Services and Transactions

Create content around topics/customers - not agencies

Customers don't know - and don't care to know - how government is organized. So why make them go from agency (website) to agency (website) to get the full picture of what govt has to offer them on any subject? Why make them go through a long list of links on USA.gov? Why not get agencies together around content topics or customer groups(owning a home, sending kids to college, services for seniors, contractors) and ...more »

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160 votes
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Usability and Design

Commit to best practices

The main issue with government sites is that many of them are being run by people whose idea of the Web stopped growing around 2002. There are Web basics--testing with real users, formative user research, and advanced metrics and analytics programs--that everyone in the commercial sector is doing. The government needs to get with the program or risk total irrelevance. Another hint: ease off on Twitter and Facebook. You ...more »

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92 votes
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Policies and Principles

Add the ability to flag a web page for outdated, incorrectness.

Give the users the ability to flag a page for a broken link, missing content, outdated or incorrect content. This would actually help government keep their web pages updated instead of relying on link-checkers. These flags for outdated or incorrect content could be a metric that agencies use to measure quality. Additionally it could help agencies implement this Executive Order--Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving ...more »

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60 votes
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Social Media

Develop Social Media as a Customer Service Channel

Social Media has tremendous potential as a customer service channel and is being used effectively in the private sector. Greater attention should be paid to using social media to help the public find information they need. One model for this would be to empower and encourage all government employees to help point the public to government websites/ resources/ services as these issues are raised on the social media platforms ...more »

Submitted by (@andrewpwilson)

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39 votes
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Policies and Principles

Establish a Customer Bill of Rights

I'd like to see the federal government - under the Customer Service Initiative - issue a "Customer Bill of Rights" or a "Promise to Customers" and use that as the core set of principles for improving websites, call centers, and other forms of service delivery. A good place to start is the 6 principles the Federal Web Managers Council laid out in its 2008 White Paper: Putting Citizens First - Transforming Online Government. ...more »

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30 votes
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Content and Readability

Enable easy ranking/satisfaction of content

Make it mandatory that all pages/content be enabled with a simple satisfaction rating of that page/content. Perhaps using the 5 star rating. Current ACSI surveys are too bulky and limit the number of responses (13% response rates are "good"). A simple "Was the content on this page helpful?" or similar would be more effective and could be mashed-up into dashboards for measuring individual author, subsite, search engine, ...more »

Submitted by (@cjguru)

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29 votes
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Services and Transactions

Use Real-time Chats to Help Customers Solve Problems

Although some agencies are using real-time chat, I'm amazed it hasn't caught on more. Customers want help when they hit a snag. They don't want to stop and send an email that might be answered in 3 days (or 3 weeks). They want to finish their task NOW. Real-time chat to the rescue. A human being, in real time, answering questions, breaking the log jam. I love it in the commercial world. Why not in the government ...more »

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28 votes
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Services and Transactions

Make it okay for Fed workers to interact with citizens

Right now, it's not allowed for workers to directly respond to citizens. With a little training, it'd be safe (enough?) for workers to do so, and that'd greatly improve customer service.

 

Here's a great article regarding this at the Dept of Veterans Affairs:

 

http://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/43670.aspx

 

(I feel this also applies to private industry.)

Submitted by (@craig0)

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26 votes
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Services and Transactions

Create a culture of customer service

I've seen several ideas that relate to this, and many comments have mentioned it. So I thought I'd throw it in as a separate idea and see what folks have to say. I believe that many/most public servants want to serve customers well. I think many of us came to public service to do just this and were discouraged by past practices. The thing is: the internet really changed govt's relationship with its customers. The ...more »

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25 votes
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Usability and Design

Every Agency Should Have UX Expert on Staff

I know, budgets are tight, layoffs are imminent, non-professionals can do simple product tests, but does your agency have a budget analyst? A configuration manager? A security specialist? In America, what we value, we pay for. If an agency says that that good customer experience is a business priority, it must have a UX professional on staff. Period. Even contracting for a usability vendor is difficult without a UX professional ...more »

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16 votes
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