Celebrating equity in federal customer experience initiatives
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Celebrating equity in federal customer experience initiatives

October 3, 2023 | Updated on February 12, 2024

As we mark Customer Experience Day, the inseparable link between equity and federal CX has never been more robust, thanks to recent efforts and new policy guidance. Amid declining levels of trust in government and public concerns about the recent threat of a government shutdown, these efforts are critical to rebuilding confidence in our federal institutions. Here are five advancements to celebrate: 

1. Guidance for embedding equity in civic design 

The General Services Administration continues to provide a beacon of light with its Guide for Embedding Equity in Civic Design to Transform Customer Experience. To quote the guide, “You can’t have good customer experience in the public sector without equity.” 

2. An uptick in federal agencies becoming trauma-aware 

Recognizing that every interaction can make a significant impact on the customer, more agencies are paying attention to trauma-informed design. This approach is pivotal in creating experiences that are sensitive to the various emotional burdens that individuals bring with them, with more agencies being mindful of the unique needs of those undergoing toxic stress. 

3. Tackling the ‘time tax’ 

Time is a currency that everyone values, and federal agencies are making notable strides in reducing the ‘time tax’, the time it takes to comply with paperwork or other bureaucratic processes, through burden reduction efforts. By addressing unequal administrative burden, these efforts are creating more equitable experiences that particularly benefit those who are underserved. 

4. The release of the long-awaited 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act Guidance 

My personal highlight from the new guidance is the centering of people with diverse abilities. The new guidance directs agencies to prioritize accessibility and user-friendliness from the outset as they craft websites and digital solutions. Through compliance, this will ensure that the widest range of individuals can engage with the government through its online platforms and services. 

5. New guidance on research compensation 

The Office of Management and Budget recently introduced new guidance related to research compensation that aims to engage underserved and hard-to-reach populations. A growing number of agencies recognize the need to incorporate compensation into their research and design endeavors to ensure equitable service delivery, promote inclusivity and better connect with diverse groups. 

As we celebrate Customer Experience, or CX, Day, let’s take a moment to appreciate the progress made by the federal government in intertwining equity and customer experience management efforts to improve service delivery. As the CX landscape continues to mature, agencies are building bridges toward increased participation in our democratic institutions and a more inclusive and empathetic future.  

Learn more about how the Partnership’s customer experience programming help agencies design more equitable services.  

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