; nearly all (96 percent) said that the impact in their area was significant. Surprisingly, only 30 percent of organizations surveyed assessed their capabilities as ahead of their private sector peers.

To learn more about how you can improve your organization’s CX approach, reach out to us today at

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