ACT-IAC pens framework to help agencies reform their CX

The Customer Experience Playbook focuses on the policy and culture challenges agencies will have to navigate to deliver customer-focused tools and services.
The Trump administration has emphasized improving customer experience as a key piece of its President's Management Agenda. (Photo by ebayinc/Flickr)

As the President’s Management Agenda presses federal agencies to refresh their customer experience capabilities, ACT-IAC has crafted a plan on how to deploy human-centered design strategies into those efforts.

The “Customer Experience Playbook” lays out an eight-step strategy for agency leaders looking to recraft their organization’s approach to customer experience (CX), capitalizing not only on the new tools available but also the philosophies that will help drive transformation.

The Trump administration has made CX a key component of its PMA as well as its IT modernization strategy, with White House officials often touting plans to make government services more accessible and user-friendly through technology updates.

But the playbook, authored by ACT-IAC’s CX community of interest group, focuses on the policy and culture challenges that must be navigated as agencies deploy new technologies. Philosophies like human-centered design must be part of the process, the report says.


“Improving the public’s perception of government service is complex and will require that customer experience become a priority and focus within federal agencies,” the report says. “To change this focus will require a better understanding of the discipline of CX, a move toward a more customer-centric culture, workforce and skills, clear governance of the end-to-end customer experience, measures that change employee behavior, greater understanding of customer expectations and systems to integrate customer feedback into systems, to drive improvement.”

The report outlines a framework composed of “plays” agency leaders should undertake to incorporate CX into their organization:

  • Understand the current state of customer satisfaction and experience in your agency.
  • Understand your agency’s culture and appetite for change.
  • Build a customer-centric culture.
  • Create a customer strategy.
  • Design the experience of the future.
  • Identify the support and resources (e.g., staff, technology, funding) needed.
  • Develop a business case to justify resources.
  • Continually measure and monitor.

The report details strategies to implement for each play, as well as use-case examples where other agencies have deployed the practices. The goal of the playbook is to provide federal leaders with a flexible framework that can be tailored to multiple organizations, regardless of their size or mission.

“While this playbook is written from an enterprise-wide perspective for external services provided to the public, it can also be applied to improve internal services including acquisition, finance, technology and human resources,” the report states. “These services provided within an agency are also critical components of the CX ecosystem.”


The PMA has tasked the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Office of Management and Budget with its Cross-Agency Priority goal for improving customer experience through digital services.

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