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Unlocking the Power of CX for the Public Sector:<br/> Why Your Organization Must Prioritize Citizen Centricity


Unlocking the Power of CX for the Public Sector:
Why Your Organization Must Prioritize Citizen Centricity

The importance of customer experience (CX) for organizations in any area cannot be understated, especially in today’s competitive landscape. Take Amazon for example. Jeff Bezos famously called out in his 2016 Letter to Shareholders:

“…customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied…even when they don’t know it yet, customers want something better, and your desire to delight customers will drive you to invent on their behalf

This understanding of ever-changing needs and the responsibility for organizations to consistently provide the best customer experiences has helped transform Amazon into one of the world’s most successful companies, with what some refer to as the gold standard for effortless CX.

The redefinition of excellence in CX as led by Amazon and other business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies is directly impacting customer expectations in areas like the public sector.

Redefining the “Customer” in Public Sector Organizations

In public sector environments, citizens are the primary “customer”. Borrowing from the concept of “Customer Centricity”, where companies put the ultimate end-user at the center of everything they do, public sector organizations should follow a similar concept called “Citizen Centricity”.

“Citizen Centricity” can be boiled down into two parts:

  1. Designing public services around the needs and preferences of citizens
  2. Driving positive outcomes for individuals and communities

Case Study: Fremont & San Jose, California

Let’s look at two public sector examples of North American cities that put the ethos of “Citizen Centricity” to work.

Fremont, CA

Labeled the happiest city in America, the city of Fremont is a great example of when governments design innovative experiences with the needs and interests of residents in mind.1

In September 2023, the Fremont Police Department began deploying drones under their newly approved Drone First Responders (DFR) Program, to patrol for emergencies such as traffic accidents, and in some cases respond to 911 calls.

Initial results show this to benefit both the city of Fremont and its residents. Emergency services can better utilize and deploy human resources only when necessary, and residents benefit from reduced response times and increased peace of mind as a result of more frequent and consistent patrolling.

San Jose, CA

Moving two spots down the list, San Jose, the third happiest city in America, shows another “Citizen-Centric” approach in practice. The city’s Smart City Vision emphasizes transparency and increased civic engagement to make San Jose a more “user-friendly city”.

From seemingly simple shifts such as digitizing city service forms and processes, to more complex initiatives like a digital “neighbourhood dashboard” that allows residents to easily access information, file reports, and even communicate with one another, San Jose is proactively evolving to the growing needs of their citizens.

Diving into these two examples, it’s clear these cities are listening to their residents. They are embracing “Citizen Centricity” by understanding the needs and concerns of residents and are not afraid to try their hand at different and somewhat unconventional ways to address pain points for their respective populations.

The Growing Role of Data

Fremont and San Jose are prime examples of public sector organizations accomplishing great success in Citizen Centricity, as evidenced by their beloved populations. Ultimately, data and technology sit at the heart of both of their highlighted strategies, whether it be high-tech drones patrolling the Fremont skies, or a robust digital “neighbourhood dashboard” in San Jose.

The role of data is only growing for organizations looking to action on their own “Citizen-Centric” strategies. A 2022 survey talking to 100 CX leaders across North America, Europe, and Australia found that:

“more than 19 in every 20 CX leaders have invested or plan to invest in data integration, data integrity, or data enrichment technologies” 2

The importance of harnessing data effectively to support the overall CX, and in the examples discussed, the concept of “Citizen Centricity”, should not be underestimated by organizational leaders.

Practicing “Citizen Centricity” in Your Organization

Applying “Citizen Centricity” across your organization begins with a deep understanding of your customer while also ensuring that these types of initiatives are baked into your strategic roadmap. At Level5 Strategy, we bring a wealth of expertise and tailored tools to help our clients establish successful CX strategies.

Connect with our team to find out more about where your organization is currently performing as it relates to “Citizen Centricity” and how we can help unlock additional growth.

1 WalletHub: Happiest Cities in America, 2024

2 Precisely Survey, 2022


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