Customer Experience

Customer Experience

Helping our government earn the trust of its customers by meeting their needs and expectations.

The public deserves user-friendly services from the federal government, whether it’s veterans who need health care, taxpayers who seek assistance from the IRS or college students who apply for financial aid. The public consistently rates federal agencies far behind other sectors and industries, while viewing the private sector as more capable of adapting quickly to changing customer needs. This disparity leads to a lack of trust in government. 

To bolster how agencies interact with customers, we share knowledge and leading practices through research, events, papers and reports; advocate for removing policy and legislative barriers; convene people who oversee the customer experience at their organizations; and hold agencies accountable by publishing annual insights on their interactions with the public.  

Designing a Government for the People

Collaborative Approaches to Federal Customer Experience

December 2022

The Biden administration’s customer experience policy strives for more equitable and efficient services for all and is a clear reflection of what a government designed for the people should be. Putting this vision into practice requires mitigating obstacles that prevent agencies from addressing the root causes of customer experience challenges. Customers would benefit from a collaborative approach that aligns all elements of government with those customers’ perspectives and needs. The Biden administration should invest in a change management strategy that empowers not only customer experience but financial, legal, human resources, data, and technology teams to act in the customer’s interest and targets the root causes of customer experience challenges.

The next phase of improving the federal customer experience should involve building a customer-centric mindset and accountability across every government function.

In our fourth annual Government for the People report, the Partnership for Public Service and Accenture Federal Services focus on agencies’ readiness for these new policies centering the customer, specifically the requirement to “systematically [identify] and [resolve] the root causes of customer experience challenges.” In other words, what are the key ingredients that enable agencies to design and deliver from a customer’s perspective, and not their own?


Customer Experience Profiles

Our research has examined customers’ experiences with more than a dozen federal services that are among those with the highest volume of direct contact with the public. We also consider the role of equity in these critical services, and how to enable a customer-centered lens that improves trust. 


Each year, thousands of customers who have experienced a disaster rely on services provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help them recover from the impact. FEMA’s Individual Assistance programs provide financial aid and services such as counseling support directly to disaster survivors.

The U.S. Agency for International Development works in over 100 countries, delivering assistance to reduce poverty, improve health and strengthen democratic governance, among other support. To achieve its mission, USAID awards grants and contracts to partner organizations which then implement programs to address development challenges.

Virtually everyone in America interacts with the Social Security Administration at some point in their lives, from receiving a Social Security number at birth to relying on SSA’s retirement services for financial security after they have stopped working. SSA provides services over the phone, at field offices across the country, and through its website.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department issues millions of passports every year to people who want to travel to countries around the world. In fiscal 2021, the bureau issued more than 15 million of these vital documents.

The Office of Personnel Management administers the Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees Retirement System—which provide benefits to retired public servants. Many federal employees and retirees, and their families, rely on the annuities and other benefits they are entitled to for financial security.


Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security

Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Commerce

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services

Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security

Office of Federal Student Aid, Department of Education

Farm Production and Conservation Mission Area, Department of Agriculture

Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury

Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs


In this report the Partnership for Public Service and Accenture highlight lessons learned from federal initiatives that have simplified and streamlined the process of interacting with the government by implementing a customer-centered approach to digital services.

Benefits of improving the customer experience go well beyond satisfied customers. Learn how in the Partnership for Public Service and Accenture Federal Service’s new issue brief.

This white paper highlights three proven private-sector strategies that government can adopt to improve citizen services, and explores common challenges federal agencies experience when implementing these practices.

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