In President Lincoln’s celebrated words, the government exists to serve the public – by the people, for the people. Today, there is a growing movement across federal government to fulfill this vision and mission through customer experience (CX).
Federal agencies are embarking on a deliberate journey to blend and balance the values and virtues of how government operates within its bureaucratic framework and folding in CX as a cornerstone of the business. By making an intentional commitment to CX in government, agencies are achieving measurable results and positive impacts for the people.
In 2015, VA embarked on the mission of adopting and implementing the best CX practices from industry leaders and innovators from both inside and outside VA. This includes the delivery of care, benefits, and memorial services for all Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors. Guided by the Veterans Experience Office, VA took the lead for the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal on improving customer experience across federal services.
“As part of our leadership role with OMB on the PMA CX CAP Goal over the last few years, we have been fortunate to be able to work with our CX brothers and sisters across federal agencies, who are seeking to build or mature their CX capabilities. Often times, our counterparts have asked us to detail how we got started at VA and how we have been able to establish VA’s first-ever customer experience program through the Veterans Experience Office, producing tangible results for Veterans and their supporters. In reflecting on these conversations, we felt that there was a demand signal to encapsulate all of the levers or “key ingredients” we at VA have utilized over the years to drive this transformational change, noting that they are common across government and usable by any agency. We also have recognized that there is not a “one size fits all” approach to implementing a CX program, as each agency’s culture and its environmental readiness are unique. Thus, the concept of a CX Cookbook – highlighting key, common ingredients along with agency-specific “recipes” that account for adaptations and sequencing to execute – emerged. We hope that CX practitioners across federal agencies will find this guide to be useful to institutionalize CX as a core business discipline in government.”
Over the past five years, VA’s trust scores – as determined by VA’s Veteran customers – have increased by 24% – showing the tangible impact an intentional investment in CX can produce to benefit the public.
While acknowledging that there are many paths to success, the Customer Experience Cookbook notably has documented agency-specific CX “recipes” from GSA, TSA, FSA, BFTA, and VA, highlighting best practices and different approaches that have yielded success. This Cookbook is humbly presented as an aid for any government organization and CX practitioners that have the desire to become more customer-centric through executing a CX program.