ForeSee’s New E-Gov Satisfaction Index Reveals First Decline in Mobile

ANN ARBOR — Americans are increasingly unhappy with the quality of government services delivered over mobile devices.

That’s the conclusion of the 48th quarterly ForeSee E-Government Satisfaction Index, covering April, May and June 2015.

ForeSee said that for the first time, survey data showed a significant decline in satisfaction with services delivered on mobile.

The survey queried nearly 175,000 citizens on their experience and satisfaction with 100 government websites, mobile sites and applications.

Many agency sites with improved scores, meanwhile, saw traffic increases driven by current events, such as the a debate around immigration reform, the wave of retiring baby boomers and even the availability of rare coins from the U.S. Mint. Under increased citizen scrutiny, these sites were found to perform well, demonstrating the importance of streamlining the user experience and managing user expectations along the way.

Key findings from the latest E-Government Satisfaction Index include:

* The mobile E-Gov experience is down three points, from 79 to 76, marking the first-ever decline in citizen satisfaction for mobile. Overall E-Gov satisfaction is also down, from 74.7 to 74.5. Taken together, ForeSee says the scores suggest that citizens’ expectations for their digital experiences with government are aligning with their expectations for web and mobile sites they use in their daily lives, such as those for retail, banking or news organizations.
* E-Gov still continues to outperform overall government in citizen satisfaction: 74.5 for E-Gov according to ForeSee, versus 64.4 for government overall, according to the ACSI Federal Government Report 2014. The data confirms that E-Gov remains an effective tool for improving citizen perception of government’s ability to deliver on its promises.
* The ability to create a better digital experience builds citizen trust. This quarter, satisfied website visitors were 86 percent more likely to use the site as a primary resource and 90 percent more likely to put their trust behind the agency. For mobile, those that were highly satisfied with their experience were 60 percent more likely to return to the site or app and 91 percent more likely to recommend it. Again, the data suggest that positive experiences with E-Gov improve citizens’ perceptions of government. Meeting digital expectations can also address concerns before citizens go to more costly channels, such as a contact center, creating opportunities for reductions in overhead.

Current Events Influence E-Gov Scores

ForeSee said citizens’ digital experiences with government appear to correspond with socio-political developments that fall under federal purview, increasing traffic to some government sites. Some of these correlations of improved agency scores corresponding with larger events include:
* A Gold Rush: The Department of Treasury’s U.S. Mint Online Catalog and main website saw the biggest score improvement – a five point increase from 70 to 75. Heightened citizen attention to the site was sparked by the release of several rare gold coins by the mint early in the second quarter, which led to a 20 percent spike in site traffic according to Quantcast. Citizens found it simple to review the coins ahead of purchase and the checkout transaction to be easy.
* Immigration Policy Debate: The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Resource Center saw an increase in satisfaction from 82 to 85. At the beginning of Q2, the website saw a traffic increase of 75 percent, according to Quantcast, as a debate on immigration reform raged on Capitol Hill in April. The DOH site was ready with information that was regularly refreshed and easily navigable to help visitors better
understand the policies under discussion.
* Retiring Baby Boomers: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp’s MyPBA site experienced a three point improvement in satisfaction scores, from 75 to 78. While traffic data for MyPBA was not available, the site provides an online service for managing pension benefits. With an increasing number of baby boomers reaching retirement age, making pension-related transactions simple and pension benefits easy to review has been a design priority.

“The Q2 2015 ForeSee E-Government Satisfaction Index results demonstrate that the mobile experience makes a significant contribution to citizens’ overall sentiment about the federal departments, agencies and programs with which they engage,” said Dave Lewan, vice president at ForeSee and author of the report. “Agencies that scored highest this quarter used their limited resources to tightly couple site functionality with its stated purpose from the start and were able to offer an efficient and positive user experience when traffic increases occurred.”

To see a copy of the full report, visit this link.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index methodology was developed by Claes Fornell, a professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

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