Defining Your Role in Government Customer Service

Leaders across local, state and federal government recognize the need to improve customer service across the public sector. The Federal Agency Customer Experience Act was introduced in Congress in May, while customer service has been a cross-agency priority goal for years. States and cities are hiring experience officers to lead the charge toward better customer service, and a few federal agencies like Veterans Affairs are doing the same.

Despite these investments, tangible improvements in customer experience remain difficult. According to a leading customer experience survey, many government services, including and, are considered some of the worst customer service providers across U.S. industries.

It’s clear that one-off investments and directives toward customer service are not enough to truly improve the way citizen users perceive government. Instead, agencies must engrain customer-focused ideals, strategies and services across their organizations and cultures. In other words, customer service must become the job of every agency employee – not just leaders at the top.

This guide examines how agencies can bring customer service to every level of their organization. It explains the role of each department and staff member – from agency leaders to frontline staff to HR and IT personnel – and provides firsthand advice from public servants in customer services. This resource also offers practical tips to engrain a culture of service into daily routines, making it the standard rather than the goal of government.