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Unlocking Better Customer Experience in Government


At the recent Government Innovation Exchange hosted by Carahsoft and the Public Sector Network, industry experts gathered to discuss transforming customer experience (CX) in government. Among the standout voices was Joshua Millsapps, CEO of Millsapps, Ballinger & Associates (MB&A). With extensive experience in public and private sectors, Joshua shared actionable insights and practical strategies for enhancing CX in government.

Best Practices for Customer Experience

Joshua Millsapps kicked off by highlighting a critical difference between commercial and government CX: the ability to measure success.

“In the commercial sector, we look at the lifetime value of a customer, which gives us a clear scoreboard,” he said. “In government, it’s about finding other metrics—like time taxes and the number of steps required to achieve a task.”

One example Joshua shared was his work with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He emphasized the importance of understanding the customer journey.

“The VA focused on how veterans navigate the healthcare system, mapping out each step to identify and eliminate pain points,” he explained. This approach can be applied across agencies to streamline processes and improve user satisfaction.

The Importance of Real-Time Feedback

Joshua stressed the need for real-time feedback to truly understand and improve customer interactions.

“If we provide a digital form, we need to track where users pause—that’s a potential sticking point,” he noted. MB&A’s technology allows for capturing immediate feedback, which is crucial for iterative improvements. “Sometimes, if you don’t get feedback in the moment, you’re never gonna get it.”

Strategic Shifts and Overcoming Unfunded Mandates

A significant challenge in government CX is the lack of dedicated funding. As other panelists pointed out, “Even though CX is a top priority, it often comes as an unfunded mandate.”

However, this shouldn’t deter agencies from making improvements. “It’s all about culture. A cultural shift can drive significant changes even without additional funds.”

The strategic shift is maybe something you wouldn’t imagine coming from a CEO of a SaaS company. Joshua is quoted, “As an industry, so often the jump is to the technology and the end result. I want dashboards and feedback surveys. While there are so many interventions that we can take that are simpler, these solutions are just about plain language, accessibility, and culture.”

Actionable Steps for Agencies

For agencies looking to enhance their CX, the panel offered several actionable steps:

  1. Map the Customer Journey: Understand every step your customers take and identify pain points. Get out of the office and do it.

  2. Capture Real-Time Feedback: Use technology to get immediate insights into where users struggle.

  3. Embrace a Culture of Service: Foster a mindset where everyone, from executives to frontline employees, is committed to improving CX and taking action.

How MB&A Solutions Address CX Challenges

MB&A’s suite of products is designed to tackle these challenges. By leveraging the ExAM Platform on Salesforce to communicate more clearly and collect data more intuitively, government agencies can not only enhance their CX but also ensure that they are well-equipped to meet the needs of their constituents efficiently and effectively today and tomorrow.


Improving customer experience in government is challenging but achievable. By focusing on the customer journey, leveraging real-time feedback, and fostering a culture of service, public sector agencies can make meaningful strides. Joshua Millsapps’ and the rest of the panel’s insights from the Government Innovation Exchange provide a valuable roadmap for these efforts.

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