Across government, there is a renewed emphasis on the customer experience (CX) regarding engagement with the public. In an era of easy-to-use apps to order products and services and obtain support, it is imperative to adapt these experiences for government-related uses.
Whether providing digital services or seeking input on policies, improving CX is about making those engagements more effective and accessible, said Stephen Ellis, Government Solutions Lead at Zoom Video Communications.
This emphasis isn’t just for IT early adopters. It truly transcends generations and socioeconomic differences. Let’s say an agency is holding a traditional in-person public meeting about a proposed highway. Although some people would attend in person, many others might not because they can’t drive or take public transportation, can’t get off work, or have no one to take care of their kids. Their voices — their ability to take part in civic dialogue — will be lost, to the detriment of the government’s goal for the meeting.
“If you only have one way for people to come in and express an opinion, you are going to limit the impact of that hearing,” Ellis said. “Using the broadest spectrum of tools to reach the broadest spectrum of people — on the platforms the public prefers to use — is very important.”
Consider an online form. It might capture information effectively, but it misses the human dimension, the emotional content that facial expressions and body language convey. Such nonverbal information can help agency staff work with constituents more effectively.
Think about someone having trouble applying for assistance after a disaster, Ellis said.
“This isn’t just a form to them, it’s their life,” he said. “When we’re able to capture that nonverbal information, to show to that person they are important, when government employees are able to convey more of their humanity and empathy for a difficult situation — we can transform people’s lives.”
A Human-Centered Approach
To drive these types of outcomes, agencies need to take a human-centered approach to modernizing their CX processes, Ellis said.
When introducing new technology, agencies need to consider how people will interact with that technology, how their lives can be at the center of that process.
“The technology is going to work best if the human experience drives the process,” said Ellis.
“IT leaders across government are brinigng their personal experience as a consumer into their CX modernization initiatives, and this is very powerful,” he said. “To really embrace the art of what’s possible, you need to ask how the customer experience would feel if you were on the other end.”
Zoom for Government has been authorized to operate at the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Moderate level. Zoom for Government has also received Authorization to Operate with Conditions (ATO-C) for Department of Defense Impact Level 4 (IL4) from its service sponsor, the Department of the Air Force.
This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s guide “Customer Experience Beyond Memos: A How-To Guide.” Download the full guide here.