With a look towards best practices in the private sector, the Defense Information Systems Agency wants to improve customer experience and find ways to measure their success in order to quantify their improvement.
“We’ve gone out to our customers, we’ve got working groups, where we bring in those that are interacting with DISA in various levels. So whereas they were doing it separately before. For example, to get a circuit, you go through a different process for a mobile device, you go through another process. And so looking at all of those groups to build working groups, so that way we can get the input from those user bases and the different processes that we have out there,” Caroline Bean, director of DISA’s Enterprise Service Directorate said on Federal Monthly Insights – Customer Experience.
DISA provides the Department of Defense and government with IT and communications support. That includes cloud, software and cybersecurity support among other communications tools.
The directorate put out a request for proposal in their efforts to try and streamline DISA’s customer experience by creating a single point of entry that customers will be able to use to place orders, check on fulfillments or ask questions.
Bean said what they hope to get in a proposal would be ways to automate their systems to offer more information, and get it to their customers faster. Managing ever increasing amounts of data also has to be factored in. She said private sector systems will likely be the key to a better customer experience.
“It’s really trying to bring in not just the ordering part of it, which is separate from the operational aspect of things. But it’s kind of bringing the two of them together. So that way I can tie it in the back end. I can know who my customers are. So if something does go down, I’m not learning it from my customers. I’m not learning it from the mission partners,” Bean said in an interview with Federal News Network’s Jason Miller.
Measuring the success of improvement can take on several forms, according to Bean. The directorate will use traditional methods such as surveys and customer feedback, but Bean also wants to put more advanced systems like robotics process automation in place to continuously monitor the customer experience.
“The way that I interact with the product, for example, as I’m ordering, or as I am looking at ordering, and what I’m clicking on within, how many jumps do I take, clicks do I take, to get to where I finally land. Those types of things, those behaviors of what a user does, and how it interacts with the system that it’s interacting with. That is something that can be captured analytics, or even using things like AI [artificial intelligence] or some process or machine learning,” Bean said.
As DISA upgrades its systems and seeks a more positive customer experience, security also plays a role. Bean said as they upgrade from legacy systems, new technology should bring security improvements with it as part of the package.
“I’m doing a lot of modernization, that’s actually a huge theme in the directorate, the past year now. And as we’re starting to modernize it, we’re putting user experience and cybersecurity at the forefront. And sometimes those can be at odds against each other. But I think it’s super important to be able to do both of those things. And then industry, of course, helps us get there with releasing products that already have the security aspects embedded and built-in instead of bulk trying to bolt it on later,” she said.