First Impressions Matter: How Government Agencies Enhance CX with Web Forms

They say you never get a second chance at making a first impression. For government agencies, first impressions with citizens and constituents come through forms, which are often the “face” of government. Unfortunately, despite how critical these forms are to government operations, filling them out can be a frustrating experience.

Today, federal and state government agencies are focused on streamlining these form-filling processes with digital technologies to improve the overall constituent experience. For example, according to NASCIO, state CIOs are prioritizing digitizing citizen services. And recent customer experience (CX) mandates, such as the CX Executive Order and the President's Management Agenda (PMA), are also driving these critical efforts.

Constituents and agencies struggle with government forms

Government forms have several challenges that cause constituents to prematurely abandon them, making it nearly impossible for agencies to operationalize and effectively leverage the data collected.

Many government agencies or municipalities still rely on manual, paper-based processes to collect information and deliver services. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the public spent 10.5 billion hours on government paperwork in 2021—which places a tremendous burden on constituents.

Some agencies have taken a step in the digital direction by offering PDF versions of the forms. However, this type of static digital form is only a slight upgrade from a traditional paper form. Since they aren’t mobile-friendly or responsive, PDFs often present constituents with a frustrating and disjointed experience.

When agency employees have to manually transfer the data that lives in a paper document, a static PDF or spreadsheet into another system of record to complete the next step in the workflow, it leaves room for human error, and data accuracy suffers. According to a recent survey, more than half (53%) of state agencies deal with incorrect or incomplete data in a paper-based system. When the information populated is inaccurate or missing, a ripple effect impacts the review and approval of the form and the government service delivery.

Before constituents enter personal information into a form, they also need to know that the form is from a trusted and reliable source and that their stored data—beyond the form—will be protected.

The federal government processes 106 billion forms annually; over 9,800 are unique. Whether the forms are paper, static PDFs or even digital, maintaining them significantly burdens agencies’ IT resources and makes it difficult to truly scale across multiple departments and use cases.

The data is also often collected, stored and distributed across multiple systems in different formats, making it difficult to analyze or take action. According to Forrester, additional time spent curating information, and exporting and importing data between systems, is inefficient, slows down processes and hinders critical analysis.

A better constituent experience

Docusign Web Forms, a new offering within Docusign eSignature, allows agencies to easily capture constituent data from fillable forms and dynamically populate content into agreements for signature. It’s a no-code solution that can be implemented quickly, empowering agency employees to easily build and maintain their forms with simplified drag-and-drop functionality without relying on internal IT resources.

This means constituents have access to an entirely self-service experience with a conditional line of questioning that adjusts to display only relevant content based on their responses. With this trusted solution, constituents can fill out forms wherever they are—whether at home or on a mobile device.

By introducing this modern, interactive experience through Web Forms, agencies can accelerate agreement completion by streamlining data collection and creating applications, forms or documents for signature. It also unlocks the value of data with reporting and analytics that power actionable insights and easily integrates all data into an agency’s systems of record.

Built on the proven and secure Docusign eSignature platform, Web Forms delivers trusted experiences that are customizable and consistent with an agency’s mission. The privacy-by-design principles and robust security features in the eSignature platform extend to Web Forms. That means agencies who use FedRAMP Moderate-authorized eSignature can use Web Forms in the eSignature FedRAMP Moderate authorized environment.

Is your agency looking to reduce constituent burden when applying for a permit, requesting housing assistance or filing unemployment claims? Or maybe your agency is focused on providing employees with a streamlined approach to integrate and act on the data within each form to speed up service delivery?

Meet constituents where they are with a digital-first, self-serve form-filling experience to capture information and signatures and, in return, streamline data collection for your government agency.

Visit Docusign Web Forms to learn more. Or, if you’re ready to create a winning first impression with citizens and constituents, contact our sales team.