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Qualtrics Industry Research: Government Ranks Last at Listening to Customers and Employees

Last updated:  December 6, 2022

New Government Experience Trends Report shows opportunity for government agencies to improve customer and employee experiences

72% of those seeking government services say that government organizations must do a better job of listening – the highest total of any industry studied

Less than half (47%) of government employees report that their senior leadership values diverse perspectives

PROVO, Utah & SEATTLE (Dec. 6, 2022) – Government organizations globally underperform other industries at listening to their customers and employees, according to the 2023 Government Experience Trends Report, the first of the 2023 Industry Experience Trends research series from Qualtrics (Nasdaq: XM).

Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and waning public confidence, government leaders face one of the most challenging climates in modern history. To better understand the gap between expectations and experiences, Qualtrics surveyed nearly 8,000 consumers and over 2,000 employees across 27 countries about their experiences with government agencies this past year. The research helps inform government leaders about key areas of focus to improve public confidence and trust in governments’ ability to serve equitably and at scale.

Customer Experience Trends: make critical gains in satisfaction and trust by embracing digital, engaging communities and listening with the intent to serve every human

As inflation and rising costs of living continue to be a concern globally, people rely on their government for support more than ever. Yet among the four pillars of customer experience – satisfaction, trust, likelihood to recommend and likelihood to purchase again – government agencies underperform all other industries studied. Investing in customer experience capabilities pays off: following the release of President Biden’s Executive Order on transforming federal customer experience and service delivery to rebuild trust in government, the US saw signs of positive upward momentum in government customer experience. Access and ease of use are improving as more government services go digital, but key drivers like trust and empathetic listening need to remain areas of focus.

  • Just 61% of respondents reported that they are satisfied with their government, 16 percentage points lower than the global cross-industry average.
  • Only 62% reported that they trust their government, 12 percentage points lower than the global cross-industry average.
  • 72% of respondents globally — the highest of any industry studied – said government agencies must do a better job of listening.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty and the looming challenges of climate change, the role of government has become more important than ever, making trust all the more critical to its success. By embracing digital transformation and proactively engaging communities to listen and act on residents’ needs and experiences, governments can better provide critical services to all, build a culture of empathy and action, and close the gap in public trust.

Employee Experience Trends: attract and retain top talent by investing in growth and development, personalizing benefits and focusing on diversity and purpose

Government organizations face a labor shortage at a time when their services are most needed.  Current government employees continue to face challenges with career development, fair pay and feeling heard by senior leaders – all factors that may be contributing to 35% of government employees saying they feel burned out and 40% saying they don’t care as much about their work as they used to.

  • Only 57% of government employees reported their career goals can be met at their organization (down 7 percentage points from last year), and only about half (52%) reported having meaningful career development discussions with their manager.
  • Just a third (33%) of government employees believe their pay is linked to performance, 17 percentage points lower than the global cross-industry average. Further, only about half (52%) said that their agency’s benefits meet their needs, 8 percentage points lower than the global cross-industry average and down 12 percentage points from last year.
  • Less than half of government employees (48%) said senior leadership responds to feedback from employees, and just 47% said senior leadership values diverse perspectives. Government agencies need to demonstrate to employees that their perspectives are valued, including the government’s role in serving everyone – particularly underrepresented and underserved communities.

Despite these findings, government employees are more likely to report they intend to stay at their organization for more than 3 years (69%), compared to the cross-industry average of 64%. While government employees remain driven by the meaningful work they do, there is an opportunity for agencies to prioritize a better experience for dedicated employees. By listening to employees’ needs and experiences at work – and by investing in career development, effective employee tools and perks like flexible work and well-being resources – government agencies can show employees that their work is valued, and that they are valued as people.

“Governments around the world, including ours in the US, are at a critical moment of opportunity to strengthen their institutions,” said Dr. Sydney Heimbrock, Chief Industry Advisor for Government at Qualtrics. “The key to this is bringing a human-centered, customer and employee focus into their organizational DNA. These findings show that by committing to better listening and engagement across communities – and investing in technology that enables intelligent, automated actions – governments can be best equipped to navigate this environment of uncertainty and better serve all – both employees and the public.”

For more, read the full 2023 Government Experience Trends Report.

This research marks the first part of Qualtrics’ 2023 Industry Experience Trends research series that examines customer and employee experiences across global industries including government, education and healthcare.

About Qualtrics XM for Government 

Qualtrics helps government organizations design experiences that build public trust and foster community engagement by putting people at the center of every government experience. As the most comprehensive platform for strategic experience management, Qualtrics enables government organizations to capture feedback across every touchpoint and journey, streamline workflows and automate actions to continuously improve the experience of communities and employees. Its unmatched ability to capture unsolicited feedback and create segments based on actual experiences helps government agencies design more inclusive and effective services, programs and policies. Qualtrics is an ISO 27001, FedRAMP compliant and HITRUST certified experience management platform, so organizations can confidently collect and analyze data knowing sensitive information is secure. The solutions are used by more than 350 state, provincial and local government organizations and 90 federal offices to harness the power of resident and employee sentiment to design policies and provide services the public needs most. To learn more, please visit

About Qualtrics

Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management category, is changing the way organizations manage and improve the four core experiences of business—customer, employee, product and brand. Over 16,750 organizations around the world use Qualtrics to listen, understand and take action on experience data (X-data™)—the beliefs, emotions and intentions that tell you why things are happening, and what to do about it. The Qualtrics XM Platform™ is a system of action that helps businesses attract customers who stay longer and buy more, engage employees who build a positive culture, develop breakthrough products people love and build a brand people are passionate about. To learn more, please visit

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Media Contact:

Geraldine Lim