eGovernment and Adobe’s Digital Enterprise Platform — Interview with Gilles Polin, Head of Government EMEA
Obviously the answer to that question will vary greatly depending on who asks, and his stake in delivering (or experiencing) an engaging interaction.
CEM for the enterprise is typically associated with substantial benefits, like brand loyalty and competitive differentiation, but those may initially seem like non-issues for so-called entitlement programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and others. That’s because, unlike in the competitive private sector, consumers of these programs often don’t have the benefit of choice.
Many would argue, however, that CEM offers a matrix of far-reaching benefits to any enterprise, some of which aren’t always immediately obvious. Customer communications is a perfect example. Consider the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) form that is sent to millions of Medicaid members in any given month.
Recently, at the 2011 State Health IT Connect Summit, I presented an interactive electronic version of that familiar EOB statement as part of a Health Insurance Exchange demo. By leveraging components of the new Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform (ADEP), recipients of this interactive EOB would be able to intuitively communicate back with its sender from within the document, while maintaining privacy and security of health data.
Now, consider the added convenience for diverse populations where multi-lingual content and responses may be automatically translated by backend processes as the correspondence is exchanged. Customer experience is improved even further as members may effortlessly dispute the accuracy of a claim displayed in that EOB, again from directly within the document.
For the enterprise that sent the EOB, this presents an opportunity to realize significant savings. Overcharges and potentially fraudulent claims that may have otherwise slipped through the cracks may now be identified and investigated, simply by making it easier for members to participate in the process. There are countless other examples of ways that HHS agencies may optimize efficiencies and generate measurable ROI by deploying solutions that strive first to better serve their members.
More often than not, a win-win scenario emerges for everyone as innovative executives are learning that the byproducts of optimal customer experiences include measurable impacts to the bottom line for organizations of all types, in both private and public sectors.
With Monday’s Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform and Customer Experience Solutions announcement and our related video interview with Adobe’s Rob Pinkerton in mind, we thought it timely to share another look at a recent, relevant conversation from our blog.
Last fall, we interviewed Adobe’s Steven Webster, senior director of Technology and Experience Innovation, to get his perspective on customer/citizen experience and Government. Take a look at the three-part interview below for Steven’s insights on the topic.
In the meantime, enjoy a look back at this conversation:
Today, Adobe announced the new Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform for Customer Experience Management (CEM). Additionally, we introduced a new set of Customer Experience Solutions built on the platform. The news has particular relevance to Government in several respects.
We caught up with our own Rob Pinkerton, senior director of Product Marketing, to get his insights on the announcement and how and why it’s important for Government. Check out the video below.
Want to learn more? Visit Adobe’s corporate blog for a post and video from Rob Tarkoff, senior vice president of Digital Enterprise Solutions. And also swing over to the Experience Delivers blog to learn more about a Tweetaway our CEM colleagues are running the week of June 20.
We’re interested in your thoughts, comments and questions, of course. Leave a comment below or reach out to us on Twitter @AdobeGov or on our Facebook page. You can also keep in touch with our team focused on CEM on Twitter @AdobeCEM.
In my last post I discussed the concept of customer or citizen experience in government and focusing on how we as citizens want to engage with our government on our terms, and on the device we’re currently heads down on (unless, of course, we’re driving!). So where do you begin if you’re a government employee trying to focus on your “customer”?
While simple, you should begin by focusing on the outside in. Truly focus on that citizen first and not on the sometimes byzantine rules and stove-piped systems you may already have in place. Easier said than done, I know, but it really is how you begin to transform the way your agency deals with its customers, both internal and external.
How many times have you been to a doctor’s office, motor vehicle agency, or applied for a permit and had to write your address down more than one time? How many times have you had to read the manual of instructions on how to fill out the form or wait in line to discuss with someone the process to determine eligibility for a grant, license, or benefit? Compare this to the first time you used a social media application like Facebook or LinkedIn. How hard was that? Was there an instruction manual you had to pore over before you got online and started sharing photos and stories with all those “friends” in your network? Of course not, that’s what makes it so fun (perhaps dangerous in some cases!) but most importantly that’s what keeps people engaged and online, and coming back for more. I’m not sure we’re ever going to make renewing your driver’s license or applying for unemployment benefits “fun” but we can make the process more intuitive and keep more and more people online rather than in a line. That’s where the savings come into play.
