CX Success Is Vital To Mission Success

The need to upgrade the government customer experience (CX) has never been more urgent. Government departments around the world still struggle with substandard experiences — and their poor CX performance hampers mission success. I explore these themes in detail in our full report, “Why And How To Improve Government CX.” We based our analysis on data from Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) and examples from around the world and found that when CX improves:

  • Customers engage, trust, and forgive. As CX improves, more customers will comply with a department’s directives, engage with the department proactively, speak well of it, trust it, and forgive its mistakes.
  • Government operations cost less and run more smoothly. Better CX helps government organizations spend less, smooth the rollout of legislation, and avoid scandals.
  • People’s faith in the country itself rises. Each department that improves its CX also strengthens the foundations of the political system by boosting people’s pride in the country, optimism for the country’s future, and belief that government can function well.

In this brief blog post, I’ll dig into just the first category, which proves how great CX drives customer behaviors that power mission performance. Even a small improvement in CX can boost the number of customer who will:

  • Comply with directives and advice. For every 1-point increase in an agency’s CX Index score, 2% more customers do what the organization asks of them.
  • Engage proactively, even when it’s not required. When a government agency’s CX Index score rises by 1 point, 2.5% more customers are likely to seek its authoritative advice or expertise, and 3% more customers are willing to sign up for benefits and services that aren’t mandatory.
  • Speak well of the organization. For each 1-point gain in CX Index score, 4.4% more customers will say positive things about the organization. Great word of mouth isn’t just a sideshow. When customers say good things about a department to their friends and elected representatives, they create the conventional wisdom that drives public sentiment, political calculations, and legislative decision making.
  • Trust the organization. Each time a government department’s CX Index score rises by 1 point, 2.8% more customers will trust the organization.
  • Forgive the organization for errors. For every 1-point increase in an agency’s CX Index score, 2.7% more customers are willing to forgive the agency when it makes mistakes.


Government CX Is Weak And Uneven

Unfortunately, governments around the world fail to reap the benefits of CX success because the experiences they provide are:

  • Poor overall. In 2018, the US federal agencies in the CX Index earned an average score of 59 out of 100; that’s flat year over year and worse than any private sector industries except internet service providers. The situation was even worse in Australia and Singapore — the other two governments we studied in the CX Index last year — which scored dead last. An OECD study showed that citizens in over half of its 35 member states were less satisfied with government services in 2016 than they were in 2007.
  • Uneven across departments. The divergence between the highest- and lowest-scoring government bodies in the CX Index are far wider than the most diverse private sector industry. Similarly, the OECD study found wide disparities in citizen satisfaction across government functions within the same country. For instance, 70% of Spanish citizens are satisfied with their interactions with the healthcare system, while just 40% of Spaniards are satisfied with their experiences with the judicial system.


Governments Must Address CX Systematically

Governments’ scattershot approach to CX clearly isn’t working. It’s time for every government department to address CX methodically. In brief, governments must:

  • First, craft an actionable CX vision. An organization’s CX vision is a description of the experience that it aspires to provide for customers. The vision provides a North Star for the entire organization’s efforts, aligning them to deliver not just a positive experience but the right positive experience — one that will drive customer behavior that contributes to mission success.
  • Next, master CX management. Organizations that master CX management can deliver on their CX visions reliably, whereas organizations that do not cannot. That’s because delivering great CX reliably requires mastering 12 key activities across the six essential competencies of CX management: research, prioritization, design, enablement, measurement, and culture.

To explore these topics in greater detail, check out the full report: “Why And How To Improve Government CX.”