During National Customer Service Week, it’s a great time for organizations across industry and government to celebrate putting customers at the center of our work and to think about what we can do to improve our customers’ end-to-end experiences. When you think this big, it can be a little daunting, but the good news is that we’re doing a lot, and a simple shift in mindset can get us much further.
At GSA, we’re all here to help our customer agencies advance their missions. Because our offerings are so foundational to the federal government, we have a wide customer network, from program offices and senior leadership within federal agencies, to suppliers, building tenants, and the public at large, and even to ourselves as internal customers.
In the Office of Customer Experience (OCE), we partner across GSA to help map out these customer relationships, bring our business lines closer to our customers, and create and pilot new ideas through the eyes of the customer. We’ve worked across the agency to begin to create Customer Experience (CX) principles for the Public Buildings Service (PBS), develop journey maps and recommendations for each category in the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), and help GSA’s internal offices to develop action plans to improve the employee experience based on feedback.
The image above shows how we mapped the journey of suppliers to get on IT Schedule 70 as part of GSA’s “Making It Easier” initiative to help new and innovative companies do business with the government.
In addition to these great tools, we can make a huge leap as an agency in every interaction we have with our customers (and each other!), whether in person, over the phone, or through digital touchpoints like our websites, email, and social media. For every interaction, it’s easy to create a mini customer journey by asking two questions:
- Where is this person coming from (What did they do/have they tried before coming to me, who did they call, what websites did they visit, what do they know, how do they feel)?
- Where will this person go next (What are they trying to do, where can they find answers, how can we make this easier, how can we leave them in a good place, how can we make them feel better)?
Thinking about the past and future in addition to the present builds instant empathy and context in every decision we make. From our buildings to our contracts and to our ideas, GSA is proud of our reputation as an innovative hub in government. We all own customer experience, and when we consider the narratives of individual customer interactions we will be best positioned to transform them.For more information about CX in government, contact Anahita Reilly, chief customer officer at GSA.