WASHINGTON, D.C.—-A governmentwide push to improve the quality and scope of public customer services, available on agency websites, has gained momentum during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Agriculture Department, for example, the lead agency in the Trump administration’s overhaul of customer experience, has launched a digital strategy playbook that gives its subcomponents seven criteria to improve the services they provide online. The new customer service–is a big improvement from the failed MIDAS program that cost the American taxpayers almost a half billion dollars. MIDAS never delivered what the USDA promised–under former President Barack Obama and former Vice-President Joe Biden. MIDAS is another hidden failed program of candidate Biden/Obama’s administration–which failed to provide better services to our famers.
USDA officials based the document off the U.S. Web Design System launched by GSA’s Technology Transformation Services in January. It looks to give new dot-gov sites a familiar look and feel that users can navigate seamlessly on their mobile devices, but still gives agencies some creative leeway.
Simchah Suveyke-Bogin, USDA’s chief customer experience officer, said Monday that the agency created the strategy to give designers concrete ways to meet the customer experience goals of Congress and the Trump administration.
“We ended up understanding that there is a place that people need to go and a place that needs to be a little bit more clear of what to do and the direction to take,” Suveyke-Bogin said in a virtual conference hosted by TTS.
The playbook stands out as USDA’s effort to make it easier for its customers to find the services they’re looking for online. USDA last year began rolling out more features on Farmers.gov, a one-stop-shop aimed at better connecting farmers with services like farm loans.
But to get this far in improving the agency’s digital experience, Suveyke-Bogin said USDA’s chief information officer and the secretary’s office has spent the past few years bringing together webmasters and other website personnel to “jumpstart” website modernization across the entire agency.
During the initial phase of this project, USDA discovered its web presence had expanded to more than 1,200 domains.