We the Partnership

Four recommendations to improve the federal customer experience

November 19, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged federal agencies to meet customer needs and deliver key services. “Government for the People,” a recent report written by the Partnership for Public Service in collaboration with Accenture, examines how agencies have worked to address these challenges and offers tips for agency officials to improve the customer experience both during and after the pandemic. The study also urges federal leaders to implement four government-wide strategies to further improve services:

  1. Set an ambitious goal to improve customer trust in government. Government needs a customer experience “moonshot”—a bold target that, if achieved, would demonstrate agencies’ ability to deliver critical services that meet customer expectations and improve the historically low levels of trust in government.
  2. Create a team to manage customer experience with a government-wide perspective. Customers often have inconsistent experiences across federal agencies, sometimes receiving speedy services and other times experiencing lengthy delays. The federal government will need a more coordinated strategy to reach its customer experience moonshot.
  3. Expand customer experience guidance to apply to more of government’s high-impact services. The Office of Management and Budget should collaborate with agencies to create an expanded list of government’s most important services, using key data about their use and impact. This would help create consistent standards across government for how the customer experience is managed, measured and reported.
  4. Establish a standardized position description for federal customer experience strategists. OMB and the Office of Personnel Management should establish a government-wide job description for customer experience strategists. This would help define what skills are needed for customer experience professionals and help agencies hire for these positions.

These four recommendations will help government serve the public more effectively both now and in the future. To learn more, read the full report “Government for the People: Serving the Public in a New World.”

This post is authored by Zainab Syed, an intern on the Partnership’s Research, Analysis and Evaluation team.