Customer Experience Must Be More Than a Mission Enabler
These centers of excellence, one of them is for customer experience, and it's to help the agency execute on an omni-channel strategy, not just deploy more siloed channels of communication with customers or with citizens.
Additionally, we are seeing much more consolidation of contact centers. While this doesn't, by itself, solve the omni-channel challenge, it does pave the way for them to execute against that, and to consolidate, at least, the channels to begin with. Consolidate the management of them to begin with, across the agency, and then they can start to build on that.
We, and I think it's industry and the advocates within government, have to do a better job articulating why this matters. Effective customer experience can really enable the mission in three ways.
First of all, it's cost effective — it saves money. Secondly, when you optimize it, it saves time, and if you're saving time by not dealing with customer service, then you can be doing your regular day job. Lastly, it results in a reduction of escalations. I don't think it's any secret: I don't think any agency head or staff member wants to get called up on Capitol Hill for an oversight discussion of any sort because a number of people have made complaints about it.