OCX is the missing metric for government agencies
By Alok Kulkarni, CEO, Cyara
Monday, 15 May, 2017
Measurement of operational customer experience can assist in recovery from online failures.
In the past year, Australians have experienced a series of operational failures from online government services. It’s safe to say that if similar failures had occurred within a commercial organisation, they might have been enough to send it out of business. In order to address these failings, there is a key strategy that government agencies have only recently begun to explore which can rebuild trust with the public.
Measuring operational customer experience (OCX) is an obvious yet largely underappreciated method of providing an outside-in perspective of an organisation’s digital infrastructure, enabling faults to be identified and fixed before they are experienced by the customer. OCX is focused on the experiences customers have of technology systems in voice and digital interactions. The concept seems simple — prevent the problem before it arises through testing — but overlooking OCX measurement is still all too common.
Customer experience is critical in government agencies as, unlike other service providers, they do not operate in a competitive space. This means that the services they provide are mission critical for a particular government function and are depended upon by an entire population, often for highly personal or sensitive matters such as tax, health care or education. Unlike commercial service providers, customers don’t have the option to go elsewhere to receive the same service, leaving them stranded if an operational failure occurs. It is therefore critical for governments to be proactive in ensuring their OCX is performing without fault along all touchpoints of the customer journey.
By recreating the customer’s experience, OCX picks up failures such as calls not connecting or being dropped, or web pages freezing, along each point of the journey. Testing and monitoring systems to scale whilst in production will see them work flawlessly once live.
While commercial companies reap the financial benefits of perfecting OCX, some see the government as having a laissez-faire attitude towards providing high-quality online customer experience, as there is no financial gain to be made from getting it right. However, just as with organisations losing revenue from a loss of customers, governments too face their own kind of loss if they neglect OCX.
The government is trusted by the public to use taxpayer money to deliver high-performing and reliable online services. Therefore, poor OCX could lead to the erosion of trust from the public and potentially result in a loss of voters. Many see technology failures from government agencies as a sign of an unreliable or mismanaged government; therefore, it is just as critical for a government to prioritise OCX as it is for a commercial organisation, if not more so.
By exploring the full benefits of OCX measurement, agencies can confidently deliver online services. OCX allows government agencies to be proactive, rather than reactive, through the testing and anticipation of any potential failures in a system before they become customer-facing.
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