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“CXaaS” is the New Customer Service — Here’s How to Achieve It

Digital transformation is ushering in a new era of services, operations and consumerism — especially in the government. As constituents grow increasingly accustomed to the ease of access technology affords them, the expectation of quick and efficient services includes those from the government. After all, you can apply for a car loan, manage your banking, or monitor and pay for your utilities all with a few swipes on your phone — why should it be any different for, say, renewing your driver’s license or coordinating government benefits?

This is the reality federal chief information officers (CIOs) have spent the last decade preparing for. Digital transformation underpins the government’s ability to better serve constituents and operate more efficiently. Across the IT industry, providers of cloud and data services are adjusting their offerings to help government agencies deliver more, faster and better. These companies are working hand-in-glove with their client — the government — in order to optimize the experience of the end-user — the constituent.

In both of these scenarios, digital transformation is the driving force behind one of the most powerful trends in IT today: Customer Experience-as-a-Service, or CXaaS.

Too often, providing top-notch customer experience (CX) for the public sector comes with high costs and significant compromise. Strict requirements for procurement and security, while in place for good reason, impose tough limitations on agility. The struggle to attract and retain the best talent vexes agencies that can’t match private-sector pay. Digital transformation may be improving the status quo, but it also requires change management and flexibility. All of these factors can make it hard to deliver an experience that’s on par with Netflix or Amazon.

But it’s not impossible. With the right partnerships, smart leadership and exceptional talent, providers and agencies alike can seamlessly deliver the capability and support central to CXaaS. If you’re not sure where to start, here are three ways to get your organization moving in delivering CXaaS.

Turn your classic enterprise tech support into a focus on customer success

Your tech support most likely was built for technical capability and optimized for troubleshooting. There’s probably heavy emphasis on negotiating the best service-level agreements (SLAs), and the work is driven by log-based diagnostics and case management. This isn’t wrong; it just doesn’t necessarily meet modern-day needs.

Instead, think of your tech support as part of how you deliver CXaaS — built for demonstrating value, optimized for peerless CX. Instead of SLAs, part of the service you’re providing is understanding your customer and their needs in real time, before they even submit a trouble ticket. Don’t look to simply close out cases; seek feedback that can improve your operations.

Hire exceptional talent to produce exceptional results

Easier said than done, right? Government agencies can be challenging to optimally staff, especially in the era of CXaaS. In addition to the restrictions mentioned earlier, every office has a different culture and environment. Some may only permit U.S. citizens in their work. Additionally, engineers and other technical experts need customer-centric soft skills in addition to mechanical know-how. Government employers face even further requirements in their talent searches.

These are all factors to consider in the hiring process. Companies partnering with the public sector should seek out candidates who not only are the best at what they do but who also understand the nuances and complexities of regulated environments. Talent management means attracting top-tier talent through innovative work that’s exciting, through positive internal support experiences and through key performance indicators that will reflect success at your organization.

Define your distinct mission and strategize accordingly

Every organization has its own mission and specific needs to achieve it. Much like those needs are critical in defining strategies for cloud adoption and data governance, agencies’ unique requirements should help provide a roadmap for achieving and providing CXaaS.

Whether you’re a decision-maker at a company or an agency, first ask: What is the experience you want your consumer to have? Then, what are the objectives that must be met to achieve that goal? While there is certainly much more that goes into making key decisions, especially those involving budget, prioritizing goals and objectives can maximize flexibility. And with a well-defined mission and strategic agility, you’ll be positioned to capitalize on emerging capabilities and best-in-breed solutions that help you accomplish CXaaS.

Otho Lyon is Cloudera’s Director of Support Services for Public Sector, Global Program Management, Global Learning, and Knowledge and Community. In this multi-hatted role, Otho oversees the strategy and delivery of services for the company’s public sector solutions, while also leading key digital transformation projects and ensuring excellence in the knowledge, training and satisfaction of Cloudera’s workforce. Otho is based in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area.

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