In brief

In brief

  • Governments face the challenge of meeting the unique needs of evolving citizen expectations, driven by the pace and demands of modern life.
  • They must do so at speed and scale but providing consistent and personalised experiences is harder than ever.
  • Accenture research across 30 global public service agencies found that organisations are just beginning to make the customer experience a priority.
  • Governments must have a strong leader at the helm to make the citizen experience a priority. Introducing the “Chief Experience Officer”.

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%) want government to make it easier to interact with digital services and more than half (54%) want digital services to include more options for customisation, and they (51%) 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 3 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.

Rewire to inspire

Reskill, empower and augment employees with the tools and data to service customers from where digital experiences leave off.

Centre on the customer

Start with the desired outcome in mind for each citizen interaction, and then re-engineer the customer journey from there.

Design for life

Use data and analytics to shift from reactive to proactive citizen services and work across boundaries to tailor experiences for people.

Fight the friction

Ensure every part of the customer journey is intentional, not left to chance. Make interactions seamless between services.

Create a 360° view

Prioritise data consolidation across organisational silos and agencies to enable more meaningful and personalised customer experiences.

Connect the ecosystem

CXOs can lead collaboration across ecosystems of agencies, commercial businesses, nonprofits, academia, and startups for seamless citizen experiences.

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Sea change. See results

A dedicated CXO has the power to create a sea change in public service customer experiences. Designing processes around citizens and using data to personalise every interaction will not only improve experiences—it will change the lives of customers. This is truly human government.

Ng Wee Wei

Country Managing Director – Accenture Singapore

Eleana Liew

Managing Director – Health & Public Service, Client Lead, Southeast Asia


Citizens. Know them to serve them.
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