Communication is Key in Measuring Customer Experience

As mentioned in previous blog posts, great efforts have been made in creating a Customer Experience program and a Customer Experience (CX) index in our Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT) at GSA. Our office manages well over 10 programs, including websites, a contact center, search services, and other tools. And we wanted to be able to create a picture of how our office is performing as a whole, in the eyes of our customers. To create this Customer Experience index, we decided every program within our office will ask their customers the exact same four survey questions.

To accomplish this, our office established a cross-organizational work group. We’ve identified two types of customers we serve: (1) citizens and (2) federal agencies. I have been tasked with leading what we are calling the “Citizen Customer Experience (CX) team” for those programs that serve citizens.

Since we are still in the planning stages, I thought I would share with you what to consider when starting your own CX team. We already have the hardest part completed—getting senior leadership support—but now comes the fun part…making this project come to life!

Before we ask our programs to send out the surveys, my group will need to first clearly communicate our mission, goals, and project plans to each of our program managers, so they understand what will happen once the survey results start coming in.

While some of our programs already have customer satisfaction surveys in place, we recognize that some have never surveyed their customers before. For those programs, this project is a great way for them to learn more from their customers and have more opportunities for making improvements in their programs. And for those programs that have a lot of experience surveying their customers, we will just need to make sure that they have the capability to add the four baseline questions within their surveys to establish our index score.

Keep in mind that some survey tools have varying degrees of flexibility, so you’ll want to make sure it meets your needs for editing purposes, and that your audience can access the survey easily. And whenever you are surveying, you also need to be thinking early-on about the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) clearance you will need, since this could greatly affect your project timeline.

Once every program in your office has their surveys ready, you’ll want to coordinate:

  • when you want the surveys distributed
  • how they will be pushed-out to your customers (will it differ by program?), and
  • how long the surveys should be out for.

We also plan to develop a common template to gather all the customer data survey results. Once all the data has been compiled, my group will calculate the entire office’s overall customer satisfaction index score.

In the end, our goal is to elevate the importance of Customer Experience (CX) in OCSIT and bring consistency across the organization by having a common understanding of the components, and how to measure and improve CX.

This will allow us the opportunity to look into what our customers’ perceptions are of their entire experience with our office: staff, products, and services.