Satisfaction levels out

February 2, 2010

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.



August 19, 2009

The latest report from ForeSee Results has picked up some points worth noting, for example that “effective social media will drive more citizens to federal websites, and their experience once they get there must be good, or they won’t come back.” (page 2)

The study employs the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)  that has now been in use for fifteen years, both on and off line.

A key finding was that “E-gov that satisfies citizens is still the most efficient and cost-effective channel.” (page 3) Please note the ‘satisfies’ that I’ve italicised, if it doesn’t satisfy it is not necessarily the most efficient or cost effective!

They also find that ‘functionality, navigation and search remain top priorities for improving many government websites’ (page 3). These are believed to have the largest impact on satisfaction.

OK, it’s the USA, but they do take a lot of trouble to analyse users of 109 web sites there, so there is probably some crossover with other nations.


If you are interested and, preferably, in UK local government please complete the survey, it doesn’t take long at all. I’ll keep feeding back through these pages, which are also covered by and PSF.