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Mapping the Customer Experience at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Posted Aug 22, 2017

By Boris Arratia, Senior Advisor at the Performance Improvement Council


As part of the PIC’s mission to advance performance improvement in the federal government, we occasionally partner with agencies to help grow in-house capabilities on proven approaches to improve service delivery.  Recently, CMS partnered with the PIC team to explore the application of customer journey mapping on its customer-facing operations.  Customer journey mapping is a people-centric tool for designing optimal customer experiences. It creates a visual narrative of the customer’s thoughts and emotions along their journey to accomplishing a goal.  It shifts our view of a process from the inside-out to the outside-in and helps us understand the customer’s needs and pain points along their journey.  

Over the course of a year, PIC staff trained and coached a group of CMS employees who took on customer journey mapping projects in three topic areas supporting enhanced customer service for the Medicare and Marketplace programs.

Through this work, teams gained a deeper insight into how customers experience their services (their ups and downs) and identified improvements that will make a big difference in enhancing the customer’s experience.  The teams received very positive CMS leadership feedback and sparked a larger conversation on how to best apply customer journey mapping across the CMS enterprise.  

This PIC/CMS partnership enabled front line teams to demonstrate the power of customer journey mapping in targeting service delivery improvements on the areas that really matter to CMS customers.  The application of this citizen-centered approach to performance improvement has tremendous potential to transform service delivery across the federal government.  For more information on this effort, please contact Boris at