ANN ARBOR — The customer satisfaction analysis firm ForeSee has issued its quarterly ForeSee E-Government Satisfaction Index, showing overall citizen satisfaction with government services online rose marginally to 75.1 in the fourth quarter from 75 in the third quarter.
The index uses more than 220,000 survey responses to post 0-to-100 satisfaction scores on 100 federal government websites, mobile sites and applications.
The proprietary ForeSee methodology identifies key drivers of online satisfaction and quantifies their relationship to overall citizen satisfaction, and has been proven to predict how citizens will behave in the future. A score of 80 or higher is considered the threshold for excellence.
Thirty-one sites achieved an excellent rating, led by the Social Security Administration’s Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs, socialsecurity.gov/i1020, with a score of 90.
Many of these sites outperformed several top private-sector brands such as Amazon (83), L.L.Bean (82) and Apple (80) in satisfaction.
IRS.gov significantly improved citizen experience, achieving the largest quarterly score increase in the Index’s history — the Treasury Department’s main website, IRS.gov, achieved a citizen satisfaction score of 72 in Q4, a 15-point increase from Q3.
A likely driver of this growth was new functionality introduced by the IRS in 2014 — Direct Pay, a secure service that enables citizens to pay an individual tax bill or make an estimated tax payment directly from a checking or savings account at no additional cost. This new service was introduced right before Q4 and may have helped to improve overall satisfaction with the site. The elevation in customer experience comes at a vital time as the agency is now in the midst of tax season, its busiest time of the year.
Sites scoring 60 or below, indicating major troubles, included the Department of Labor’s Disability.gov site and the VA main website, va.gov, both scoring 56; the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration main website, fmcsa.dot.gov, at 57; and the Department of Health and Human Services’ grants.gov site and the Treasury Department’s treasurydirect.gov site, both of which scored 60.
Mobile e-government, meanwhile, failed to meet rising citizen expectations. For the second straight quarter, the aggregate satisfaction score for visitors using federal mobile sites and apps decreased, from 78 in the third quarter to 77 in the fourth, according to the ForeSee Mobile Federal Government Benchmark.
In order to help improve the citizen experience on mobile sites and apps, ForeSee said government agencies need to prioritize their efforts in key areas. At the aggregate, navigation (the organization of the site and options for navigation) was the top driver of satisfaction, followed by look and feel and site information (the accuracy, quality and freshness of news, information and content on the site). Each site or app’s intended purpose is different so digital leaders should prioritize improvements specific to their constituents’ needs.
“Despite red tape and limited resources, it’s clear that federal organizations are doing a good job keeping up with ever-changing expectations of citizens in today’s multichannel environment,” said Dave Lewan, vice president of Ann Arbor-based ForeSee, a business unit of St. Louis, Mo.-based Answers Corp. “By understanding what shapes citizen satisfaction, agencies can become more agile in their approach to meeting these expectations, while also helping to create a stronger, more productive dialogue with their audience. In our latest e-gov report I outline seven steps that are designed to help federal agencies improve citizens’ digital experiences, offering cues from the private sector that deliver a more personalized user experience when providing critical information that impacts citizens’ lives and livelihoods.”
Sites are grouped into e-commerce and transactional; news and information; portals and department main sites; and career and recruitment sites.
For a complete copy of the report, visit this link. http://www.foresee.com/resources/white-papers-research/foresee-e-government-satisfaction-index-q4-2014/