Prioritising Customer Experience in Government

Prioritising Customer Experience in Government

Mckinsey Podcast

Prioritizing Customer Experience in Government

Mckinsey Podcast

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the necessity to centre customer experience in dealings with government agencies. This benefits customers, government employees, and agencies’ reputations alike. To do this government agencies must reconsider their focus on customer experience (CX). The COVID-19 pandemic has only emphasised agencies’ successes and shortcomings in this space. Listen to this McKinsey on Government podcast, where McKinsey partner Tony D’Emidio and associate partner Marcy Jacobs discuss how government agencies have changed and how they need to think about CX and its benefits.  Click on Read More to see the five benefits of improved customer service.

Five benefits of improved customer experience

Francis Rose: Tony, where everyone resides in an organization, how does one go about making the case where customer experience is not a priority that it should be a priority? And what are the best selling points to make the case that, “We might need to reprioritize our investments, but we really need to do this for these reasons”? What are those reasons, and how does one effectively make that case?

Tony D’Emidio: Yeah, it’s a great question. We typically see—if you think about a business case or a case for customer experience—in the private sector, it’s very easy. Why does Amazon invest in your customer experience? Because if they create a better experience and make it easier for you to buy from them, you’re going to buy more stuff, which goes right to the bottom line.

Or if your airline or hotel made it a smoother experience, you might tend to fly with them more, or you might tend to complain to them less. There’s a real business case for improving customer experience in the private sector. We found a lot of those same benefits translate over to government, but some of the rationale is different.

Trust is one of those we talked about. Satisfied customers are nine times more likely to trust their government or agency. So when you think about the business case in an agency or across government for a governor or a head of a department, building that level of trust is a huge benefit. That’s one benefit.

A second is linking to the mission of the organization. So many people at every level of government are there for the mission. They joined government because they wanted to make a difference. They believe in the mission, whether that’s serving a veteran, as Marcy said before, whether that’s making sure someone gets a benefit or a claim that they deserve—whatever it is.

We have found that with better experiences, satisfied customers are nine times more likely to agree that the agency achieves its mission. And a lot of times, this is one where seemingly conflicting priorities actually go together.

Security is one of my favorite to use. A lot of times people say, ”I can’t worry about how happy people are waiting in line at TSA [Transportation Security Administration] because I’m worried about security and making sure the bad guys don’t get through.” When you look at trusted traveler programs like TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, why do these places have these programs?

It’s because they can create a better experience for people so that they can focus their efforts on people who aren’t precleared; experience and the mission can actually go together. And that’s one of the great things that we see.

So trust is one. Experience is another. Budget and financial outcomes, just like in the private sector, is definitely a factor. We know this because people who are more satisfied contact the call center less. They use the website less. So it brings your costs down the more that you, as a government agency, have your customer experience in order.

Then there’s also a real factor in reducing risk. If I’m satisfied, am I more or less likely to reach out to my representative? Am I more or less likely to go on social media or go to the media and say, “I’m having an issue”? So there’s trust, there’s mission outcomes, there’s risk, there’s financial outcomes.

And finally, at any level of the organization, the fifth factor, Francis, is the employee experience. So many organizations can use a focus on a customer to boost the experience that employees are having in that organization. It’s a way of uniting and galvanizing a workforce and giving folks a reason to show up to work every day. Regardless of who you are or where you are in the organization, there are a ton of reasons to get excited about investing in a great experience for the customer.

Read the transcript of listen to the podcast here