2019 Government Innovation Awards
USDA cultivates customer service
At the Agriculture Department, farmers rule, and the agency wants to make sure it stays that way as new technologies and a fast-changing world reshape those customer relationships.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s gold standard in the agency’s quest to provide top-notch services is the Walt Disney Company’s approach to soliciting customers’ opinions and gathering relevant data to ensure that visitors remain delighted with the company’s parks, online resources and retail stores.
Perdue has pushed USDA to fundamentally change how it delivers services to its customers by analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data. Officials knew the customer feedback data it was gathering could fuel IT modernization efforts, but they had to make sense of it all first.
USDA’s Voice of the Customer Centers of Excellence Program uses feedback management technology to handle the customer data coming in from all engagement channels and creates an enterprisewide view of the agency’s customer service posture. Those analyses then fuel what Perdue calls an internal culture of continuous improvement.
Ultimately, USDA officials want other agencies to adopt and tailor the program to their own customers.
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