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Digital first, and always: Five critical metrics for measuring customer experience at federal agencies

The White House recently released the “Delivering a Digital-First Public Experience” memorandum, which seeks to transform the way the government interacts online with citizens. Accomplishing this goal involves ensuring digital services are “easy to use, trustworthy, and accessible.” Much of the memo focuses on the customer experience (CX). The memo directs agencies to conduct qualitative and quantitative research to better understand online interactions. It also requires agencies to develop digital experiences that are user-centric and data-driven.

At Dynatrace, we heartily embrace such a transformation. In fact, we’ve worked with government customers for years now to enhance their CX. But CX has taken on new significance today with the rise of digital transformation.

Customer experience index scores are falling

Consumer organizations have set a high bar for CX. They are designing and overseeing websites in which experiences and transactions are seamless, easy to navigate, and quickly completed – whether on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Subsequently, users now expect this from government agencies. Users now expect to find what they need instantly and in conversational “plain language” that the memo encourages. They feel they should be able to conduct transactions online on government websites in a straightforward, easy-to-grasp manner, without getting frozen or bounced off the page in the mid-transaction.

This memo arrives at a time when citizen satisfaction with U.S. government services has reached a general decline in recent years. According to research from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the ACSI “score” for government services is 66.3, down from a high of 72.3 in 2006. The website satisfaction score is 69, which is also on the decline.

The five key metrics to improve customer satisfaction

To help turn this around, Dynatrace makes available its unified observability platform, which captures all CX interactions and transactions in an automated, intelligent manner – including user session replays. When combined, key metrics will generate an accurate CX index score.

But which metrics should your agency include? The following are five essential customer experience metrics:

  1. Transaction completion time. Whether applying for a passport, student loan, housing assistance, military veteran benefits, etc., citizens want to get on a site and quickly wrap up the business at hand. If they encounter delays during the form-filling process or the final “Click here to submit application or purchase” stage, it will lead to a negative CX.
  2. Page load time. If it takes more than five seconds to load a page, users will grow frustrated and may leave the site.
  3. Rage clicks. When a website loads slowly or freezes, users sometimes click a button five or six times – i.e., rage-clicking. Tools such as session recordings can measure this, too.
  4. Abandonment rate and data. Agencies need to track how often transactions are abandoned. Then, they should investigate the source of the abandoned task: Which stages of the process are slow or confusing for users, to the point where they quit in frustration?
  5. Conversion rate. This goes up as the abandonment rate goes down. How often do customers complete transactions or queries? The higher the conversion rate, the better.

Observability tools deliver AI-enabled monitoring, which automatically tracks and provides visibility into these five metrics, among many others. AI will also auto-remediate issues that metrics expose.

Guarantee positive customer experiences with unified observability

Ensuring a positive customer experience is about awareness, proactivity, and instinct regarding user needs. The current administration’s increased commitment to improving the digital CX is heartening, but agencies will never know how they are doing if they can’t measure system performance.

Powered by AI and intelligent automation, Dynatrace collaborates with agencies to help them gain a holistic view of their technology environments. With granular user data and deep insights provided by unified observability, organizations are empowered to deliver seamless customer experiences.

Download the free eBook to learn the four insights that are changing federal agency sites for the better, and how IT teams are improving UX: Delivering better experiences with unified observability.