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TMCNet:  Transparency Helps E-Government Increase Citizen Satisfaction

[October 26, 2010]

Transparency Helps E-Government Increase Citizen Satisfaction

ANN ARBOR, Mich. --(Business Wire)--

Citizens are quite satisfied with federal government websites that provide a range of services, from securing benefits to serving as a resource for research and information. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Government Index climbs 0.8 percent to 75.3 on a 100-point scale, among the highest scores ever recorded and about the same as it was a year ago.

A key driver of satisfaction with federal websites is online transparency, and there is aggregate evidence of improvement in this area as federal agencies work to comply with the Open Government Initiative. According to the ForeSee Results/Nextgov Government Transparency Study released last week, increased transparency leads to citizen satisfaction and trust in government.

"Citizens are consumers of government services, and what makes them so satisfied about federal websites is that they are generally able to find what they want and accomplish what they have set out to do," said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. "This provides a win-win for citizens: easier and more accessible information and services at a lower cost to taxpayers."

High satisfaction with federal government websites increases the likelihood that citizens will trust and participate in government, among other benefits. According to the study, highly satisfied citizens (those who score 80 or higher in satisfaction) rate their trust in the government unit 58% higher than dissatisfied citizens and are:

  • 55% more likely to participate in government;
  • 80% more likely to use the website as a primary resources, as opposed to other more costly channels like a call center;
  • 52% more likely to return to the website.

E-Government continues its dominance in overall governmnt in terms of customer satisfaction. The Q3 2010 e-government score is 10 percent higher than the overall federal government score of 68.7 measured in the fourth quarter of 2009.

"There is often a disconnect between citizens' personal experience with the federal government online and offline. Online sectors of the economy typically perform better than offline sectors in terms of customer satisfaction, and with government services it is no different," said Claes Fornell, founder of ACSI and a business professor at the University of Michigan.

ForeSee Results employed the methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index to survey more than 275,000 visitors to 113 federal websites in the third quarter of 2010. The full study reports individual scores for each of the 113 websites on the ACSI's 100-point scale. A copy of the report is available at www.ForeSeeResults.com.

ABOUT FORESEE RESULTS

As the leader in online customer satisfaction measurement, ForeSee Results captures and analyzes online voice of customer data to help public and private sector organizations increase loyalty, recommendations and website value. Using the methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), ForeSee Results identifies improvements to websites and other online initiatives that drive customer satisfaction. With more than 50 million survey responses collected to date and benchmarks across dozens of industries, ForeSee Results offers unparalleled expertise in customer satisfaction measurement and management. ForeSee Results works with clients across the public and private sectors.

ForeSee Results, a privately held company, is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and on the web at www.ForeSeeResults.com.

ABOUT THE ACSI

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is the only uniform, national, cross-industry measure of satisfaction with the quality of goods and services available in the United States. In 1999, the federal government selected ACSI to be a standard metric for measuring citizen satisfaction. More than 100 Federal government agencies have used ACSI to measure citizen satisfaction with more than 200 services and programs. The Index was founded at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and is produced by ACSI, LLC. ForeSee Results sponsors the e-government index.

ABOUT THE FEDERAL CONSULTING GROUP

The Federal Consulting Group (FCG) operates as a fee-for-service franchise in the National Business Center (Dept of the Interior) and serves as the executive agent in the government for the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The Federal Consulting Group uses a generic clearance from the Office of Management and Budget to obtain expedited approval of ACSI surveys as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. This enables agencies to conduct ACSI surveys without obtaining a separate clearance. Agencies can assess and improve programs, call centers and websites using the ACSI methodology through an Interagency Agreement with the Federal Consulting Group.


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