Upgraded Websites Produce Happier Citizens

A new survey reveals that government investments in online portals bring results, in the form of improved customer satisfaction.

by / February 7, 2013

The migration of American citizens over the past several years -- away from lines in government offices toward the online homes of public-sector agencies -- is well documented. According to an article in FCW, this trend is continuing, and a new report indicates that Americans are happier for it.

The most recent American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) reveals an overall bump in the public's satisfaction with the federal government. More than 68 percent are satisfied, up 2.2 percent over 2011 levels. The main reason for the increase? More citizens are going online to access government services, and they appreciate efforts directed at improving the customer experience on the Web.

Top marks go to programs of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Health and Human Services (HHS), with several other departments earning scores in the high 80s. Citizen satisfaction with the U.S. Mint topped the survey at 95 percent.

At the other end of the scale, only 42 percent of citizens are satisfied with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), 46 percent report satisfaction with the Treasury Department's Bureau of the Public Debt, and 57 percent are satisfied with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

ACSI simultaneously released its analysis of consumer views on e-government communication. The E-Government Satisfaction Index, produced in conjunction with consumer analytics firm ForeSee, found that consumers communicating with the federal government via agency websites or email are happier than those who use more traditional methods like phone or mail.

"Now that citizens are accessing government services using mobile devices in addition to the Web, government initiatives should address the changing engagement landscape to ensure that citizens are satisfied with these cost-efficient channels," said Dave Lewan, ForeSee vice president and co-author of the e-government report.

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