We the Partnership

Why internal customer experience helps agencies deliver on their mission

By David Brownstein | September 21, 2020

Strong internal customer experience enables government employees to be successful.

A bold statement? Not really. Let’s break it down.

You might think the customer experience applies only to interactions with the public, like when you, as a consumer, are getting a passport or are going through customs. Not so. Behind the scenes, employees within an organization provide services to their fellow employees to help them do their jobs and make their organizations successful. While these services are often delivered behind the scenes, they help organizations deliver on their mission and operate smoothly.

In government, service providers who support the mission—such as the recruiters who attract new candidates for jobs or the contracting officers who process purchases—help federal employees achieve broader agency goals. Imagine national park employees lacking the necessary equipment to maintain the protected lands that millions of people visit each day; a doctor at the Department of Veterans Affairs who lacks the technology to file an insurance claim; or the air traffic controller whose need for an assistant is slowed by an arcane hiring process. Our “Colleagues as Customers” report provides even more examples of how mission-support professionals are critical to federal programs. Ultimately, mission-support employees help their colleagues work more effectively and help deliver results to those who use important government services.  

That’s where the Mission Support Leadership Program comes in. The program aims to provide federal mission-support employees with the leadership skills to deliver high-quality internal customer experience to their colleagues. Participants learn how to approach their fellow employees as customers and design important customer-based services that enable agencies to achieve their goals.

How can federal mission-support employees deliver a high-quality customer experience? While all these employees must possess technical knowledge relating to their professions, developing self-awareness, leading change, achieving results and engaging others are also critical competencies that participants will learn in the program. 

Let’s consider the importance of creating and maintaining strong personal relationships. These relationships can look different for those in HR, IT, finance or acquisition. For example, federal HR recruiters must build trust with hiring managers to identify the best candidates for a job, while contracting officers need to work well with project managers to fulfill important product requests. All these strong internal customer service relationships lead to better results for federal agencies across government.

Find out more about the Partnership’s approach and how you can participate in the upcoming Mission Support Leadership Program.

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David Brownstein