This is the second part of a two-part discussion about how OES work improves the federal customer experience. The first part of this post appears on the Performance.gov blog.

In our last post, we shared a story of a hypothetical patient visiting her doctor at the Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune and the challenge of encouraging patients to enroll in the secure online messaging system. OES helped DHA incorporate evidence-based insights, resulting in higher enrollment in their online patient portal.

Want to learn how evidence-based insights can help your agency? Here are three key ways we help agencies address common challenges and improve customer experience:

1. Identify and address the key drivers of customer-satisfaction

Federal government customers are the individuals and groups that interact with a Federal government agency or program. We say they’ve had a good customer experience when they report (usually via a survey) that they trust the agency or program and are satisfied with the service. Federal government customers need a huge variety of services, from obtaining benefits, to ordering a passport, to buying stamps. But across this variety of services, trust and satisfaction are driven by factors such as ease of interaction, transparency in communication, and employee warmth and helpfulness during a customer interaction.

2. Use A/B testing to evaluate changes

In the above USAGov example, OES compared survey completion and email engagement (e.g., opens and clicks) to build evidence about how customers responded to different versions of a message or process. In fact, many agencies are already conducting this type of “A/B testing” to collect information about customer behaviors. This testing is an effective way to meet the 21st Century IDEA requirements to modernize websites, digitize services and forms, and improve customer experiences.

OES helps agencies apply these experiences and ideas to federal programs. Customer feedback data from existing surveys can help identify the key drivers of satisfaction in a particular program. Then, behavioral insights can be mapped directly to these drivers. To measure how well the changes worked, OES uses rigorous evaluation and administrative data on outcomes like program access, completion times, or response rates to measure effectiveness. Learn more about OES’ evaluation methods here.

3. Use evidence-based insights to enrich customer journey maps

Whether or not you currently have customer feedback data available, often OES projects begin by creating a customer journey map. OES journey maps include a “behavioral” layer that identifies psychological tendencies that play a role at key decision points in the customer’s journey, as seen in this GSA Travel Timing Behavioral Map. These maps help agencies prioritize which insights to apply, and are also used to identify the areas where applying behavioral insights may not be effective.

It’s easy to lose sight of individual challenges and realities when designing and implementing large scale federal services and programs. Uniting expertise in customer experience, evidence-based insights about human behavior, and rapid and rigorous evaluations can help bring these interactions and people back into focus.