Building Better CX Across Agencies Thanks to Biden’s Proposed 2024 Budget
The Biden Administration’s proposed 2024 budget supports agency efforts to deliver improved experiences for their customers. This budget highlights the Administration’s increased commitment to upholding their customer experience priorities, following the passage of the Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government Executive Order and requirements from OMB Circular Section 280 A-11. If implemented, Biden’s proposed budget eases agencies’ collaborative efforts on improved service delivery outcomes and supports interagency efforts.
Less confusing life events communication
“The Budget advances these efforts by providing funding for interagency teams to simplify the process of accessing Government services…
Providing resources for SSA and CMS to jointly pilot efforts to improve the Medicare enrollment experience for people applying for Medicare benefits, including for those enrolling in Medicare before enrolling in Social Security, and for exploring options to eliminate the need to have to wait for a Medicare card in the mail to connect to coverage;” (Page 52)
As stated, the budget plan solidifies interagency teams’ ability to establish simplified, efficient processes for accessing government services. Teams with crossover on life events, such as Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and Social Security Administration (SSA), can better work together to ensure seamless customer experience. When agencies coordinate to share important information the result is a more streamlined service experience with fewer hoops to jump. Customers may find improved experiences, leading to fewer errors and confusion due to improved communication created by these recommendations.
Agencies should plan for integrated communications strategies and identify potential government partners. Inter- and cross-agency communications will be critical to effectively implement improved collaborative services. Agencies would benefit from leveraging government-compliant communications tools that allow tailored outreach, encourage participation, and provide insight into efficacy, such as Granicus’ , which is authorized at the FedRAMP “Moderate” level and used by over 400 federal teams to communicate with the public.
Enhanced collaboration on life event-oriented service design
“Improving the efficiency, program integrity, and accessibility of safety net benefits—especially in moments when families face a financial shock—by funding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Administration for Children and Families to work with crossagency partners to improve data sources and verification services infrastructure.” (Page 52)
The budget proposal implies that a life experience-based service delivery framework will be more effective in providing timely and accurate help. The status quo of existing assistance methods is known to be cumbersome and often slow-moving for individuals seeking necessary government services. If implemented, this would allow agencies to recognize and address the challenges individuals face in times of major life events (such as financial shock or childbirth.)
Agencies, particularly those who interact with the public during crises, should develop strategies considerate of the individual’s journey. By having critical strategies that incorporate pointed milestones within each life event experience, agencies ensure they drive awareness and communicate with individuals throughout their experience. This strategy should incorporate multiple communications channels to ensure equitable communications practices. Methods like social media or SMS are known to reach communities less likely to be reached otherwise.
Expansion of existing interagency government functions
“This funding would support staffing to improve customer service provided by OPM to Federal agencies, allowing further collaboration in support of the Federal Government’s strategic workforce planning and talent acquisition functions.” (Page 51)
“TTS provide flexible surge capacity for Federal agencies in their customer experience transformation. TTS will work with the highest-volume and highest-web-traffic Federal service providers to improve their website content, ensuring that information is clear and that services such as text messaging and virtual chat agents are more widely available;” (Page 52)
The budget allocation is expected to provide a boost to agencies with intragovernmental functionality like Technology Transformation Services (TTS) and Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Historically, these agencies have operated on a fee-recoverable and reimbursable basis. Investment can further enhance their customer service tools and capabilities while enhancing workforce planning and talent acquisition initiatives.
The ingenuity and agility agencies demonstrated during the pandemic affirms their commitment to delivering critical services to the public. However, as private industry continues to lead digital innovation, individuals’ experience expectations also increase. To align with public expectations as well as executive orders on equity and customer experience, agencies need to modernize. To do so in a scalable, secure way means leveraging capabilities that are mobile-friendly and accessible regardless of broadband connectivity. Implementing proven tools that enable the public to interact with agencies without prohibitive design or functionality should be a centerpiece of agency plans.
The Biden administration has proposed several pilot programs to explore the benefits of cross-agency life experience models. Through these programs, agencies would be able to collect, share, and utilize relevant customer satisfaction data as well as identify areas for improvement. In anticipation of the budget passage, agencies should prepare to develop plans that prioritize inter and cross agency collaboration and identify tools to communicate with the public to increase awareness and encourage participation. Further, agencies would benefit from assessing outcomes and utilize data to continuously improve how and what is communicated.