At its core, government should be human centered. To deliver the best experiences for people, agencies must put citizens and employees first. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for many public sector agencies to rely on legacy operating models to get work done. These models were not built with the user in mind, but rather the task at hand. Now, as governments tackle digital transformation, new opportunities arise to make service delivery and operations more human and more citizen-centric.
Government has entered an era of human-centered design, where priority is placed on people’s needs and what is most convenient for them. It’s about putting user experience first.
What it takes to build an experience-led agency
Employee Experience (EX) and Customer Experience (CX) have both become major priorities for many government agencies. While both are clearly important, they are often treated separately, creating missed opportunities for truly transformational experiences.
The future of government work is changing. As technology advances, demographics shift, and citizen expectations evolve, agencies are re-evaluating and rearchitecting how work gets done. Governments need to adapt and consider how to improve all interactions, both employee and citizen.
There’s an undeniable link between a good employee experience and better citizen experience. When employees are happy and motivated, they provide better service for citizens. But experiences can’t be improved overnight. It’s the intersection between humans, processes, and technology that yields the biggest change.
Total Experience (TX), a strategy that creates superior shared experiences by connecting the employee and customer experiences, seeks to unite these for a better outcome for all concerned.
The role of technology in TX
“It’s human-centric products and services that make the best use of emerging and emerged technologies, be they the relatively simple website to advanced AI enabled by the cloud,” said Simon Cooper, director of digital government-focused customer strategy at Deloitte. “That in turn transforms how government operates and how those experiences are delivered in terms of services.”
The public sector is seeing growing demand for faster, digitally-enabled service delivery. Technologies such as AI, automation, and cloud are helping agencies meet that demand. Deloitte outlines how automation and AI provide an opportunity to improve efficiency and ease the burden for employees and citizens by:
· Doing more work: Computers can process more data at a higher speed—enabling more work to get done without increasing employee workload.
· Doing work better: Optimized processes help agencies improve quality, lower costs, and enhance speed—freeing up employee time for more strategic tasks.
· Doing work differently: AI gives agencies the ability to redesign work as a partnership between human workers and intelligent machines—taking advantage of the unique strengths of both.
With the implementation of automation and AI into day-to-day processes, employees can focus their efforts on more pressing and high-level issues. This means employees are more satisfied and can deliver better experiences for citizens. But despite the potential that digital technologies offer to government, innovating with a TX lens comes with its challenges.
Removing the roadblocks to building the government of the future
The government of the future will be experience-driven—but getting there is no simple task. Like any new initiative, government leaders face their own set of challenges in building experience-driven agencies. A 2021 ServiceNow and ESI ThoughtLab report surveyed 900 senior business leaders in five industries across 13 countries to identify the top-of-mind challenges leaders face when building an experience-driven organization:
1. Uncertainty around the potential ROI and business case, as an experience focus is still a new concept for many leaders and management teams
2. Lack of shared metrics for EX and CX, making it daunting to bridge the gap and develop a unified strategy
3. Overall employee resistance to change driven by employees wanting to stick to known approaches and ways of operating
How these challenges are addressed will influence the success of your TX strategy. To be truly experience-driven, government agencies will need to go beyond treating customer and employee experiences as separate disciplines and take a TX approach to interactions. With a more holistic strategy, agencies can improve citizen outcomes, lower errors and costs in government processes and programs, and better attract and retain an engaged workforce.
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