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New York to hire a “Chief Customer Experience Officer” to oversee digital ID plans

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New York state authorities plan to digitize access to various services and benefits and streamline it (i.e., launch single digital ID). And the authorities are selling this to the citizens under the label of improving “customer experience” and alleviating “customer frustration.”

It appears that no “customer experience” is complete without a “chief customer experience officer,” so the taxpayers can look forward to paying for one, whom Governor Kathy Hochul said will be hired shortly.

But the actual job description is either still unavailable to the public or has not yet been defined, and neither has the officer’s exact role, or the money needed to fund this scheme.

Nevertheless, all this will be made possible thanks to a state executive order that Hochul said she intends to sign, the order being the first in New York’s history that deals with “customer experience.”

“The (chief customer experience) officer would work to uncover when the root cause of an issue may stem from technology,” the state’s Chief Information Officer Tony Riddick is cited by the press.

The verbose announcement appears to be designed to skirt around the real issue at hand, and says that the incoming customer experience expert will work to make sure government-run websites are easy to use and understand, while any duplicate government accounts will be “consolidated.”

To achieve this, the officer and “all agencies” will be collecting feedback – and data – “to understand what customers need,” Riddick added.

He goes on to outline some possible, innocuous enough in and of themselves scenarios for “customer dissatisfaction,” such as accessing a slow government website – but in order to help, Riddick explains, some data about the “customer” will have to be collected.

For example – whether latency is created server-side – or if “an individual trying to access a website (is) in the bottom of a brownstone, with 2G connectivity.”

And for reasons of better experience and less frustration, “we have to figure that out with the data that we collect,” Riddick stated.

Citizens can also look forward to “more communication about their experiences” as a result of the planned scheme.

Quite ironically, given the tone of the press release that announced New York state’s plan, it goes on to say that dealing with one of the bad experiences – namely, confusing bureaucratic language – will be within the purview of the new officer.

And then we get to “the meat” of the whole thing – New York is preparing to launch ID+ – a service Riddick says “captures all of the information that we get from our customers into one identification.”

“The ID+ initiative would link together accounts belonging to the same person, giving the state a clearer view of its users. Knowing which activities are being conducted by the same person helps the state better detect, and pinpoint the source of, unusual activity,” said the announcement.

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