As the product manager of Sites, my job is to make sure that our service delivers what we offer: provide an easy, fast and cost‐effective solution for federal agencies that want to create a secure government website to reach the public.
With 40 websites that are currently live or in active development, our program is constantly evolving. Our roadmap is filled with milestones designed to improve our service, address our customers’ needs, and keep our platform up to date. How do we create this road map? By analyzing the Customer Experience.
I’m not going to suggest that we have mastered the customer experience. Quite the contrary, once you get started you’ll see that much like your agile releases this too is fast-moving series of iterations. However, I’ll share with you our 3 down-and-dirty steps to CX that can help anyone get started.
3 Steps to Start
- What processes can be improved, simplified or eliminated?
- What steps could be done in less time?
- What were the inefficiencies and bottlenecks?
- Could we automatize any steps?
- What were our clients finding difficult or time consuming?
- What could we do to anticipate those issues?
- What are the tasks that every one of our customers must do?
- How easy are those tasks?
- Do we provide instructions?
- Are the instructions easy to find and to follow?
- Are we finding ways to share the common experiences of our customers?
- Are we really listening to our customers?
- Are we as a team sharing that information?
<li style="margin-bottom: 15px"> <b>Repeat. </b>Yes, like with shampoo. Just because you think that you’ve found a way to improve the customer experience, it doesn’t mean you really have accomplished it. Getting the word out is always challenging—as is changing processes and routines. Sometimes customers missed your newsletter or email, or when they received it, they didn’t need that information. Other times, the proposed solution doesn’t seem as easy as the previous one or the customer prefers their old way of doing things. These are some questions to help you with this part of the process: <ul> <li style="margin-top: 15px"> How do you plan to announce an improvement or enhancement to your customers? </li> <li> Do you have more than one method of communicating this to your customers? </li> <li> Do new and existing customers have a way to search or find this information at a later date? </li> <li> How do you plan to monitor the impact? </li> <li> What new numbers do you need to track? </li> <li style="margin-bottom: 15px"> What new stories do you need to listen to? </li> </ul> </li></ol> <p> These are just the first three steps to get you started down your own CX path. Along the way you’ll find your own set of challenges and create your own checklist of questions. In any case, you’re not alone as we are all trying to make sense of and improve the customer experience in government. </p> <p> <i><a href="https://sites.usa.gov/">Sites</a> provides a CMS and hosting service for federal agencies. You can <a href="mailto:email@example.com">email Sites</a> for more information.<br /> </i> </p>