Is your customer experience on course?
Great customer experiences don’t just rise to the surface. In public service, every part of the customer journey must be deliberate, fluid and frictionless—from interacting with content to completing transactions. Digital is one way to get there—citizens want it. Many (67 percent) want government to make it easier to interact with digital services and more than half (54 percent) want digital services to include more options for customisation, and they (51 percent) want it through a single portal.
Delivering an outstanding customer experience must be the goal for all employees. Why? Because better customer experience means improved outcomes for those that public agencies are there to serve. Whether it's government proactively reaching out to a citizen before a need occurs (e.g., to renew a soon-to-expire driver's license or making the health permit process frictionless for a new restaurant), better service and experiences will garner trust, confidence and compliance. To get there, agencies must have a strong leader with the right skill set at the helm to make the citizen experience a priority. Introducing the "Chief Experience Officer" (CXO).
Accenture research into 30 public service agencies across Australia, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States indicates that organisations are just beginning to make the customer experience a priority. Only 13 out of the 30 organisations have defined a senior leadership role responsible for citizen or customer experience, and only three have named a CXO. Truly prioritising the customer experience calls for having one leader in the C-suite who has the power to help the organisation navigate to better outcomes and drive cross-agency transformation.
Let the CXO take the helm
Many public organisations assign responsibility for customer experience along with other duties. Having divided responsibilities can dilute focus on the customer experience—and ultimately diminish results. Furthermore, ownership of customer experience is often kept to a specific service or agency, when the leader should have authority across many service lines to be most effective.
A singularly focused CXO at the helm will see the entire landscape of the customer experience across agency departments and across channels. This vantage point allows the CXO to spot gaps in the experience throughout the customer journey—such as long wait times, process flaws or missed opportunities to exceed expectations.
The CXO can affect change in critical areas when he or she has a seat at the decision-making table. Accenture’s research shows that 8 out of the 13 agencies with a customer experience leader have placed them in a board-level role. A CXO at that level can work across traditional functional silos to rally the entire organisation around enabling positive, seamless interactions with citizens. They have access to resources to invest in customer service innovation. And they can make real improvements by collaborating with other C-suite leaders.
Navigate with purpose
Citizens know what they want, but can CXOs deliver? The first step is making the customer experience a top organisational priority. CXOs must be granted a seat at the board table to ensure customer and employee experience lives at the heart of the organisation.
The CXO can pursue these six important actions to provide the experiences that citizens desire and improve the way they work and live.