Reimagine the Government Experience – the Adobe Public Sector Story
by Jonathan Benett
posted on 11-28-2018
A passion for public service and customer experience (CX)
Throughout my career, I have always had a passion for public service and an innate desire to improve services for all government customers—whether citizens, employees, businesses, or other government organizations. In June 2018, I left the Federal government, and my position as Chief Enterprise Architect at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to join the Adobe Systems Federal team. Why Adobe? I truly believe in Adobe’s mission statement, “changing the world through digital experiences,” and think that it starts with enabling public sector organizations to serve their customers with intuitive, personalized and secure digital experiences. In short, I have a passion for creating digital experiences that put people first, and Adobe is leading the way.
With Adobe solutions and services, public sector organizations are delivering their missions more effectively, more efficiently and with greater customer focus. At the same time, government employees work more efficiently and can see greater service delivery, which improves morale and job satisfaction. After all, great customer experiences start with great employee experiences. Everyone wins when we put the customer experience (CX) first!
Agencies benefit, as well as their customers, from modernized and cost-effective operations and a renewed focus on the customer. A commissioned study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Adobe, The Business Impact of Investing in Experience, explains how it’s all linked together and the tangible benefits for government as a result of prioritizing CX.
How to gain real benefits by prioritizing CX
I’m excited to be living during a renaissance time when government at all levels is realizing the importance of digital CX and making it a priority. Leading, customer-centric government organizations are embracing collaboration, metrics, and technology to drive better CX outcomes.
Another Forrester study commissioned by Adobe, Perils and Payoffs on the Path to Customer-Centric Digital Government, details results of a survey of 648 government professionals responsible for digital transformation and CX and talks about the meaningful strides they made in service improvement because of their CX focus. The study found that, among government CX leaders, 63 percent prioritize IT and business collaboration, 54 percent embrace clear metrics, and up to 71 percent have adopted technologies like online chat functionality (53 percent) that help simplify customer experiences. As a result, these organizations report more tangible benefits than others, and are twice as likely to overperform against their goals.
Where did these agencies begin their CX journeys? They started with understanding the business requirements, and who their customer is. From there, they began to explore the end-to-end customer journey, along the way asking government customers what they want and expect. And through it all, they employed incremental development efforts, including customers upfront in user experience (UX) and design, and then tested early and often.
Maximize service with modern technology
By better understanding customers, organizations can consolidate and deliver common services by segment population and demographics. Through enterprise communication techniques, government can digitally inform and communicate specific messages to groups of customers. Envision every government website is personalized, intuitive, and easy to navigate; each includes aesthetically pleasing digital-media assets and displays properly on any device. Through advanced analytics, organizations would know exactly which websites receive the most visits, which ones are difficult to navigate, and where customers tend to abandon digital interactions for more expensive, nondigital methods to get what they need. Government service delivery would become smarter, and even better over time.
Also consider the tens of thousands of government forms required to collect critical information needed to properly serve customers. Imagine that each form is digital, easy to find and complete, and rendered perfectly on any device. With the use of innovative technology, spanning from adaptive forms and electronic signatures to online chatbots, government can retrofit these processes while also reducing the need for in-person government transactions or expensive call centers. What if you never have to print, fill out, physically sign and scan, or mail forms again? It’s a reality that can be achieved with modernization!
With modern technology, organizations can offer engaging websites, apps, and digital forms that successfully reduce the need for many expensive calls and in-person government transactions. Advanced analytics can give agencies real-time insights into web traffic patterns, usefulness, and when customers exit a digital interaction and turn to a traditional in-person approach.
Leveraging policy to make CX visions a reality
But it often takes more than just an agency’s desire to make CX visions a reality. Given the ubiquitous and growing use of technology by customers, all levels of government now recognize the need for policies and funding to enable better digital CX in government. In the last year alone, Congress and the administration rolled out several key policy initiatives calling for the reconfiguration of customer-centric services for the digital age:
- The Connected Government Act advocates for greater access to and functionality of government websites to ensure they’re mobile friendly.
- If passed, the 21st Century IDEA Act will help drive delivery of digital services for improved customer experiences, while eliminating agency redundancies and maximizing cost benefits.
- The President’s Management Agenda stresses the importance of establishing a government customer experience mirroring that of the private sector.
Although a year has passed since the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act was signed into law, appropriated funding is still available for agencies to support digital service projects. With a greater focus on citizen-centric services, more agencies will be poised to retrofit services to create better digital experiences for their customers.
Modernize your mission
Now is the right time to take advantage of government policy, special funding, and available technology to improve CX. Go beyond technology updates and modernize your mission when you give customers the digital experiences they expect and deserve. From Social Security benefits and nutrition assistance to farm loans and tax information, Adobe can help deliver modern, cost-effective, mission-critical services. Government can absolutely do this, and Adobe can help!
Topics: Industry, Government