The Focus on Citizen Experience Improves Trust in State and Local Government

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Over the years, government trust at all levels has decreased. Citizens tend to trust local and state governments more than the federal government and trust individual agencies more than governments as a whole. A recent Deloitte survey examined trust in government agencies, and in this post, we’ll look at the survey takeaways and how focusing on the citizen experience can enhance trust.

What is trust?

According to Deloitte, “Trust is the combination of beliefs, perceptions, and feelings, shaped by our individual and collective experiences.” Citizens trust agencies that display the following trust signals:

: truly cares about people
Transparency: openly shares data and decision-making processes
Capability: creates quality solutions and meets expectations
Reliability: delivers services to all constituents

Who is trusted more?

Not surprisingly, the most trusted parts of government are retail or retail-like, which provide goods or services to customers. In the Deloitte survey, the top three agencies in terms of trust are childcare services, housing assistance, and food assistance. However, two of the bottom in terms of trust are also retail-like: DMV and unemployment services. These retail-like government functions are often understaffed, bogged down by backlogs of work, and have outdated systems (COVID made these problems even more evident).

There was also a strong correlation between trust and citizens’ experience with digital services in the survey. Trust scores are higher when a government’s digital services are easy-to-use. Agencies that provide digital services scored higher than those that do not. Most interestingly, when citizens interact with agencies through digital services, trust in the whole of government goes up.

Building trust through digital services

A big takeaway from the Deloitte survey is that your agency’s trust score enhances when offering easy-to-use online services such as public records requests. But it’s simply not enough to provide a basic online fillable PDF form or an email link on a website. All those do is allow your employees to get inundated with requests while providing no assurances to citizens that anything will happen after they click send.

Today, customers are savvier and have higher expectations. They want—and rightfully so— their data safeguarded. They also want the online experiences to be as easy as shopping online with the ability to access a wide range of services from home. No one wants to use their lunch break standing in line to fill out a form.

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Get Online, Not In Line

JustFOIA provides a comprehensive suite of records requests solutions that speed up and simplify citizen access to data and information. 

Agencies can create an online account through the public portal where citizens can make and track requests, conduct research, find frequently requested information, receive notifications, and pay invoices online. 


Customized, intelligent forms seamlessly integrate with your website and help gather required data while allowing requesters to remain anonymous.

With all records requests managed through a central platform and standardized process, your employees can quickly fulfill requests. Workflow automation routes tasks to the correct departments and escalates past due items, driving requests to completion and helping to maintain compliance. With the Laserfiche integration, your agency can transition to 100% paperless. Finally, all data and systems run safely and securely in MS Azure’s Government Cloud, so citizens are assured 24/7 access to the information they seek. Learn more about our security features.

Want to learn more about improving citizen experience and trust through our online document solutions? Please check out our personalized product tour.