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Only 3 Percent of Federal Job Ads Contain the Word 'Customer'


USAJOBS, the website used by jobseekers applying for almost every kind of federal career, got a much-needed makeover this week, incorporating a series of “user-friendly” features designed to improve the experience of nearly 187 million users annually.

Now, maybe it's time for agencies posting openings to think about revamping job descriptions.

Earlier this week, the Partnership for Public Service, along with Accenture Federal Services, dropped new customer experience research. According to Kathy Conrad, Accenture Federal Services’ director of digital government, “only 3 percent of the postings on the federal job site actually reference the (word) ‘customer’” or similar terms.

That doesn’t bode well for the government’s fledgling efforts to improve customer service across agencies. While the Partnership for Public Service’s event showcased some of the government’s best customer experience efforts -- including Emma, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services’ virtual assistant -- the fact so few jobs across the federal space make any mention of customers is troubling.

Perhaps, Social Security Administration acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin said, the lack of customer-centric focus is a reflection of how agency mission statements neglect the word "customer," too. Many don’t reference the customer directly either, and agency’s customers are almost always explicitly referencing American citizens. 

“If an agency doesn’t have customer service in their mission statement, they might want to rethink that,” Colvin said.

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