360° View of the Citizen: Governments Strive to Improve Customer Service

“The public deserves competent, efficient, and responsive service from the Federal Government.  Executive departments and agencies must continuously evaluate their performance in meeting this standard and work to improve it.”  whitehouse.gov (Executive Order 13571, 1993)

For government organizations striving to improve customer service, the path to success has not always been easy. Incremental improvement initiatives have only provided a marginal return. As previously discussed, these initiatives have fallen drastically short of the win-win scenario threshold. Further, demand for new, better, and faster services is out pacing the ability of these already strapped organizations to deliver on additional capabilities.  Budget cuts, new regulations, high staff retirement rates, and a plethora of competing priorities seem to derail the best intentions. 

Perhaps the most cumbersome hurdle to overcome is thinking outside of the current “box.” So, what can governments do to shake it up and improve customer service? The answer lies in 360° Citizen View that is gaining steady acceptance as a best practice approach that not only unleashes the power of government to be able to serve citizens better, faster, and more effectively, but also provides government with real solutions for other challenges including transparency, fraud reduction, and policy reform.

Improved customer service stems from the ability for organizations to provide better access to services and information in an efficient and effective manner. For governments that are simply mired in policy and regulation, the ability to be nimble and make quick changes does not seem possible.

The 360° Citizen View is a fundamental shift for most governments that requires organizations to stop thinking in terms of individual programs or even single agencies and start thinking about individuals and families holistically. The new paradigm will empower agencies to see data across program, across agencies, and across traditional boundaries. It will provide unprecedented access to root causes and diagnostics and patterns, highlight additional risk factors, and provide a basis for making more informed decisions that lead to positive and sustainable outcomes.

Customer service improvement is a journey, a continuous process of evaluating what you are doing and looking for new areas of improvement. This can be truly enabled with the 360° view because organizations have more complete, timely, and holistic insight into the citizen. Government, like any organization can’t stop looking for new ways to positively impact customer service. The possibilities with leveraging a 360° Citizen View are tremendous and revolutionary, but still not enough. In order to continue the journey, every organization must:

  • Re-evaluate often– what worked today may not be good enough tomorrow
  • Apply best practices
  • Remove unnecessary and removable barriers
  • Be willing to apply new technologies
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