One year ago, COVID-19 was declared a global health emergency, impacting all sectors virtually overnight. With the pandemic hitting this benchmark, Forrester analysts are available for interviews to discuss how specific sectors have been impacted these past months worldwide, as well as what 2021 will look like as we keep adjusting to this “new normal.”

The below insights explore government trends and the influence of customer experience (CX):

Senior Analyst Judy Weader

  • “In 2021, a multi-pronged pandemic response is the only way to go, and it’s refreshing to see that finally in place. There are a number of areas where government should lead and where it’s making some good moves — boosting testing availability (underway), increasing supply and availability of PPE (in progress soon?), increasing the vaccine supply (underway — including the J&J EUA which will give us a third vaccine), and pushing for individual economic subsidies to shore up sagging employment. More activity is needed in two areas:
    • Providing consistent guidance, direction, and support to states to reduce equity issues and lack of sufficient resources at the SLG levels; and 
    • Addressing the challenge of reopening schools when no vaccine may be available for children until after the next school year has started. Wishing schools to be safe upon reopening isn’t the same thing as actually ensuring that they are by prioritizing educators and school staff for vaccination and reducing pressure on families to shift back to in-person learning until families can be fully vaccinated.
  • “Government should use the current crises to accelerate customer experience (CX) improvements. Many issues government customers are acutely experiencing now, such as difficulty registering for unemployment, are issues that existed before but were exacerbated and spotlighted by COVID-19 pushing massive amounts of water through the pipes. Pain points are much easier to see, thanks to the larger volume of customers experiencing them, which should light blinking red lights on the journey maps to indicate where investments are needed. Customer challenges that relate to areas of greatest urgency — such as housing, food, and healthcare — must move up on the priority list.” 

VP and Principal Analyst Rick Parrish:

  • “Governments are (re-)discovering the pitfalls of digital customer experience (CX), including widely reported cases of seniors unable to navigate websites. And some of those that didn’t have responded with lackluster call centers that aren’t helping enough. You can’t leave people behind — especially the most vulnerable.
  • “Governments must make sure that the CX and EX improvements that they’ve made (mostly digital CX and flexible/remote work) don’t slide back to pre-pandemic situations. There’s no ‘OK, the pandemic is over so let’s go back to the before times.’ Figure out what temporary changes should be permanent, and do it.
  • “The new administration is signaling that CX will be a priority.” 

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