With the number of brands available to consumers, customer experience is the X-factor by which companies rise and fall in the marketplace. If an organization fails to provide the CX that’s come to be the expectation, it risks being left behind and, ultimately, being closed out of the market. One CX provider, however, runs little (if any) risk of facing substantial ramifications due to customer experience and as a result, has seen its CSAT scores consistently slip.

That organization? The United States Government.

A new report from Forrester shows a startlingly lackluster result for customer experience at federal agencies, especially when viewed in comparison to offerings in the private sectors. Nearly three fourths (73%) of federal agencies were rated either “poor” or “very” poor in terms of customer experience, compared to only 20% of private sector organizations finding themselves in the lowest two categories.

While poor CX often stems from a lack of the digital presence, federal agencies may have the opposite issue, becoming over reliant on impersonal methods of communication and service.

“Federal agencies have their CX priorities all wrong, and it shows,” Rick Parrish, principal analyst and government CX expert at Forrester, said. “Though technology plays an important role in CX, creating a mobile app or another digital offering does not necessarily give customers the emotional solution or support that they are looking for. Customers want the advances that digital brings, but only when it’s done right — and right now, agencies are failing at that mission.”

As part of the Customer Experience Index, each company is given a rating out of 100 based on several factors contributing to the positivity of customer interactions. The private sector averaged 70 points in this respect; federal agencies, a mere 58. Despite a year-over-year jump of five points (from 37 to 42), Healthcare.gov continues to be the lowest ranked agency in the Customer Experience Index: checking in at 319th out of 319.

While it’s true that support is moving further into digital channels, the issue faced by federal agencies is that oftentimes, people simply want their problems solved by a human across the desk. Especially in the case of the government, sometimes customer experience begs for a bit of humanization.

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