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Author's profile photo Ryan van Leent

Qualtrics for Public Sector

What is Qualtrics?

Qualtrics brings together customer, employee, product and brand experience insights on a single integrated XM (Experience Management) platform. Experience Management is the process of monitoring every interaction people experience with an organisation to predict and prevent problems before they occur, and to spot opportunities for improvement. Qualtrics does this by augmenting O-data (operational data that provides insights into what has happened) with X-data (experience data that provides insights into why it has happened) to inform business decisions in real-time. On 11 November 2018, it was announced that Qualtrics would be acquired by SAP, with the acquisition expected to close in the first half of 2019.

Is Qualtrics relevant to the Public Sector?

Qualtrics is usually positioned as software to help turn customers into fanatics, employees into ambassadors, products into obsessions, and brands into religions. As a taxpayer, I doubt I’ll ever be fanatical about paying my taxes, or any great ambassador for the revenue collection agency! In fact, most citizens would prefer not to have a relationship with government, as evidenced by the trend towards self-service / naturally connected systems and low-touch / straight-through processing. To establish relevance, we need to scratch below the surface of these terms…

Customer Experience (CX)

Minimal translation is required here, since many government agencies refer to citizens as customers (also constituents, beneficiaries, etc), and most have service commitments related to providing high-quality customer service. With this in mind, the objective of Qualtrics CX is to improve the customer experience through…

  1. Engaging with customers on their terms:
    • Getting straight to the issues that matter most to them, in their circumstance;
    • Engaging when and where it suits them, via their preferred channel; and
    • Improving services through continual monitoring of the customer’s journey.
  2. Predicting and preventing problems before they occur:
    • Finding actionable insights buried in big data holdings;
    • Understanding relationships, patterns and trends; and
    • Predicting at-risk customers to enable early intervention.
  3. Empowering employees with actionable customer insights:
    • Putting the right data in front of the right person at the right time;
    • Enabling collaboration across multi-disciplinary teams; and
    • Integrating Experience Management into every aspect of service delivery.

Provo City ( is an excellent example of CX in Public Sector. Provo City applied Qualtrics to collect representative feedback from residents in real-time, to inform policy decisions that would affect quality of life, real estate and zoning in the city.

Employee Experience (EX)

Again, minimal translation is required, since many government agencies refer to their staff as employees (also service delivery officers, case workers, etc), and most are concerned with improving employee efficiency through initiatives such as workforce management and embedded analytics. With this in mind, the objective of Qualtrics EX is to improve employee efficiency through…

  1. Improving throughput without increasing the workforce:
    • Automating repetitive and time-consuming processes using intelligent tools; and
    • Leveraging pre-built content to deliver new system capabilities faster.
  2. Empowering employees with personalized tools:
    • Delivering focused insights via role-based tools; and
    • Simplifying permissions to view and manage data.
  3. Improving decision-making capability through continuous learning:
    • Predicting patterns and trends in workload; and
    • Empowering decision-makers with intelligent analytics.

Deseret Industries ( is an excellent example of EX in a Non-Profit Organisation. Deseret Industries applied Qualtrics to measure and improve the performance of their workforce of over 50,000 associates and volunteers, who deliver vocational, rehabilitation, counselling and job placement services to vulnerable people.

Product Experience (PX)

Although some government agencies do refer to the services they offer as products (also programs, benefits, etc), some translation could be helpful in this case. As consumers, we tend to think of products as manufactured goods (e.g. wheelchair), but a broader definition might also include services (e.g. counselling), and in a government context the product is often a monetary benefit (e.g. pension). With this broader definition in mind, the objective of Qualtrics PX is to improve product effectiveness through…

  1. Tailoring products based on customer needs:
    • Identifying patterns and trends in product usage;
    • Optimizing products based on real-world service delivery experience; and
    • Alerting employees to service delivery issues in real-time.
  2. Reducing the lag time associated with implementing new products:
    • Informing policy and program development based on real-world service delivery experience; and
    • Optimizing the roll-out of new products to target customers. is an excellent example of PX in Public Sector ( The US Federal Government applied Qualtrics to collect consumer feedback and make targeted improvements to the website being used by millions of Americans to apply for health insurance products.

Brand Experience (BX)

This is the concept most in need of translation, since most government agencies aren’t concerned with inspiring brand loyalty in the commercial marketing sense. But what is important to governments is building awareness of the services available to citizens. In particular, agencies want vulnerable people to be aware of their entitlement to benefits, to prevent bad situations getting worse (this is the concept of the social safety net). In addition, agencies may want to maintain contact with customers (and even former customers) to enable early intervention (some agencies impose reporting obligations for this purpose). Through this lens, the objective of Qualtrics BX is to improve citizen awareness of government services through…

  1. Matching the right products to the right customers:
    • Customizing outreach to capture the attention of target cohorts; and
    • Identifying patterns and trends in customer awareness.
  2. Tailoring campaigns to optimize effectiveness:
    • Segmenting customers for targeted outreach; and
    • Customizing messaging and presentation to the target cohorts.
  3. Driving consistency across all service delivery channels:
    • Connecting customer interactions across online and offline channels; and
    • Visualizing the customer journey to enable longitudinal analysis.

ComEd ( is an excellent example of BX in the PS-related industry of Utilities. ComEd applied Qualtrics to improve customer understanding of services being delivered, and to tailor communications so that they would be well received by target customers.

How does Qualtrics map to SAP’s vision for the Intelligent Enterprise?

SAP’s acquisition of Qualtrics enables us to bring together the O-data held within SAP systems with X-data collected by Qualtrics, to deliver the vision of the Intelligent Enterprise for our customers.

As illustrated below, SAP’s Global Public Sector IBU has created a Public Sector Value Chain for the Intelligent Enterprise. The Value Chain describes how intelligent technologies can support closed-loop policy development and end-to-end service delivery processes, from reform to policy; policy to operation; operation to outcome; and outcome back to reform.

If we overlay the concepts of O-data and X-data, we can see that O-data is primarily generated and utilized by service delivery agencies, whereas X-data is of primary interest to policy agencies. Another way to say this is that the administrative arm of government is primarily concerned with what has happened, while policymakers are primarily concerned with why it has happened.

In this way, the combination of O-data and X-data provides data-driven insights to strengthen the voice of the administrative arm of government to policymakers, and gives agencies the evidence to influence legislative change based on real-world service delivery experience.

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      Author's profile photo Joy Kennedy
      Joy Kennedy

      Fantastic example of how this enhances the solution portfolio for the public sector.  Exciting times ahead #embracingchange

      Author's profile photo Carlos Alberto Valentini
      Carlos Alberto Valentini

      Good morning, Ryan.
      Excellent post.
      Very detailed, I personally had doubts about the flow of the process, but now it has become much easier to understand.