service design life experiences
Too often, people have to navigate a tangled web of Government websites, offices, and phone numbers to access the services they depend on. We believe that every interaction between the Government and the public, whether it involves filing taxes or renewing a passport, is an opportunity to deliver the value, service, and efficiency that the public expects and deserves. As a result, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is announcing five projects today that will improve the experiences the public has with Government during significant moments in their lives—such as retirement and the birth of a child. These “life experience” projects are at the center of a new model for how the Federal Government should better design and deliver benefits, services, and programs to the American people during the moments in their lives that matter most.
As part of his Administration’s efforts to transform service delivery and customer experience, President Biden charged Federal leaders to identify five key experiences we can improve upon. These experiences include:
- Approaching retirement
- Recovering from a disaster
- Navigating transition from active duty to civilian life
- Birth and early childhood for low-income mothers and children
- Facing a financial shock and becoming newly eligible for critical support programs
Reimagining Federal Service Design and Delivery Based on Real-Life Journeys
The Biden-Harris Administration is building a new approach to managing Federal service delivery based on the experiences and perspectives of people from all walks of life, rather than from a bureaucratic perspective. “Life experiences” are significant events, milestones, or transitions in the life of a person, family, or business, that often require interactions with multiple Federal agencies and sometimes State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, too. This new model is driven by research and design to identify what Americans want and need – make sure they can actually access services.
OMB, which leads Government-wide service delivery and customer experience efforts, worked with the President’s Management Council to select these projects, which will start with a ‘discovery’ phase. Teams will conduct research and gather data, including directly from the American public, that can inform how Federal agencies can better design and manage large-scale, system-level experience efforts and improve smaller-scale service delivery.
What Federal Agencies Are Doing to Improve Customer Experience
The Administration is making interacting with Government—and getting what the American people need most—easier. Agencies are designing new digital tools and investing in new technologies to power a better CX for the public, whether online, in person, over the phone, or through email or text. Here’s a look at what agencies have done to improve services in just the past few months:
- The Department of Veterans Affairs launched a new authenticated mobile app for iPhone and Android, allowing veterans to locate personalized health and benefits information quickly and conveniently while considering their range of accessibility needs.
- The State Department has issued hundreds of passports through its new online passport renewal process, with the pilot rollout continuing for more than 15,000 applicants in the next few months.
- In light of the pandemic, many students are struggling to stay in school and make ends meet, so it is crucial that they are aware of benefits that may be available to them. Federal Student Aid has issued guidance to institutions of higher education about how and when FAFSA data may be used to help inform students of benefits and opportunities that may be available to them, like the Affordable Connectivity Program. FSA has also conducted email outreach campaigns to those students who may be eligible for programs. For example, in emails to students about the Child Tax Credit and SNAP, we found that 42 percent and 52 percent, respectively, of those who received the email opened it.
- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) proposed a new rule for USAID contractors to submit all requested digital information through a single portal called the USAID Digital Front Door, which should reduce the time and effort it takes in particular for smaller organizations looking to work with USAID, while simultaneously improving internal operational efficiency.
- The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs in the Department of Labor has updated policies so that beneficiaries can use telehealth options for routine medical treatment appointments.
- The Department of Agriculture has made four awards to State agencies and vendors to implement and test online ordering capabilities for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant and Children (WIC) benefits.
- Medicare tested new options that will make it easier to compare plans by displaying customers’ current coverage and all saved information (including prescriptions and previously used pharmacies). The team will incorporate what they learned into site updates before Medicare Open Enrollment this Fall.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has made it easier for survivors to navigate getting disaster assistance, particularly when it comes to providing documentation relating to ownership, occupancy, and self-certification. FEMA estimates that these improvements have helped nearly 100,000 additional survivors receive assistance.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), has added baseline customer experience training for the TSA screening workforce to reinforce the link between TSA’s security mission and its customers.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), collaborated with the State of Arizona and Apple, to deploy a new technology that allows airline passengers to use their state-issued mobile driver’s license or mobile identification card in Apple Wallet on iPhone or Apple Watch to verify their identity for airport security screening purposes.
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has doubled the number of customer calls that are eligible for callback.
- OMB issued a new memorandum requiring Federal agencies to focus on minimizing the burdens people experience when accessing essential public benefits programs.
Where We’re Headed
To explore our Federal CX work and find regular updates like this one, visit performance.gov/cx.