Kicking Off Our Customer Experience Program

The vision for my office, the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT) at GSA, is simple: Deliver a world-class experience to the public when accessing government information and services – anytime, anywhere – through the delivery channel they choose. We create and leverage products, services and approaches federal agencies can easily adopt that will enhance their ability to innovate, deliver services, engage the public, and save valuable resources. With this vision, our customers are twofold: the public and federal agencies, including other governments. In addition, our stakeholders include the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the White House and Congress. Suffice it to say, delivering an outstanding customer experience is both challenging and critical to our success.

Several years of research and learning went into our effort to create a customer experience program in our office before gaining senior management support. It started as a team of three people who represented different divisions with a passion for customer experience. Understanding the full range of what customer experience encompasses was important. We began by creating a framework that defined customer experience, captured the benefits of providing outstanding customer experience, or CX, articulated our principles, values, and best practices that we wanted each program to integrate into their programs. We defined customer experience as:

Our customers’ perceptions of their entire experience with OCSIT staff, products and services.

These are the benefits we’re looking to deliver:

  1. Better understanding of our customers and their needs.
  2. Better products and services due to feedback from the customer.
  3. Improved brand recognition, adoption, satisfaction with and loyalty to OCSIT’s products and services
  4. Improved value proposition leading to resource justification.
  5. Improved trust in government
  6. Improved employee engagement
  7. Increased capacity of OCSIT to assist agencies to better serve their customers
  8. Process improvement driven – commitment to total quality.

We’ve also identified our principles for CX. We will:

  1. All take responsibility for providing an experience greater than customer expectations.
  2. Engage, listen and resolve.
  3. Design business from the outside in, not the inside out.
  4. Incorporate CX as a key success metric in everything we do.
  5. Make every contact with a customer an opportunity to influence their experience.

Our CX values are: outstanding quality, enjoyable customer engagement, employee engagement and customer-centric culture.

After buy-in from senior leadership, we created a cross-functional, cross-organizational working group to begin serving as evangelists across our organization. We are currently educating the working group on CX and are creating an index to measure CX across our organization–one for the public facing programs and one for the agency facing programs.

In my next post I’ll talk more about how we’re creating the index and our communication strategy. We have just begun the process.