March 23, 2017
Cassie Winters and Eric Keller Partnership for Public Service
As the new administration begins to map out its plans for the next four years, it needs a strategy for how to keep one of the president’s key campaign promises: to make government work better for the American people. A new issue brief by the Partnership for Public Service and Accenture Federal Services explains why focusing on the customer experience with government can help the administration keep that promise.
Improving the customer experience means speeding up and simplifying how citizens receive services from government. But the benefits of these efforts go well beyond happier citizens. Our research found that providing a better customer experience can increase efficiency, lower costs and ultimately advance the mission of an agency.
For example, recent efforts to improve the experience of citizens with passport services may be helping the State Department prevent terrorism. After simplifying the process to report lost or stolen passports by creating an easy online option, the department saw a 46 percent increase in the number of reports. This improvement is allowing the department to cancel missing passports that could otherwise fall into the hands of criminals or terrorists.
A customer focus also can help the administration reduce the burden of government regulations. The New Zealand government launched an initiative to streamline the process for businesses to comply with regulations, which will save an estimated $60 million.
In 2016, citizen satisfaction with government services rose for the first time in three years, according to a survey conducted by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. While this demonstrates improvement, there is still plenty of work to do. This past February, a Gallup survey cited dissatisfaction with government is the most important problem facing the country.
President Trump has an opportunity to improve how the government interacts with citizens. For specific steps the administration should take, read the Partnership for Public Service’s newest issue brief, “The Most Important Customer: Improving the Citizen Experience with Government.”