How do government employees rate their own agencies on the citizen experience they offer? The answer may surprise you.
By Seth Engel, Senior Product Marketing Manager, DocuSign
Recently, I had the chance to present original research on the citizen experience at DocuSign Momentum ‘19, our annual customer conference. The research polled over 100 government decisionmakers about the citizen experience at their agencies. We found that 90 percent of government decisionmakers believe that the citizen experience is extremely or very important and that 80 percent believe that their agencies are doing a good or very good job. This stands in contrast to research done by Accenture that found that 4 in 10 citizens are still not satisfied with digital services from government.
While these findings were notable, not all respondents believe government is doing a great job on the citizen experience. The data tells a much more interesting story when you dive a little deeper.
In addition to asking the government decisionmakers to rate their own agencies’ citizen experience in the abstract, we asked them to rate their agencies along 6 specific dimensions:
- Are most interactions with the public are done entirely online?
- Can most agency forms be filled out and submitted on a mobile device?
- Can most agency forms that require a signature be signed electronically?
- Can a constituent reach a real person at the agency on the phone within 2 minutes?
- Are public webforms employed, such that the need for staff to do manual data entry is minimal?
- Is every effort made to minimize paperwork for the public and staff?
These are questions that exemplify the level of digital service that the public expects from the government. We call this concept “Agreeable Government.” So how did government decisionmakers self-report on their agencies’ citizen experiences when we got specific? Over 80% of IT decisionmakers agreed with these statements, indicating that they felt that their agencies were performing very well. Interestingly, though one group that differed substantially in the opposite direction were citizen-facing staff! Only 49% agreed with the statements, while 23% were neutral and 28% disagreed.
Why the difference in perception between IT staff, who believe they are crushing the citizen experience, and public-facing staff, who don’t? Obviously, this is only one poll and more studies are needed but it could indicate that IT staff are too far away from the problems that citizen-facing staff deal with every day and need to align more closely to effectively tackle these issues.
These findings corroborate what we have learned from our customers over time: That the most successful projects end up being those where stakeholders from diverse backgrounds – in this case IT and citizen-facing staff – work together from conception to execution.
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