Last year 70% of the individual tax returns in the US were filed electronically. Do you know how much money that saved the IRS? Hundreds of millions of dollars according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). For every electronically filed return the IRS saves $3.10. “In addition to reducing costs, e-filing provides higher accuracy rates, improved convenience, and faster processing and refunds for taxpayers.” To me, that sounds like a great customer (and agency) experience. How is this happening? Most of this electronic filing is taking place with the assistance of great software from Intuit and H&R Block that takes users through a complex (sound familiar?) tax code/business process and breaks it down to a nice and easy interview. They have essentially broken down a tax code that is thousands of pages of not-too-easy-to-read instructions and have made it a breeze (for most) to complete their taxes.
Government agencies are beginning to see this kind of experience is just what they need to do in times of budget reductions. Adobe has helped many government agencies follow this same approach. We look forward to sharing some examples with you as we move forward. In the meantime, let us know if you’d like to talk with us more about it. You can reach me via comments, on Twitter @alec_chalmers, and also connect with the Adobe Gov team on Twitter @AdobeGov.
We recently sat down with Alec Chalmers, Adobe’s vice president of National Government Solutions, to gain perspective on his area of expertise in the public sector. Alec’s work includes responsibility for national state and local governments, as well as select federal civilian agencies.
This is the first segment of a three-part interview. Today, Alec discusses:
In parts two and three, which we’ll post over the next few days, Alec discusses:
Keep your eyes on our blog for the next two parts of the conversation, and be sure you’re following us on Twitter @AdobeGov where we’ll communicate about it. Also, keep in touch with Alec on Twitter @alec_chalmers.
I recently had the opportunity to speak at FedScoop’s Citizen Engagement and OpenGov Summit here in Washington DC (if you haven’t, check out this brief video we shot directly afterward) It was a great event and I followed the GSA’s Director of the Center for Customer Excellence, Sheila Campbell, and her great presentation on customer experience.
“Hold on a second”, I said to myself after Sheila began her remarks. She just used the words “customer” and “experience” together, in the same sentence, at a government-focused event. As you may know, we’ve been talking a lot about Customer Experience Management (CEM) at Adobe. And I’ll admit I’ve been a little skeptical about use of the term “customer” in terms of government (ie, governments don’t have customers, they have citizens). Not so fast! I was now being corrected by Sheila and she wasn’t even 30 seconds into her discussion. I was sitting up straighter in my chair, paying very close attention now, and I was positive Mrs. Gregg, my favorite teacher of all time, would have been very proud of me and amazed at how far I have advanced since the 10th grade.
Luckily I had the opportunity to adapt some of my presentation after Sheila’s and it was good to really talk about CEM from the customer’s point of view. For governments it really doesn’t matter whether you call it Citizen or Customer Experience Management, the important part is that you focus on that experience.
But who really has the budget right now to worry about experience when you have so many other pressing issues in front of you: Budget deficits, do more with less, mission accomplishment, and the list goes on. Oh yeah, and while you’re doing all that ensure your citizens, employees, and soldiers are fully engaged in the process and make sure that “they’ll tell two friends, and so on, and so on.” Well, here’s what I think: You can and should focus on that citizen and customer experience now more than ever because it truly can ensure you do more with less while delivering on those ever-rising expectations.
Today’s citizens (just like every dot com customer, and really, aren’t they the same person?) have the expectation their experience with their government will be (or should be) similar to the experience they just had where they learned about a cool book online and then purchased it on their smartphone on the way to work. They want to interact with their government on their terms, when they want and need to, and on the devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, TV) to which they have access.
Great, but how does all of this save governments money? Maybe I’m being simple, but if you can educate your citizens on the services they’re entitled to while they’ve stumbled upon your website, then begin them on the path to an eligibility process on a smartphone (all while enabling them to avoid a call center or brick and mortar government office) you’ve saved money in at least a few places right there.
You also just made your process a heck of a lot more efficient while delighting your customer…oops, I meant citizen.
How can you start down this path? That’ll be for my next post…
Buy low, sell high
Possession is nine tenths of the law
Location. Location. Location.
These are timeless mantras with universal appeal that require no further explanation. Yet, with moderate accuracy, they tend to simplify and define the fundamentals of otherwise very complicated industries.
