While Monday officially kicked off a new Presidential term, January 22 marked the passing of a new milestone of the Digital Government Strategy.
The report, released on May 23, 2012, set into place some aggressive deadlines to keep the digital government moving in a citizen-centric direction. Section 8.2 of the report requires a federal government agency or organization with a public-facing website to: one, report what tool they are using to measure customer satisfaction; and, two, eventually “Collect Required Data and Provide to the Digital Analytics Program.” The General Services Administration (GSA) is recommending agencies that do not know what type of data to deliver to provide at the very least these four pieces of data:
- Overall customer experience
- Completion rate of intended task
- Percent of visitors likely to return
- Percent of visitors likely to recommend
If you’re already using a credible, reliable, precise, accurate, actionable, and predictive customer experience measurement such as ForeSee technology based on our proven methodology, you’re already ahead of the game. If not, you’re going to have a difficult time meeting not just this milestone but every other requirement set forth by the Digital Government Strategy Program from here on out.
The four data points the GSA is recommending are already part of the ForeSee model and the data is easily extractable as a simple report. ForeSee goes way beyond this, however. With full customer experience analytics like this you’re able to measure the elements that drive satisfaction as well as the behaviors that are driven by satisfaction such as the likelihood of a citizen to return and recommend.
I completely agree with the federal government’s digital strategy to better meet the rising expectations of citizens and the stringent deadlines it has in place to accomplish this. I can’t, however, help but wonder if this is forcing federal agencies and organizations to hastily make decisions when choosing a measurement tool.
The reason I am concerned about this is because there are many vendors out there that say they can measure the customer (or citizen) experience by simply using just a three or four questions – some as few as one – survey model. For a survey measurement tool to be considered useful or actionable or old-fashioned good it needs to conform to rigors of scientific principles.
Using the right measurement technology allows you to: measure the right things the right way; turn data into information and information into intelligence; and take the right action based on good data.
The metrics that are not credible, reliable, precise, accurate, and predictive, or show the entire experience from the citizen’s point of view can lead agency managers to make poor decisions based on potentially misleading or bad data.
If using “bad data” becomes the new norm because it is simple and cheap then everything that federal government agencies have been doing to improve citizen engagement, interaction, and experience with the government for the last decade will be for naught