Build Accountability and Trust With an Improved Citizen Experience

We explored how an enhanced citizen experience can improve data accuracy and increase adoption of government services. Now, I’d like to talk about how federal agencies can use low-code development platforms to ensure accountability and improve trust in government.

For the average citizen, the federal government is shrouded in mystery. I’m not talking about cloaks and daggers or conspiracy thinking. I’m talking about the sheer size and scope of our bureaucracy. Many people simply can’t conceive of what happens to their request or documentation once they enter an electronic form or physically hand one over to a public servant. It goes into a nameless server or a box behind a counter and disappears into a vast untraceable bureaucracy until eventually, a notice arrives that the issue has been resolved.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Open government initiatives have made government data freely available to anyone who wants it. But, this hasn’t happened much on the service delivery side. Bringing transparency to government processes would break down barriers between citizens and government workers, reduce frustration and improve trust in government services.

Here are three ways federal agencies can use low-code development platforms to improve the citizen experience and build accountability and trust in government:

  1. Set realistic expectations: The private sector has figured out transparency. At virtually any point in the sales cycle, you can check a request, track an order and understand exactly when to expect delivery. Companies do this by integrating disparate business systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM), procurement, supply chain and shipping — providing a seamless experience across these touchpoints. Transparency into government services can be achieved in much the same way. Many requests have to traverse different systems and departments — even across agencies — before they can be resolved. Low-code can be used to build connections between these systems and tap into artificial intelligence (AI) engines to predict the timing of a resolution.
  2. Improve citizen satisfaction: The government typically doesn’t measure itself on customer satisfaction. But why not? If the goal is to help people, federal agencies absolutely should make it their mission to improve citizen satisfaction. Proactively telling people where their request is in the process or making it easier to find out themselves through self-service improves the experience and makes constituents more likely to use the service in the future. Low-code can automate status updates and provide transparency into these processes.
  3. Reduce support costs: Fielding citizen requests takes time and, therefore, money. Any way a federal agency can reduce the number of support calls from anxious citizens would free up valuable resources to focus on resolving errors or other conflicts. Federal agencies can use a low-code development platform to build public-facing self-service portals that bypass the need for human interaction, improving the experience while saving time and money.

Government doesn’t have to be shrouded in mystery. Federal agencies can use low-code development platforms to increase transparency in government processes and give citizens a peek under the curtain. This reduces frustration and generally improves the citizen experience.

You may also be interested in “Reduce Facility Costs Without Sacrificing the Future” and “Customer Engagement and Trust in Government: Divergent Paths?

Interested in becoming a Featured Contributor? Email topics you’re interested in covering for GovLoop to [email protected]. And to read more from our Winter 2021 Cohort, here is a full list of every Featured Contributor during this cohort.

Jason Adolf is a public sector expert for Appian, an enterprise low-code automation platform.

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