A Toolkit for Customer Experience Leadership in Government With CCO Anahita Reilly – CB74

Episode Overview

Did you know that government agencies are working hard to embed customer experience strategies in their operating plan and mindset? In this episode, Anahita Reilly walks us through her customer experience maturity map and actions to unite the leadership team, map the customer journey and drive transformation.

Meet Anahita, CCO and Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

Anahita Reilly is the Chief Customer Officer for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) where she and her team work to improve the end-to-end experience of GSA customers by aligning operations to customer needs. They do so with the use of quantitative and qualitative data and Human-Centered Design methods to identify and implement process and technology solutions to improve the Agency’s customer experience. Before joining GSA, Anahita led Data Analytics and Budget work at the Department of the Treasury with a mission to use real-time resource management data to improve managerial decision making. Anahita is a certified Lean Six Sigma (LSS) green belt and Project Management Professional (PMP) with prior experience consulting for both public and private-sector organizations. In her free time, Anahita enjoys practicing and teaching yoga and spending time with her family.

Use Human-Centered Design to Transform Your Customer Experience Methodology

Episode74 Main Takeaway

One of the biggest themes of this episode is the importance of using Human-Centered Design methods to transform the customer experience for internal and external stakeholders. In order to work through implementing new customer experience designs, you’re operating in a form of change management, which is essentially like change therapy. Of course, with therapy, there’s a lot of analysis and breaking down of data in order to make improvements through gradual steps. With this, comes the need to be understanding and adaptable to change.

Additionally, this transformative work ties into the importance of working together in a united front to achieve the overall objectives of your company or agency. Ultimately, Anahita informs us of how important it is to set up customer roadmaps that are inclusive of the journeys of all customers, especially your employees, the backbone of your company.

Key Takeaways

  1. Based on company or agency priorities, surveys are still a helpful tool for collecting customer feedback and assessing your current standing with your customers and their needs. Do not forget that these surveys should also be created for your employees; it’s critical that you understand their views on internal processes and procedures as well (inclusive of onboarding, putting in IT requests, etc.). It really needs to be considered that as an employee, you’re an active part of what you’re doing.
  2. You need to understand what’s happening beyond what your customers say they explicitly want or need. Deep assessment is necessary and important to identify and unpack issues.
  3. When it comes to internal organization and processes, the work should be less about ownership and more about uniting and creating, and embedding competencies so that you’ve got consistency in the methodology that will help guide you to your common goal.  Sometimes ownership becomes a wedge in moving forward in a teamwork approach.
  4. It’s not just enough to have a good idea and try to tackle that, but you also have to think long-term of what the end user experience is going to be like.

The Pay it Forward Question: What do you know NOW that you wish you knew THEN?


“Talk about customer experience as much as possible across all levels of the organization. Highlight any and all wins, large and small no matter what: highlight the great work across the agency that employees are doing on behalf of their customers day in and day out. I wish we had done this earlier and talked about it more.

When employees learn there’s a group within the agency that cares about this recognition, it gets them more excited and they’re even more empowered.”

“… And don’t be scared to try new things and be transparent! If you fail, fail fast. Learn from it and talk about it, and move on. In your own job, there’s always something you can do – no matter how big or how small, so go for it!”

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