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The ForeSee 2014 Q4 E-Government Satisfaction Index Underscores Rising Importance of Digital Channels in Serving Citizens

Social Security Administration Once Again Outperforms Private-Sector Companies Amazon and Apple in Citizen Satisfaction; IRS.gov Sees Satisfaction Boost Just in Time for Tax Season

ANN ARBOR, MI (February 19, 2015)—ForeSee, Answers Corporation’s customer experience analytics solution, today released the ForeSee E-Government Satisfaction Index for Q4 2014, a comprehensive examination of citizens’ experiences with 100 federal government websites, mobile sites and applications. ForeSee collected more than 220,000 survey responses across 100 federal websites, including the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), rating agencies on a 100-point citizen satisfaction scale.

Now in its 13th year, the E-Government Satisfaction Index scores were calculated based on citizens’ responses to three questions related to their experience on a website, mobile site or mobile application as compared to their expectations. Proprietary ForeSee methodology from Answers™, which identifies key drivers of online satisfaction and quantifies their relationship to overall citizen satisfaction, has been proven to predict how citizens will behave in the future. A score of 80 or higher is considered the threshold for excellence.

Q4 2014 key findings include:

  • 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—These sites outperformed several top private-sector brands such as Amazon (83), L.L.Bean (82) and Apple (80) in satisfaction, as reported in the Answers Experience Index (AXI): 2014 U.S. Retail Edition. Average citizen satisfaction for e-government was 75.1 on the study’s 100-point scale, compared to 75.0 in Q3 2014.
  • IRS.gov significantly improved citizen experience, achieving 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. Direct Pay is 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.
  • Mobile e-government failed to meet rising citizen expectations—For the second consecutive quarter, the aggregate satisfaction score for visitors using federal mobile sites and apps decreased, from 78 in Q3 to 77 in Q4, according to the ForeSee Mobile Federal Government Benchmark. In order to help improve the citizen experience on mobile sites and apps, 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 ForeSee, an Answers™ solution. “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 experience, offering cues from the private sector that deliver a more personalized user experience when providing critical information that impacts citizens’ lives and livelihoods.”

A complete list of citizen satisfaction scores for individual federal government websites across categories including E-Commerce and Transactional, News and Information, Portals and Department Main sites, and Careers and Recruitment can be viewed in the latest report, the ForeSee E-Government Satisfaction Index (Q4 2014).


About Answers Corporation

Answers’ mission is to empower consumers, brands and organizations by connecting them with the information they need to make better-informed decisions. The Answers Platform leverages the sizable reach of top-10 Q&A site Answers.com (source: Quantcast), along with its leading cloud-based solutions from ForeSee, Webcollage and ResellerRatings, to enable businesses and organizations to engage with customers at every interaction point, drive investment decisions from customer insights and deliver content that powers the customer experience. Answers is headquartered in St. Louis with offices in Ann Arbor, New York City, Silicon Valley, Cleveland, London, Vancouver and Tel Aviv. For Answers, visit answers.com.

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