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Delivering Modern Digital Services to the Citizen with Transparency and Measurement

As agencies move more and more of their citizen interactions to the web and mobile applications, the digital citizen experience increasingly becomes the primary way they interact with their citizens and employees.

But to truly grasp the importance of delivering a great digital customer experience, you have to understand exactly what the term means, what dimensions compose a digital customer experience, and how the qualitative and quantitative data obtained in the process provides truly valuable insights for measuring, improving and reporting.

This was the topic of discussion at the panel, “Delivering Modern Digital Services to the Citizen with Transparency and Measurement,” part of GovLoop’s recent Government CX Virtual Summit: Putting the Citizen First.

Panelists included:

  • Cathleen Tracy, System Owner for the Web Content Management as Service and Enterprise Content Delivery as a Service, DHS, Office of the Chief Information Officer
  • Surendra Babu, Information System Security Manager & Information System Security Officer, U.S. Department of Education
  • Frank Konieczny, Chief Technology Officer, Office of Information Dominance and Chief Information Officer
  • Bob Withers, Director of Public Sector, New Relic

The conversation started with the very essentials and basics of the conversation: Why is delivering a modern digital service essential for agencies? The answer, despite the differences of each agency, was in fact quite similar — today, many of these agencies service large, distributed, global audiences with multiple needs and digital services are the best way of serving them.

“The Air Force is a global enterprise,” Konieczny said. “Our users are demanding. How can you actually provide a service to everybody but understand you have to customize as well? Well, for digital services, you have to use web-based applications that reside in the cloud, that’s the only way. When it’s in the cloud, it’s transparent across the entire enterprise, and it allows us resiliency as well.”

Working on student services and loans over at the U.S. Department of Education, Babu said digital services provided elasticity and a smooth CX experience during critical times. “We have a huge population of users that come to us for student loan purposes,” he said. “One of the important things that the agency does is make it as easy as possible to come apply for loans. Our audience is all over, some don’t have computers, just phones, so we need digital services on all kinds of platforms.”

Working at DHS, Tracy said the agency’s broad and diverse mission means they have to put out a lot of different but tailored websites to meet the public and stakeholder needs. ” Customizable sites and experiences are very important. We allow each of our components to tailor message to mission. What do people need to simplify the user experience and think about it from the beginning to end of the journey? That’s where we focus our digital services,” she said.

Withers represented New Relic, a company that delivers app-centric observability from a purely SaaS product, and he focused on the importance of a variety of touchpoints to meet different users where they are.

“There are a vast amount of touchpoints out there, whether its browser, mobile, and you need to know what are the infrastructure that they are running on, how do you track those and understand if your application is providing the best service, or if the infrastructure is an issue? Having all that data and turn it into an understanding of where do you invest and what do you prioritize is critical with digital services.”

Withers pointed out that in short, as agencies move more and more of their customer interactions to the web and mobile devices, the digital customer experience increasingly becomes the primary way they interact with their citizens and users. But to truly grasp the importance of delivering great digital CX, you have to understand exactly what the term means, what dimensions compose a digital CX that are key to your agency, and make sure you have the ability to  track the quality of the experience.

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