The latest report from Larry Freed and Foresee Results (January 26, 2010) continues to use the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) to benchmark a vast range of US government and agency web sites. The report continues to press the message that a good web site enhances trust, participation and service-delivery savings, which I don’t doubt.
In Larry’s words the argument is (p.20): “Providing a good experience for website visitors clearly has value, so it’s in an agency’s best interest to see where their weaknesses lie and make improvements in order to keep citizens happy. ”
Which means one has to get feedback from the users.
My own argument with Foresee and similar approaches is that whilst this is a great start many of the problems lie in process, in the back office, and resolving the channel issues may not get to the heart of the matter, although it may reveal symptoms.
Larry’s conclusiom on the data is that (p.22): “Although satisfaction with federal government sites remains flat this quarter from last quarter, it remains flat at an all-time high. When looking at satisfaction over the past five years, there is clearly an upward trend. This trend can be expected to continued if federal government agencies embrace Obama’s goals to increase transparency, participation, and collaboration through e-government.”
This applies internationally but let’s not forget that the web is essentially an information and service delivery mechanism, and the excluded are always with us.