Similarly, in my opinion, the rapidly evolving role of IT throughout today’s healthcare ecosystem may be summed up in two words. Experience matters.
But don’t just take my word for it. Time and again research has shown that, among diverse healthcare stakeholders, a major determining factor of technology adoption is customer experience. And you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to understand that, regardless of how ground-breaking it may be, the success of any new product or solution hinges on the assumption that people will actually use it. Otherwise, it is useless.
During a recent interview for Focus Washington’s “Tech View”, I was asked about some of the financial “incentives for innovation” in healthcare resulting from the HITECH Act and the Health Reform legislation passed last year, as well as the role that customer experience plays in successfully bringing these innovations to market and beyond.
As a result of “Meaningful Use,” or that set of implementation criteria for electronic health records (EHRs) that determines eligibility for CMS incentive programs, providers are now expected to do more with their patients’ EHRs. In the long run, this will likely improve clinical workflow efficiencies and quality of care. Meanwhile, however, providers are demanding that these systems provide a higher level of functionality, usability, and overall customer experience.
To that end, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) is working with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to develop guidelines that measure usability for EHRs and other Health IT systems.
“All too often we hear from providers that they look forward to the day when the technology works for them instead of them working for the technology,” said Farzad Mostashari, MD, national coordinator for health information technology at ONC.
Health plans are learning the same lessons about customer experience in the payer segment. A recent report by Forrester (Best and Worst of Website User Experience, 2011: Health Insurers) evaluated the websites of seven leading health plans. Despite improved functional capabilities of some health insurers’ web presence, as they seek to leverage the power of social brand engagement, the report found that no insurer achieved a passing score; and in fact all had significant shortcomings in key areas.
That’s not to say that these companies aren’t adequately servicing their customers or generating year-over-year revenue growth. Instead, it unveils the alarming trend of a sizable missed opportunity for differentiation and brand loyalty in an uber-competitive market with low member switching costs. And in that case, the byproduct of an optimized customer experience can certainly be measured throughout the enterprise; but particularly in the bottom line.
In the end, it behooves any healthcare organization to protect their investments in technology by deploying solutions that were developed with the customer experience as a key focus. There, after all, is where the rubber meets the road. And how fast is an expensive turbo-charged sports car if all its tires are flat?
We were excited to sponsor and speak at last week’s FedScoop Citizen Engagement and Open Gov Summit at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The event brought together leading federal government and industry experts to discuss the state of open government and solutions to better engage citizens.
There was a lot of great discussion, including the morning keynote from Dave McClure (@drdavemcc), Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services & Innovative Technologies at GSA, and closing keynote from Chris Vein, US Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Government Innovation, Office of Science and Technology, Executive Office of the President (and, in his previous role with the City and County of San Francisco, the featured speaker at last year’s sf.govfresh event).
Our own Alec Chalmers, vice president of National Government Solutions, also spoke. Alec’s talk was titled “Citizen Experience at the Heart of Agency Missions”. We had a chance to catch a few minutes with Alec directly after the event. Check out the following video for Alec’s take on the event, some of the other speakers and what he covered in his speech.
If you were at the FedScoop event or watched some of the presentations online, let us know your thoughts in comments or on Twitter @AdobeGov.
As we’ve posted about in the recent past, the Adobe Gov UK team has been holding a monthly webinar series focused on the public sector.
Recent webinars have focused on Delivering and Designing Intuitive Online Services and on ID and Authentication for Online Services.
The latest in this webinar series took place last week, on May 12, and was devoted to Simplifying Service Transactions & Business Processes. The event included a strong panel:
The group addressed that public services are moving inexorably online, and the UK population is becoming ever more digitally savvy. But how do we take advantage of the best in technology developments to meet the needs of both the organization and the citizens it serves? Efficiency is essential, but is agile development the key? Does new technology solve old problems and deliver joined up processes and services? Or does the public sector silo mentality block the holistic thinking needed for a step change in performance?
An on-demand version of the webinar is now available; you’ll find it here. It runs approx 45 minutes. We hope you’ll check it out.
The next in this series of webinars is scheduled for June 14 and will be focused on Collaborating for the Future – Joined up Thinking and Joined up Working. You can register here.