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The citizen as a customer: from customer experience to citizen experience?

by Sergio Rossini


On 13 December, Joe Biden signed the Executive Order on Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government.

This is a strong signal that the American administration is giving to its citizens and, potentially, a powerful impulse for the development of CX, which until now has evolved from the bottom up, driven by a few companies that have understood its value.

Citizen Experience is for a citizen what Customer Experience is for a company’s customer.


However, a customer is not a citizen. Let’s look at the main differences.

The customer makes his choice. The customer pays only for the specific product or service he has chosen. The customer can change his mind and buy from competitors.

The citizen, on the other hand, when interacting with the Public Administration, claims a right that he has already paid for, but the PA acts in a monopoly regime, so the citizen has no alternative choice available to him.


What are the legitimate expectations of a citizen towards the PA?

They can be summarized by indicating easy and fast accessibility to services and transparency.

In Italy, we witnessed in November the launch of the ‘online digital registry office’, whereby it is already possible to download certificates from the Internet, whereas previously it was necessary to queue up at the municipal offices.


Much remains to be done. Local administrations still have paper archives, credit management is still unknown in the world of social housing (ATER, ALER and the like) and this prevents reinvestment in the maintenance and rehabilitation of new housing for those in need.

The bureaucracy for accessing the various tax bonuses can be greatly simplified; we now have the tools and skills to use them.

All these examples show how much PA can still work to improve and adopt a Citizen Experience model that can guide public administration investments and strategy.


A virtuous example comes from the work carried out by the Ater of Potenza, with the support and operational advice of Sagres, on the issue of rents for social housing.


Read more by listening to the interview with Domenico Esposito, former CEO of Ater Potenza:


Public Administration: Domenico Esposito talks about his experience with Sagres

Pubblica Amministrazione: Domenico Esposito ci parla della sua esperienza con Sagres

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