Every interaction – from beginning-to-end – that consumers have when seeking a government service becomes part of their Citizen Journey. Whether it’s accessing a government website, calling a contact center, or visiting an agency office, they are all interactions that reflect on their experience and perception of the process.
As citizens look to their government for help with getting health insurance coverage, accessing their Medicare or Social Security benefits, finding federal student aid, applying for a passport, or any number of other services, they are bringing new expectations for how those services are delivered. Technology has opened communication channels like never before, yet this is only part of the Citizen Journey. In order to truly provide value, citizens must also have access to highly trained people and efficient processes that meet their expected level of service.
In March of 2014, President Obama refreshed the President’s Management Agenda to focus on creating a 21st century government. This emphasizes four themes: effectiveness, efficiency, economic drivers, and people and culture. A special tenet of these goals is to “deliver a world-class customer service experience for citizens and businesses,” with the aim of creating government-industry partnerships to improve service delivery.
Federal agencies such as the General Service Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration have already created initiatives with a mission of providing more effective and easier-to-access information for citizens. Several have made an improved citizen experience part of their long-term strategic vision. The Citizen Journey is the future of government.
Achieving improved service delivery will require a number of critical – and nuanced – efforts, including: