CX2: The Next Generation of Citizen Engagement
A Candid Survey on Citizen Trust in Federal Government
Government's core ethos is to serve the people — and in this day and age, that means pursuing ever more innovative means of ensuring secure, high-quality interactions with citizens. To explore how federal organizations are seeking to bolster citizen experience, Government Business Council (GBC) and Accenture launched an in-depth research study in October 2017.
GBC and Accenture deployed a survey on October 11, 2017 to a random sample of Government Executive, Nextgov, and Defense One subscribers. 809 federal employees responded, including those at the GS/GM-11 to- 15 grade levels and members of the Senior Executive Service. 55% are GS/GM-13 and above, and respondents include representatives from at least 35 civilian and defense organizations.
Streamlined citizen experience is a core requirement for government
A large majority of federal employees agree that trusted interactions with citizens are essential to mission success; furthermore, respondents rank improvement of services to be their organization's most important objective.
Citizen trust in government is declining
While federal organizations have taken steps to ensure smooth, secure interactions, nearly 80% of respondents feel that citizen trust in government is weak or weaker than ever — a development spurred and reinforced by lack of confidence in government/organization leadership, poor customer service, cyber breaches within government, and overall lack of effectiveness.
Many respondents support the provision of more personalized citizen services
Respondents highlight various potential benefits of personalization, such as improved customer experience, increased customer service efficiency, and increased citizen engagement. However, progress is hampered by various bureaucratic and technological constraints, including limited budget, outdated systems/technologies, lack of leadership, and cultural inertia.
Most federal leaders emphasize the importance of conducting trusted interactions with citizens
Over 80% of respondents agree or completely agree that trusted interactions are required for their organization to succeed.
Respondents rank improving services as the most important objective for their organization to focus on, followed by increasing efficiency, building citizen trust, adopting new systems/technologies, and various other aims.
Federal employees highlight eroding citizen trust in government.
Nearly 80% of respondents feel that citizen trust in government is weak or weaker than ever. A plurality cite lack of confidence in government/organization leadership as a primary contributor to this confidence deficit, followed by poor customer service, cyber threats/data breaches within government, and lack of effectiveness.
Perhaps as a result, nearly 60% of respondents feel that citizens are less willing to provide government organizations with necessary information than they were in the past.
The federal government is making an effort to secure its interactions with citizens
Organizations are taking various measures to help bridge potential gaps, including interacting with customers through official websites and requiring authentication. Federal employees are an essential part of this effort: accordingly, respondents highlight training they've received on organization policies, IT best practices, and incident response.
However, respondents point out that organizations can do even more to bolster trust — possible steps include building accountability for customer experience improvements, increasing accountability around breaches, and expanding transparency efforts.
Many respondents support greater personalization of citizen services
Organizations are increasingly receptive to more service delivery models: nearly 40% of respondents feel that their organization should provide more personalized customer experiences.
Respondents identify a range of benefits to personalization, including improved customer experience, increased customer service efficiency, and increased citizen engagement. However, progress is hampered by various obstacles, including budget constraints, outdated systems/technologies, lack of leadership, and cultural inertia.
Moving forward, federal organizations should...
Continue bolstering citizen trust
While enhancing citizen experience is a definite priority across the federal government, respondents point out further room for improvement. Moving forward, organizations should focus on building responsibility for customer experience improvements, increasing accountability around breaches, expanding transparency efforts, and other initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of citizen interactions.
Consider delivering more personalized citizen services
The dizzying technological advancements of our age have created a savvier, more sophisticated breed of customer: citizens expect simple, streamlined interactions, and that requirement extends to government. By crafting personalized experiences for citizens based on their evolving needs and preferences, organizations can help government transcend its reputation of cold, inefficient bureaucracy. However, various obstacles — including budget constraints, outdated technologies, and cultural inertia — must be addressed before government can achieve this next stage of citizen experience.
Survey respondents are largely senior federal leaders
Respondents represent a wide range of federal agencies and job functions.
About Government Business Council
As Government Executive Media Group's research division, Government Business Council (GBC) is dedicated to advancing the business of government through analysis, insight and analytical independence. As an extension of Government Executive's 40 years of exemplary editorial standards and a commitment to the highest ethical values, GBC studies influential decision makers from across the federal government to produce intelligence-based research and analysis. www.govexec.com/insights
Report Author: Rina Li
About Accenture Federal Services
Accenture Federal Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accenture LLP, is a U.S. company with offices in Arlington, Virginia. Accenture’s federal business has served every cabinet-level department and 30 of the largest federal organizations. Accenture Federal Services transforms bold ideas into breakthrough outcomes for clients at defense, intelligence, public safety, civilian and military health organizations.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions—underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network—Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 425,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.