May 24, 2016 | Dave Lewan

How To Improve Citizen Experience Through Scientific Measurement


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Getting your entire organization to both understand and believe that the customer experience is paramount is certainly an important first step. However, once you’ve accomplished that, it’s then time to focus on how to actually move the needle forward.

In other words, how exactly does one go about improving citizen satisfaction? Below is a breakdown of the process used to start doing just that.

ForeSee’s unique measurement methodology identifies which elements, or drivers, of the citizen experience have the greatest impact on determining how satisfied they are. Each element measures a specific part of the experience. For example the “navigation” element measures the organization of the site’s content as well as all the options for navigating to them.

As part of the data gathering process with those sites listed in the ForeSee E-Gov Satisfaction Index, citizens are asked to respond to questions about key elements they experience when visiting a department’s, agency’s or program’s website, via desktop or mobile.  By measuring these elements in a statistically proven causal framework, federal organizations,  have the ability to pinpoint and prioritize with certainty, areas of improvement from the citizens’ perspective. That said, if federal web managers focus on improving the priority areas for their websites and and apps, citizen satisfaction should also improve and most importantly, increase the likelihood of driving outcomes that are good for citizens and government.

However, each web experience is unique to each organization. Therefore, these high-priority elements differ depending on the site and whether or not it is meeting its specific audience’s needs and expectations. Although there are variations in the set of elements that are relevant to each website (and fewer in general for mobile), the most common elements measured by federal sites are: navigation, search, functionality, online transparency, look and feel, site performance, and content.

Below we’ve outlined these common elements as well as what each measures. The key is listening to your customers and leveraging the predictive modeling capabilities of the ForeSee methodology. When done right, you are able to prioritize the right investment of time, money, and resources that will drive the positive outcomes for both the constituents you are serving and government as well.

So, what is having the greatest impact on citizen satisfaction?

Common Elements of the Federal Website Experience
Element What It Measures
Navigation The organization of the site and options for navigation.
Search The relevance, organization and quality of search results available on the site. (Although this element is not applicable universally, it is often extremely impactful for sites where it is relevant).
Look and Feel The visual appeal of the site and its consistency throughout the site.
Functionality The usefulness, convenience and variety of online features and tools available on the website.
Site Performance The speed, consistency and reliability of loading pages on the website.
Content The accuracy, quality and freshness of news, information and content on the website.
Online Transparency How thoroughly, quickly and accessibly the website discloses information about what the agency is doing.


Categories: Government

About the Author

Dave Lewan is responsible for managing the organization focused on the public sector, including federal and state government departments and agencies, non-profit organizations, associations and higher education institutions. He is charged with defining strategy and leveraging internal resources to initiate new business opportunities while delivering to existing ForeSee public-sector clients. Dave is also responsible for ForeSee’s growing Canadian business including public and private sectors. In 2016, Dave will serve as ForeSee liaison with the Partnership for Public Service for the Center for Presidential Transition, in an effort to educate some 4,000 appointees who will enter into the federal government from the private sector as part of the new administration. Prior to joining ForeSee in 2009, Dave led in key strategic areas at ADP, SalesLogix, Ultimate Software and Ceridian. Dave graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in speech communications.

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