SALT LAKE CITY — With an eye toward leveraging a tool from the tech world, the state of Utah will test a new survey platform to assess residents' experiences with state services from a customer-centric perspective.
Provo-based Qualtrics announced Friday that the state will begin using its Qualtrics XM Platform, a suite of survey tools that allow companies, or government organizations, to gather and assess data from customers, or residents, and employees. The company's product, which began life as a tool for academic researchers, combines simple surveys with deep analytics to assess an individual's overall experience.
A Qualtrics spokesman noted Utah is the first state in the nation to launch a statewide customer experience program and the company's CEO, Ryan Smith, said it's an effort every state government should consider engaging.
"We are excited to be partnering with the state of Utah on this incredible initiative," Smith said in a statement. "The team Utah has assembled is committed to providing great citizen experiences while also tackling major issues like the opioid epidemic that are impacting communities everywhere."
"Every state in the U.S. needs a program like this. Not only will it allow states to handle the major issues they have to tackle, but it will also allow them to more effectively attract top talent and cutting-edge organizations to their states."
At the Qualtrics annual user conference earlier this year, Smith noted the benefit of the company's platform is using a data-driven system, instead of intuition or anecdotal evidence, to determine exactly how effective a client's products or services are, through the eyes of those who use them.
"Eighty percent of CEOs think they’re providing an amazing experience, but only 8 percent of consumers agree," Smith said. "The gap between what you think is happening and what’s really happening is called the experience gap."
While the state is still working out exactly how it will deploy the surveys to begin gathering input from Utah residents, Kirsten Cox, executive director of the Utah Governor's Office of Budget and Management, said the goal will be to utilize the data to improve the efficiency of state government operations.Comment on this story
“Utah has always been committed to understanding the needs of its customers and providing top-notch services," Cox said in a statement. "Since 2012, state government has improved performance by more than 25 percent, which is a win for taxpayers, customers and employees. We are constantly looking for opportunities to improve.
"We will test out this new product to determine if it provides new insights and is cost effective. We are excited to see what value it can bring.”
Correction: An earlier version incorrectly identified Qualtrics as being based in Lehi. The company headquarters is in Provo.