July 29, 20225 min read
There are more than 330 million citizens in the United States, each with a unique identity, story, and belief system. The U.S. federal government is responsible for equitably and consistently providing services to this large, diverse population — an enormous challenge when constituents have such varied, nuanced needs and preferences. In practice, many essential interactions with the government fail to account for important differences among citizens, leading to policy that omits perspectives and marginalizes communities.
With this challenge in mind, President Joe Biden signed a comprehensive executive order in December 2021 to focus federal agencies on the citizen experience across 35 important “service providers” in the government. By placing “people at the center of everything,” the administration has made the discipline of citizen-experience management a top priority.
The executive order makes it clear that the U.S. government wants to take a more inclusive, customer-centric approach to distributing services. There are many reasons this shift is important, but near the top of the list is the “always-on” expectation of citizens driven by digital technology and their experiences with other brands.
When consumers interact with service providers, they are able to do so on any device at any time, receive around-the-clock answers to their questions, and share their positive (or negative) experiences with their communities across dozens of social and messaging channels.
That same technology has the power to amplify and extend the reach of the federal government — and better align with citizen expectations, more equitably deliver services, and give voice to traditionally underserved communities. The right solutions and partnerships can empower federal agencies to be present for conversations their constituents are having across channels to gain a richer sense of their needs and feelings. This can in turn help the government establish greater trust by connecting with the hearts and minds of its citizens.
But what happens when citizens experience frustration, anger, and disenfranchisement based on their experiences with the federal government? Even if it’s the result of a simple misunderstanding, such an experience can engender distrust and a damaged reputation for the agency in the long term.
In the short term, a bad experience leads to negative conversations between citizens and their social networks across modern channels. People turn to their platform of choice every day to share their frustrations and commiserate, and this can spread distrust. That’s why the executive order on customer experience is so critical, but it also creates a complex challenge for agencies.
To improve the delivery of services, civil servants need to listen to people where they are, learn from what they are saying, and take meaningful, strategic action in real time. This approach marks a shift for many agencies, so how should they get started on the CX journey?
It’s imperative that federal agencies pay attention to citizens in a thoughtful way. That’s because in every blog post, shared news article, and YouTube comment, people are expressing the things they care about, need, and feel.
This kind of insight is available through Social Listening. At Sprinklr, listening is in our DNA, and we have spent years helping brands in both the public and private sector to aggregate and interpret all publicly available customer data generated by millions of conversations happening naturally across modern channels. The organic nature of this customer data creates greater context and historical perspective that extends understanding beyond what is possible with traditional inbound methods of data collection.
With an intentional listening strategy, federal agencies can learn what is and is not working with service delivery, identify friction points across the citizen-experience journey, and provide equal access to services.
But what does it mean for an agency to “learn” about people in this way? The right social listening solution leverages artificial intelligence and natural language processing to uncover the sentiment, tone, and relevance of citizen conversations. With the deeper understanding possible through these insights, the federal government can better identify the most pressing issues and take the right actions more quickly.
Not every action is created equally, even when it comes to addressing the needs of the people. Many government responsibilities — like responding to natural disasters or building strong public health programs — are literally life-or-death, but even when the stakes aren’t as high, resources are limited and it’s critical to prioritize the most impactful activity.
Action can also take many different forms, including everything from creating new content for government social channels to educating citizens on important policy changes. Social listening not only helps agencies to identify the best actions to take immediately, but it also helps them take better action by understanding the right channels for communication and the right messages to make an immediate impact.
At Sprinklr, we are purpose-built to help organizations in all industries connect with their customers. With the sweeping tide of change promised by the president’s executive order, it is the right time for every federal agency to adopt a unified front-office platform to deliver true citizen-experience management.
Social Listening, part of Sprinklr Modern Research, helps connect the public sector with its constituents by providing:
Real-time access to important citizen conversations across 30+ modern channels
AI-driven insights for a clearer picture of customer priorities and sentiment
The only unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform for a single source of truth and better collaboration across departments
To learn more about how Sprinklr can empower your organization, reach out today for a free demo.