To address an ongoing crisis in public trust, the Biden administration should seize the opportunity to reset the federal government’s relationship with the public by taking a holistic, customer-first approach to federal services. The public-governmental relationship is shaped by dozens of interactions and moments that matter between individuals and agencies; negative interactions and inequitable treatment can have a lasting impact. The suggested approach requires federal agencies to move beyond reactive strategies that address the symptoms of bad customer experiences, and instead pursue the root causes of bias and distrust in service design and delivery.
Federal leaders have built a solid foundation of customer experience policy, practices and guidance in their efforts to better understand customers and build services with a customer lens. And the Biden administration has set an ambitious bar with new initiatives aimed at advancing equal opportunity. But with the momentum of a new administration, federal leaders should also take a hard look at the additional progress needed to reverse the public trust deficit and make lasting improvements.