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Updated OMB Guidance Includes Expanded Definitions of Customers, Service Delivery; Stephanie Thum Quoted

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has made major changes to a section of its Circular A-11 guidance that deals with enhancing customer experience and service delivery, Nextgov reported Wednesday.

Under the updated Section 280 guidance, OMB broadened the definitions of a federal government customer, which now includes organizations, businesses and individuals that interact with a government program or agency, “either directly or via a federal contractor or even a federally-funded program.” Customers also include federal employees and public servants.

The updated section presents a more detailed definition of service delivery and adds data and research and regulatory to last year’s five types of government services: benefits, administrative, informational, recreation and compliance.

The document suggests ways how agencies should measure customer experience and summarizes the core CX functions in the categories of governance and strategy, measurement, service design and improvement, culture and organization and customer understanding.

“OMB is meshing these concepts together, and we’re seeing crossover and a fusing together in practicing customer experience,” said Stephanie Thum, former vice president of customer experience at Export-Import Bank.

“What I sense here is that we’re moving away from guidance that acts as a compliance checklist and toward a language that is queuing us toward a business discipline. These are things that make a lot of sense,” Thum added.