Obama Issues Executive Order Tying Technology to Government Customer Service

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President Obama announced a new government focus on customer service by signing an executive order calling for each agency to develop a customer service plan to address how it will streamline service delivery and improve the experience of its customers.

“Government managers must learn from what is working in the private sector and apply these best practices to deliver services better, faster, and at lower cost. Such best practices include increasingly popular lower-cost, self-service options accessed by the Internet or mobile phone and improved processes that deliver services faster and more responsively, reducing the overall need for customer inquiries and complaints. The Federal Government has a responsibility to streamline and make more efficient its service delivery to better serve the public,” the executive order states.

The order calls for agencies to establish one major initiative that will use technology to improve the customer experience. The agencies will work in hand with the Office of Management and Budget to develop its plan.

“Just like large corporations, the government processes countless transactions, but too few agencies have modernized their customer interactions,” Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients said Wednesday at a forum with top agency officials at the Eisenhower Office Building. “As a result, too often costs are too high and customer service lags behind.”

Highlights:

  • Advances in technology in service delivery systems have risen in other sectors causing the public’s expectations of government to also rise.
  • The government needs to meet that challenge and exceed all expectations.
  • It’s not just about increasing service to citizens, but other entities like private and governmental entities.
  • The government needs to apply best practices from the private sector. Examples: Increasing lower-costing self-service options accessable by the web or mobile devices, being quick and responsive and reducing the need for customer inquiries and complaints.

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Government IT News, Jeffrey Zients, White House
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