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What’s All The Fuss Around Customer Experience?

Have you been hearing the terms “Customer Experience” or “CX” a lot lately? Maybe you’re wondering how they relate to customer service, or maybe you want to learn more about CX and how it can help your customers. Whether you directly interact with customers, support front line employees, or manage program operations, your work has an impact on your agency’s customers. And it’s very important that excellent customer service be at the forefront in the federal government because we impact so many lives.

Business Concept compass graphic with the arrow pointing towards Customer

GSA launched the Customer Experience Community of Practice (CX-COP) in April 2015. When it launched, the CX-COP consisted of 200 members, and it grew to 600 members within its first year. That’s 300% growth in one year!

The CX-COP immediately began sharing knowledge and resources among Customer Service and Customer Experience (CX) professionals. During the first year, the group hosted several CX training sessions, on topics ranging from employee engagement to communications to turning customer data into action. The CX-COP also distributes the GovCX Update weekly newsletter to all members every Friday. This resource shares current articles, news stories, and training and networking opportunities.

They also launched the Customer Experience Toolkit, which is a resource for government employees to help their agencies improve service delivery to the public. The toolkit highlights the following topics: Strategy, Governance, Culture, Customer Understanding, Design, Measurement, Digital Services, and Collaboration.

All of those resources and activities have contributed to a lot of participation within the group and high satisfaction among members. The CX-COP is one of GSA’s most highly-rated programs, according to the most recent GSA customer satisfaction survey, issued in May. Members rated the CX-COP as “Very Good” on a 5-point scale ranging from “Very Poor” to “Very Good.” Community members used this survey to share their interests and to share what they would like to learn in this group. Such feedback is essential to ensuring the group continues to grow and succeed.

One important part of this community is the work it does to support the Customer Service Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal. This CAP Goal is one of 15 cross-agency goals supporting President Obama’s Second-Term Management Agenda. It was established in March 2014 to address customer satisfaction with government services and to improve customer service across the federal government.

Marketing concept target and Customer Satisfaction on wall background

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index 2015 report, citizen satisfaction with federal government services is at its lowest point in 18 years, with a score of 63.9 out of 100.

Acting Commissioner Colvin, SSA, and Lisa Danzig, OMB, co-lead the Customer Service CAP Goal, serving to fulfill the goal’s mission to “Increase public satisfaction and promote positive experiences with the Federal government by making it faster and easier for individuals and businesses to complete transactions and receive quality services.”

The CX-COP worked with the CAP Goal Management Team to create a CX maturity model, based on a maturity model created by Forrester Research. The purpose of the maturity model is to conduct an assessment of agency programs and to identify opportunities for improvement. This self-assessment tool is a critical step in improving the customer experience.

The Customer Service CAP Goal also launched a government-wide Core Federal Services Council in March 2016, comprised of senior leaders of the largest, most impactful public facing programs across government. The team asked the leaders of each of these programs to complete the maturity model in order to establish a baseline for their programs.

As you can see, customer experience and customer service are more than just buzzwords in the Federal government. As Federal government employees, we are working to improve customer experience in many different ways and at all levels within our agencies and even from the White House.

If you’d like to join the CX-COP, to learn more about these important efforts, and contribute to our collective customer experience knowledge and experiences, you can complete the registration form, email Rachel or email Alison.

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