lone woman

The holiday season is fast approaching — and marketers are increasingly thinking about ways they can capitalize on digital experience (DX) to delight, excite and incite purchases from customers.

But here’s the reality: it’s hard to get excited about the holidays if you’re one of the millions of people who are currently unemployed.

I’m originally from southeastern Michigan, and Detroit has seen its share of hard times, especially during the holiday season. Thankfully, though, Detroit is pulling itself out of its misery.

With the news that the state’s monthly unemployment level was below the national average for the first time since 2000, I began to think about what the State of Michigan could teach the other 49 states — or the “parent company” in our nation’s capital in Washington, DC — when it comes to not just getting people back to work, but providing the most optimal experiences and interactions needed to get people back to work.

The way I see it, every industry and every vertical within those industries can benefit from DX strategies.

Chief Experience Officers for USA INC.

If you’ve ever been let go from a job, having a great support system around you is crucial for achieving a personal turnaround.

The Constitution of the United States states that we, people, can form a more perfect union and promote the general welfare of others. Yet, the government does a poor job of promoting the welfare of those who are looking for work.

That needs to change.

Let's face facts — not many people like the government. But think about the state and federal governments as our nation's largest HR department.

While labor departments are theoretically here to help us Americans, they are doing a poor job of creating a good experience connecting us with their brand of USA INC.

The system in which Americans file, receive and secure unemployment assistance is as about as archaic as the pink slip, itself.

Albeit a hard road, finding a job should be an uplifting experience. Yet our government systems and processes make it difficult for to get the support that is needed.

So What’s the DX Connection?

On November 3 and 4, CMSWire is hosting the DX Summit in Chicago (find me when you’re in town, eh?).

The topics and discussions will span the future of digital customer experience in a wide range of industries.

For those who are in the business of designing digital customer experiences for clients in the public sector, there is no bigger “client” in need of a boost than the United States Government, and we can start with the unemployment systems.

Improving the Experience of Unemployment

I thought this could be a “collaborative” column where we tap experience design pros —like, I don’t know, say the readers of CMSWire — to think about how they would improve the experience of working with the government when they need it most.

Maybe we can turn this into a LinkedIn discussion.

I am not an expert here and don’t profess to be one. I do know, however, that millions of people around the country would appreciate a helping hand so we can, one day, form a more perfect union.

  • Look at airlines and hotels about how to put people ahead of process. When we call Southwest Airlines, we get a person to address our reservation. When a guest stays at a Ritz-Carlton, everyone acts as if they were the concierge. The government has a lot of underutilized people; let’s use them to help solve problems as opposed to creating more processes.
  • Define your government as your partner and ally. Show them ways they can be friends to people as if they were brands. Amplify those examples and show them how to do it. And don’t always rely on technology to do it.
  • Create unemployment “partners.” Not everyone knows how to optimize technology to its fullest advantage. For those who need assistance, create a partnership program to get people introduced to technology and show them ways to make it more personalized for their lives.

Got Ideas to Share?

This Nov. 3 and 4, at the W Hotel City Center in Chicago, CMSWire will sponsor two solid days of all-out discussion and introspection on the topics related to digital customer experience.

DX Summit 2015 will feature Forrester’s Mark Grannan, plus numerous other industry leaders in the DX space including: Tony Byrne, founder and CEO of Real Story Group; Tami Cannizzaro, senior director, Marketing at eBay; Mike Gilpin, CTO of Siteworx; Bruno Herrmann, director of Globalization at The Nielsen Company; Deb Lavoy, founder and CEO of Narrative Builders; Meghan Walsh, senior director, Global Marketing at Hilton Worldwide; and Melissa Webster, VP, Content and Digital Media Tech at International Data Corporation (IDC).

Here’s your opportunity to come together and discuss the future of digital customer experience, in all its many incarnations. I'm looking forward to it. Why don't you register today?

Title image by Molly Porter