Customer experience, or CX, is everywhere these days. Companies tout how they’re improving the customer experience with faster service, greater convenience or better products. If you’re wondering how customer “experience” differs from customer “service,” customer service usually involves a single interaction, such as a phone call to your cable company, while the customer experience encompasses the entire relationship, e.g., from how you originally selected your cable company, to their service throughout the course of your entire relationship with them.
How does this relate to government? Well, since government is primarily a sole-source provider, people typically don’t have another choice—they must work with us to fulfill critical tasks such as paying taxes or getting a driver’s license. To me, that means we have an even greater responsibility to provide excellent service.
That’s why I feel honored to lead the government Customer Experience Community of Practice (CX-COP). We opened our doors for business in April 2015, and in our first nine months, we’ve tripled our membership, growing to almost 600 members representing more than 130 U.S. government agencies. The fast growth of this community signals that there are lots of people out there who care about making government better.
A big focus for the CX-COP in 2015 was on education. First, we conducted a training needs survey to discover the type and level of training people needed. Based on that survey, we hosted six CX training events in 2015:
- How the Nationals’ Customer Experience Principles Can Be a Home Run for Agencies
- Using Customer Feedback to Improve HealthCare.gov
- Federal Student Aid Customer Experience Journey: A Recap
- CX Data in Action Series: Case Study #1
- Connecting with the Social and Behavioral Sciences Team
- Government Customer Service Cross Agency Priority (CAP) Goal Update
You can view more CX training on our CX Playlist. We also published several CX-related stories on DigitalGov, and encouraged agencies to participate in Customer Service Week by sharing lessons learned and hosting activities designed to improve customer service.
Finally, we’re developing a CX Toolkit to help agencies improve their CX programs. The Toolkit will feature hiring and onboarding tips to build a customer-centric culture, best practices for using voice-of-the-customer data to make meaningful improvements, guidance on designing customer-friendly digital experiences and more.
In 2016, we plan to expand the Toolkit, and continue to offer quality, practical CX training. Please let me know if you have a resource or best practice to contribute to the toolkit, or an idea for a speaker or training topic that we could feature in 2016. Also, if you haven’t joined the CX-COP listserv yet, please visit our CX Community page to sign up!Edit