June 12, 2014

ForeSee Research Reveals E-Government Citizen Satisfaction Continues Slow Decline, Still Outperforms Private Sector in Q1

Federal Websites Fail to Address Mobile Internet Surge As Aggregate Satisfaction Score for Mobile Sites and Apps Dips Five Points

ANN ARBOR, MI. (June 12, 2014) — ForeSee, Answers Corporation’s customer experience analytics solution, today released the 2014 first-quarter E-Government Satisfaction Index, a critical examination of the success of the U.S. government’s online initiatives. The new report includes citizen satisfaction scores for more than 100 federal websites, comparisons to private-sector satisfaction and details on federal mobile expectations. While the average e-government citizen satisfaction score was, remarkably, higher than the satisfaction rating for private-sector websites such as search engines and news sites, the report points to mobile as an area of challenge for government agencies as the aggregate satisfaction score for visitors using federal mobile sites and apps declined by five points, according to ForeSee’s Mobile Federal Government Benchmark.

The E-Government Satisfaction Index is a comprehensive reflection of citizens’ experience with federal government websites and serves as a checkpoint for evaluating the performance of these websites. The methodology, 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.

ForeSee collected more than 268,000 survey responses across 104 federal government websites for the 2014 first-quarter E-Government Satisfaction Index and rated agencies on a 100-point citizen satisfaction scale. A score of 80 or higher is considered the threshold for excellence that is achieved when a site meets and exceeds citizen expectations. Key findings included:

  • E-government outperformed private sector; several Social Security Administration (SSA) sites ranked higher in citizen satisfaction than top brands such as Apple or Amazon — Average citizen satisfaction for e-government was 74.5 on the study’s 100-point scale, down from 74.6 in Q4 2013. However, the score remained higher than comparable private-sector e-business websites, such as portals, search engines, news, information and social media sites, which received a 71.3, according to the ACSI annual report from July 2013. Three SSA websites — SSA Retirement Estimator (90), Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drugs (89) and SSA iClaim (89) — outperformed some of the top 2013 ACSI-measured private sites such as Mercedes-Benz (88), Amazon (88), Apple (87) and FedEx (85) in citizen satisfaction.
  • Mobile e-government satisfaction down — According to ForeSee’s Mobile Federal Government Benchmark, the aggregate satisfaction score for visitors using federal mobile and app sites dipped to 77, down from 82 in Q4 2013. The decline in mobile citizen satisfaction is troublesome for government agencies as more consumers are leveraging mobile devices to access information. According to comScore, six percent of the U.S. Internet population is mobile only. It’s vital for e-government to understand citizens’ needs and expectations for mobile channels in order to deliver a seamless experience and increase satisfaction scores.
  • E-government mobile access remained unchanged — More than half (57 percent) of government website visitors reported using a mobile phone or tablet to access the Internet, an increase from 55 percent over the past two quarters. Additionally, 37 percent of visitors reported having accessed a federal government website using a mobile phone or tablet, which remained the same as compared to Q4 2013.
  • Government e-commerce sites achieved highest satisfaction scores — E-commerce and transactional websites remained the top-scoring category in this Index, recording a score of 78, which remained the same compared to last quarter. The SSA continued to set the bar high with six out of its seven websites leading this category, with scores ranging from 82 to 90.

“For years our research has revealed that citizens want to get information from departments, agencies and programs through digital channels and increasingly through mobile devices,” said Dave Lewan, Vice President at ForeSee. “Delivering an optimal digital and mobile experience provides 24/7 accessibility, consistency of information and — with citizens leveraging an efficient self-service channel — the opportunity to reduce the cost to serve. The only way to achieve this goal is by consistently measuring the customer experience continuously with precision, across all platforms, and focusing on improving areas that will have the greatest impact on citizens’ satisfaction.”

A complete list and analysis of citizen satisfaction scores for individual federal government websites across E-Commerce and Transaction, News and Information, Portals and Department Main, and Careers and Recruitment categories can be viewed in the 2014-first quarter E-Government Satisfaction Index.


 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 sizeable reach of the top-20 comScore site Answers.com, 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. This platform helps businesses measure and improve the multichannel customer experience, resulting in better business results. 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 www.answers.com.

About the Author

Eric drives ForeSee’s marketing strategy, working closely with the company’s product, client service, and sales teams to infuse innovation and operational excellence into its offerings. Since joining ForeSee in 2004, he has contributed to the organization’s strategic growth, particularly providing leadership around mobile solutions. He is the author of several of the company’s thought leadership studies, including the 11th annual ForeSee Experience Index (FXI) and the American Employee Study. Eric is a frequent speaker on customer experience analytics, and marketing best practices. He is a board member of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) and an adjunct professor of mobile marketing at the University of California, Irvine Extension. Previously, he worked as a web analyst, multichannel strategy consultant, usability specialist and focus group moderator. Eric is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

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