If you haven't had time to listen to GovMetric Managing Director Nic Streatfeild's appearance on The Government Transformation Show podcast, we’ve complied our top five takeaways.
When it comes to trying to understand how people feel about public services, the public sector often defaults to talking about "customer satisfaction". But at GovMetric, we believe that the relationship between government and its citizens is fundamentally different to the transactional exchange between a business and its customers. In this podcast, Nic makes a compelling case for why we should be thinking about Citizen Experience.
1. CX to CitX.
We must acknowledge that residents don’t always have a choice when deciding where to live (and therefore their council). People aren’t “customers” of a council in the same way that they are a customer of a business; residents can’t choose who empties their bin, or gets their council tax. They are not consumers, nor are they truly customers. Potayto, potahto, you say? Well, Nic thinks the difference between CX and CitX is more than mere semantics.
2. Complexity of public sector services.
Public sector services are typically much more complex than those in the private sector. Most CX technologies have originated from the private sector, where customer journeys are typically simpler, shorter and take place at a single touchpoint. This means they are often not the best fit for the public sector: citizen experience platforms must be agile and flexible enough to handle a wide range of highly personalised customer journeys. Nic reminds the listener that “good services are cheaper to deliver than bad services," and illustrates this by sharing how Wokingham Borough Council is using citizen insight to inform evidence-based decisions that reduce failure demand and improve services.
3. Defining “Public Service”.
Working in the public sector involves an element of making a difference, and dedication to service to others—doing what’s best for citizens and communities. In this sector, employees are also citizens themselves, and our shareholders are our residents and members of our local community. Treating citizens as consumers risks misunderstanding and ultimately undermining the wider role of public service in building healthy, happy and resilient communities.
4. CitX Deconstructed.
Nic succinctly deconstructs CitX into the following elements: Voice of the Citizen, Voice of the Employee, behaviour data and demand data. Learn more about our perspective on Failure Demand and why rigorously measuring these four components of CitX matters to public sector organisations.
5. We can and should collaborate.
According to Nic, “We’ve got to share to learn from each other," because citizens consume services from multiple public organisations. By sharing customer experience insight across agencies, we will all be in a better position to deliver effective, seamless services that are centred around the needs of the citizen and the communities in which they live. CitX engagement platforms must be interoperable with each other—not only within an organisation, but also externally with other organisations.
Finally, in this spirit of collaboration, Nic invites public sector CX experts to join the GovMetric CitX forum. The goal of this online community is to develop a model that can quantify the financial ROI of implementing citizen experience improvement programmes in the public sector. Register your interest the CitX forum here.
Alix Cunnell is the Marketing Lead at GovMetric, home of the leading Citizen Experience Management solution for the public sector.