ForeSee had the huge honor a couple of weeks ago of being asked to testify in front of Congress (in front of the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, to be exact) about citizen satisfaction with a variety of SSA websites and online applications. The theme of the hearing was more around SSA’s IT Modernization Plan—both the challenges they are facing and their successes. Measuring the effectiveness of several of their sites and e-applications with ForeSee is definitely widely recognized in the “win” column.
The committee rightly recognized that how citizens perceive the online offerings of the SSA is a big part of the IT modernization puzzle. In fact, Representative Xavier Becerra, Ranking Member of the subcommittee said at the hearing that he thought that Larry Freed’s testimony was among the most interesting he heard that day, because “While [ForeSee’s] numbers are technical numbers, they’re based on feelings, and in many respects, that may be the most important thing; how Americans feel about the service they’re getting…” Great!
I was in the hearing, as were many members of my team, and I have to say it felt like a momentous occasion to have ForeSee data on such a public stage, making the case for continued investment in the online channel as one of the most successful means the SSA has for interacting with citizens. We’ve known for ten years that user satisfaction, as measured using the ForeSee methodology, is proven to have a direct impact on behavior. If federal government agencies focus on improving their websites’ priority areas, citizen satisfaction with the sites should also improve. But still, it was an honor to be able to communicate these kinds of findings to Congress.
I think Larry actually had a good time doing it, but of course, as he pointed out, it’s a bit easier when you aren’t in the hot seat!