Biden seeks more than $500M for CX in 2025 budget

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New digital service teams and a focus on the "voice of the customer" are among the customer experience funding requests in the FY2025 budget request.

The Biden administration wants investments in customer experience work across government as part of its 2025 budget request, which includes asks for governmentwide projects as well as agency-specific investments. 

Improving the experiences of individuals going to the government for services has long been a priority for the White House, dating back to a 2021 executive order on the topic and more recently evident in new guidance on digital experience from the Office of Management. 

“The federal government interacts with millions of people each day and provides vital services during some of the most critical moments in people’s lives,” one budget document states. But “federal services have not always been designed with the public’s needs and priorities in mind, nor have these services always kept up with these needs.”

The White House says that the 2025 budget includes over $500 million meant to modernize services, reduce administrative burdens and pilot online tools.

One focus is workforce. The budget asks for investments in CX and digital service teams in 10 departments and sub-agencies, including new teams at Customs and Border Protection, the Administration for Children and Families and Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as a department-level team at the Patent and Trademark Office. The administration also seeks investments to expand existing CX teams at the IRS and other agencies.

The budget request also asks for the retention and hiring over 170 full-time equivalent feds with CX and digital service skills to do work like mapping customer journeys, analyzing feedback and leading design improvements. 

And it also looks to fund new “voice of the customer” programs — which collect data on CX drivers — at eight agencies. 

The administration also isn’t done with its so-called life experience projects, meant to improve how Americans interact with government during discrete times, like retirement. The budget includes over $30 million for these interagency projects. That includes $11 million in funding to the Department of Health and Human Services to work on income verification services for benefits and determinations for benefits across agencies. 

The budget request also includes about $55 million across 11 agencies for digital experience work via project work with the White House’s U.S. Digital Service — which itself is the subject of an ask for $30 million.

Inside federal agencies

Agencies are also making their own pitches to Congress for CX funding. 

The Social Security Administration says that a requested $1.3 billion increase will be critical to efforts to improve customer experience. SSA is looking to reduce the wait time for individuals to get an initial disability claim decision, which currently takes six to eight months, according to the agency

The administration is also requesting that Congress restore the approximately $20 billion of the Inflation Reduction Act that was clawed back as part of a debt ceiling agreement last year. The White House says that ongoing investments will help the agency staff customer service functions and continue initiatives to expand digital, phone and in-person options for taxpayers.

The Transportation Security Administration would also get $3 million under the budget request to pilot a Customer Experience Model at four airports to streamline the experience of travelers, and the Office of Personnel Management is looking for $3 million to develop a digital file system and online retirement application to support federal retirement service. 

Finally, the Department of Housing and Urban Development also wants to expand its digital self-service portal and pilot a CX project meant to make the process better for  people seeking affordable housing.