Treasury, EPA, FDA sites among low scorers in customer satisfaction

Federal Web portals earn an average score of 75 on a 100-point satisfaction scale

Editor's note: This was updated April 27, 2011, to include Disability.gov and its score.

Although customers are generally satisfied with federal websites, awarding them an average of 75 points on a 100-point scale, a new survey identifies the sites that rank highest and lowest from the user’s viewpoint.

Among federal agency Web portals and main Web sites, Treasury.gov, EPA.gov and FDA.gov got low customer satisfaction scores on the E-Government Satisfaction Index, according to a report from ForeSee Results released April 26. The scores were based on 300,000 surveys that rated 110 federal sites during the first quarter of 2011.

The Web portal for the Treasury Department received 57 points out of 100. The Environmental Protection Agency's and the Food and Drug Administration's main sites each received 66 points.


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Disability.gov, a portal website that is managed by the Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy, received 65 points. Also earning a low rating was SocialSecurity.gov, with 68 points. However, some of the Social Security Administration’s individual Web pages scored high in satisfaction, such as the iClaim site, with a 91-point score, and the Retirement Estimator, with 90 points.

Another site that ranked low in customer satisfaction was the portal for the Health and Human Services Department’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA.gov, which earned 69 points.

At the other end of the scale, three sites received the highest score of 85: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Spanish-language portal, the General Services Administration’s Gobierno.gov, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s home page.

Also receiving high scores were the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases’ main portal, with a score of 83, and NASA's main site, also with 83 points.

Overall, customer satisfaction averaged 75 for all federal websites reviewed.  The 34 federal Web portals and main federal websites included in the total also received an average score of 75.

Customer satisfaction with federal websites has been trending upward in recent years, though it has recently flattened slightly, ForeSee said. The average satisfaction score of 75 is the same as in the fourth quarter of 2010.

“Satisfaction with e-government remains near its all-time high, scoring 75.0 in Q1 2011, but has reached a plateau after six quarters with minimal change,” the ForeSee report states.

A score of 80 or higher — considered a superior score — indicates that a website is meeting or exceeding customer expectations. Thirty-three of the 110 federal websites surveyed scored 80 or higher.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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