Partnership for Public Service applauds executive order on improving federal customer experience and rebuilding trust in government
December 14, 2021
WASHINGTON – Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, released the following statement about the executive order on improving the customer experience in federal services and rebuilding trust in the government that President Joe Biden plans to sign this afternoon.
“To restore faith in our government while trust is at historic lows, federal agencies must use every interaction with the public to prove that they are proactively addressing their needs,” Stier said. “Whether it’s renewing a passport, managing student loans or providing disaster relief, the services provided by our government change lives every day. By putting the public—the customers of the federal government—at the center of every interaction, we have the opportunity to rebuild trust and strengthen our democracy.
“The Biden administration has made it a priority to improve the federal customer experience by laying out specific goals in the recently released President’s Management Agenda. Today’s executive order is an important step toward accomplishing those goals, and the Partnership for Public Service looks forward to working with the administration to improve trust, ensure equity and empower public servants to help the government more effectively serve the public.”
The Partnership for Public Service and Accenture Federal Services issue an annual “Government for the People” report that examines customer experience best practices and opportunities for improvement across the federal government. The 2021 report, released in November, studied how trust in government is related to the public’s experience using federal services with a special focus on equity in service delivery.
This year’s “Government for the People” report profiled 15 federal agencies and their efforts to improve the experience for their customers. Insights from the report include:
- Agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs have demonstrated it is possible to shift the mindset of an entire agency to a customer-first ethos. Its enterprise-wide, comprehensive customer experience initiatives have raised trust in the VA among veterans by 24% since 2016.
- Government customers deserve to expect easy and positive experiences with a government that thinks of customer needs and measure the success of these efforts to reduce administrative burden on customers. More than a decade of work to understand and reimagine the experience of applying for federal student loans has resulted in Federal Student Aid transforming the end-to-end financial aid experience, including redesigning the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. What used to be a complex, paper-based process is now a simple one that can be completed on a smartphone. Customer satisfaction with the mobile app scored 89 out of 100.
- Federal agencies are making progress in building inclusive research and listening strategies, starting with what they need to know about all possible eligible customers, not what’s easy to access. In 2018, only the VA collected and published customer experience feedback. In 2021, 18 organizations providing high-impact services are doing so.
During the past 20 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to building a better government and a stronger democracy. We work across administrations to help transform the way government works by providing agencies with the data insights they need to succeed, developing effective leaders, inspiring the next generation to public service, facilitating smooth presidential transitions and recognizing exceptional federal employees. Visit ourpublicservice.org, follow us @PublicService and subscribe today to get the latest federal news, information on upcoming Partnership programs and events, and more.