I wanted to continue my series on how federal agencies can use a low-code automation platform to improve citizen experiences. You can read the introduction post and the article on data integrity. This week, I wanted to write about how using low-code to create powerful experiences — particularly around self-service — can increase access to government services and programs.
It’s no surprise that the easier it is to sign up and use something, the more likely people are to do it. The private sector has figured this out with nearly every company, from Terminix to Domino’s pivoting their business model to be more customer-focused over the past several years. It’s a little trickier for the public sector. The federal government isn’t trying to sell anything. It’s merely trying to get people to take advantage of programs that benefit them or society as a whole — often with life or death consequences. This includes signing up for publicly-funded health care, disaster relief grants and retirement benefits. Getting as many people signed up for these critical services can be a matter of economic stability and, ultimately, national security.
Here are three ways federal agencies can use a low-code automation platform to improve citizen experiences and access to government services:
- Give people multiple ways to interact with the government: The government interacts with people from all walks of life with different levels of income, education and technological savvy. Building omnichannel experiences allow people to interact with agencies how they want, when they want. This can be over the phone or by mail, email or text message, online help, or chatbots. Giving people a comfortable way to engage with the federal government makes people more likely to sign up and take advantage of critical services. Low-code can facilitate the creation of omnichannel experiences in a quick and cost-efficient manner. Developers and even people who aren’t coding experts can easily and non-intrusively create intuitive experiences across media, and then integrate the different channels on the back end for cohesive workflows.
- Take experiences out into the field where people need them: Low-code can help government workers take services out into the field where people need them the most. Public servants or volunteers armed with tablets can target people in a disaster area or in a neighborhood with high needs, and get them to fill out paperwork and provide documentation on the spot. It wouldn’t matter if infrastructure was down and people couldn’t use the phone, scan documents, or log on to the internet. Low-code can help the government come to them — providing a frictionless experience when people are at their most vulnerable.
- Ease burden on existing government infrastructure and resources: As we’ve seen with the recent COVID-19 vaccine rollout, government services can easily get overwhelmed when everyone is trying to engage or sign up at the same time. Spreading interactions across multiple channels — phone, mail and web — can ease the burden on a particular medium, allowing more people to sign up or get help when they need it.
Improving access to government services and programs can be a matter of national security and economic stability. Low-code development platforms can make it easier for federal agencies to build powerful, frictionless experiences for citizens that make it easy for them to sign up and use services when and where they need them.
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Jason Adolf is a public sector expert for Appian, an enterprise low-code automation platform.