For government agencies, user loyalty is a prized attribute that is difficult to come by and tough to retain. Users base their loyalty on quality service but value a consistent, exceptional experience even more. Yet, agencies sometimes struggle to provide that level of experience, especially in times of tight staffing and overwhelmed contact centers.
A few government agencies have cracked the code. About 77 percent of VA.gov users trust the Department of Veterans Affairs; that’s a testament to the agency’s recent investments in customer experience. The VA has also modernized its website, ensuring an exceptional experience for users and employees alike.
This blended experience, combining user and customer experience (UX/CX) and employee experience (EX), forms the total experience (TX) that many organizations strive to achieve.
Here are tips on how agencies can baseline trust, ease, effectiveness and emotion across business lines and use human-centered design to improve CX, EX and TX metrics with useful solutions.
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Common Roadblocks to Improving the Customer Experience
We have all experienced poor customer experiences — long wait times or time-consuming manual processes that lead to inconsistent experiences. Bad experiences lead to low customer satisfaction ratings, high levels of call abandonment and the eventual loss of loyalty.
Conversely, well-designed and executed CX reduces unnecessary interaction, creates a consistent experience and allows agents to focus on each individual interaction. This builds positive emotional connections that lead to increased loyalty and satisfaction.
CX is only part of the story. Successful organizations know that employee experience requires its own strategy. The same holds true for employee experience, which can improve productivity, engagement and retention. Combining CX and EX for a TX strategy provides an integrated approach, both inside and outside the organization.
The payoff can be huge: According to Gartner, organizations that provide TX will outperform competitors by 25 percent in satisfaction metrics by 2024. Not only are they able to build strong ties with both employees and customers through prompt and predictable interactions, but they also free up call center workers to focus on individual cases.
LEARN MORE: Why “customers first” is a key element in government IT modernization.
How Technology Can Lead to Positive Experiences
Successful TX strategies demand that technology move beyond the days of long wait times and endless voice response loops. Today’s call centers rely on artificial intelligence and advanced solutions to generate a seamless, pleasant experience for users and valuable information for the organization.
Examples of TX technologies include automated AI agents that can quickly handle simple issues and, for complex questions, feed intelligent data and analysis to human agents.
Text-to-speech modeling can convert audio to speech using models trained to ensure high-quality transcriptions. This can improve accessibility while providing a resource for analyzing call center transcripts.
The percentage of users who would rather use a chatbot than speak with a human agent, when the wait time exceeds 15 minutes
Source: Source: Tidio, “The Future of Chatbots: 80+ Chatbot Statistics for 2023,” April 2023
AI insights and visualizations make it easier for contact center teams to better understand customer interaction data. Raw contact center data is mined for actionable information and can detect positive or negative sentiment.
Automated compliance and redaction can reduce manual compliance efforts by stripping transcripts of personally identifiable information or protected data, such as that covered by regulatory requirements.
EXPLORE: How can agencies devote resources to improve the customer experience?
The Role of Expertise in the Customer Experience
These innovative and emerging technologies put humans first. They increase the speed with which users and employees can be attended to, while monitoring their sentiments and discovering opportunities for improved interaction, products and services.
Agents can handle more conversations concurrently, respond faster and increase user satisfaction, but implementing them requires expertise. This is why many organizations look to integrators to help streamline, integrate and align experiences under one umbrella.
Integrators should have expertise in all three aspects of contact center integration, including:
- Data and software development, including application programming interfaces, data lakes and microservices
- Contact center solutions, such as PBX, VoIP and WebRTC
- Artificial intelligence and cloud services, such as virtual agents, self-service IVRs and sentiment analysis
Government agencies look to integrators to help them to improve satisfaction ratings by managing and monitoring complex volumes of customer interactions with consistent, personalized options. This drives better interactions and improved insights, and it leads to operational efficiencies, deflecting and containing unnecessary interactions and focusing on each human intervention.
Predictive analysis and advanced technology provide a more consistent and satisfactory experience.