On May 23, 2012, the federal government released its Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People report. And in that document they set progressive and aggressive deadlines to keep digital government moving in a more citizen-centric direction.
In ForeSee’s Q2 E-Gov report, federal government sites such as Social Security’s iClaim outperformed mega private sector sites such as Amazon.com and Google as far as customer satisfaction. This is huge. Titanic in fact. This shows just how far the digital arm of the government has come in recent years. Part of that is because agencies are starting to measure, and measure the right way, the citizen experience. It’s not enough just to ask a series of questions and look at the answers without a proven methodology. So they’re starting to figure it out on websites, and the next step – the next challenge – in citizen engagement is measuring the mobile experience.
According to the Digital Government report, tomorrow’s date, August 23, 2012, is technically marked as the first mobile implementation strategy deadline in which agencies are required to “engage with customers to identify at least two existing priority customer-facing services to optimize for mobile use.”
Some agencies are already well ahead of the new strategy. In the ForeSee Q1 E-Gov report we talked about the adoption of mobile sites and apps by our federal government clients. Our polling at the time indicated that 53% of ForeSee’s government clients are currently discussing or already in the development stage of creating a mobile-optimized site, app, or both. Another one-third of them (32%) have already launched mobile initiatives, while only 15% have yet to take the first step in doing so. Overall, two-thirds of ForeSee federal clients do not have a functional mobile site or application as of this writing.
This is great news. The boat has left the dock. Though federal agencies are far from being “kings of the world,” it appears they are at least headed in the right direction by implementing another convenient and easily accessible way for citizens to interact with their government.
So, now is not the time to screw things up!
Here is an opportunity to do it right and continue the upswing in citizen engagement and satisfaction e-government has experienced lately.
How do they take advantage of this opportunity?
The only way – if agencies want to continue meeting and exceeding the expectations of the American people who use their services, read their content, or are simply looking for a way to connect with government – is to continue measuring with a quality and credible technology backed by the time- and peer-tested methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) methodology. This is the ForeSee way.
Agencies also need to understand that satisfaction isn’t just about measuring an experience at an office location, with a contact center, website, or mobile device individually. It’s about every channel, every touch point, every device. Measuring every aspect of customer interaction is the only way to see the full picture. This way you can see the warning signs, see where improvements or adjustments are needed, decide with certainty where to spend budget funds and (maybe more importantly) where not to spend taxpayer money.
In the coming weeks I will dive deeper into topics such as what makes a measurement credible and why it is impossible to take actionable steps using a 4-question survey.
This is the time to do things right. This is the time to measure it right. If agencies fail to heed the warning, I only have one thing to say:
Iceberg, right ahead!