Designing Excellent Customer Service in Local Government

Leaders in Washington D.C. want to make local government more responsive to the needs of residents. To support this goal, the district enlisted FUSE executive fellow Hua Wang to help bolster accessibility, ease of use, and digital capabilities associated with the provision of public services.   To determine how to prioritize efforts, Hua led a survey of 1,500 residents and conducted 150 interviews and usability tests across all eight wards in the district. She identified and mapped the most pressing pain points in each ward to illustrate the user experience across a range of services. She launched an “innovation academy” to train government employees in how to do rapid prototyping, and in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group hosted a “failure forward” workshop aimed at fostering a culture of experimentation within government. She also helped secure the buy-in for a $1.5 million budget to create a more welcoming and useful website. Hua’s work uncovered the root causes of poor user experiences for both residents and employees and revealed tangible steps to make service delivery more streamlined and efficient.