Critical Read

Government lags in point-of-contact satisfaction

Shutterstock image (by Macrovector): operator service and support.

(Image: Macrovector / Shutterstock)

What: The CFI Group’s Government Contact Center Satisfaction Index 2014

Why: Contact centers are frequently both the initial and primary point of citizen interaction with government, and satisfaction continues to lag behind the private sector, which had a Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) score of 72 in 2014, compared with the government CSI score of 67.

That was up 4 points from 2013, an improvement driven largely by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which improved 7 points to 68 and the Education Department, which was up 6 points to 76. Two agencies that had particularly troublesome 2014s --the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Internal Revenue Service – came in with scores below the overall government ranking, with VA at 65 and the IRS at 64.

It is readily apparent that citizens wish for a streamlined process of reaching a representative who possesses both the knowledge and the tools to resolve their issue quickly, the study said. Requiring two contacts instead of one dropped the CSI score 12 points, requiring three or more dropped it a further 6 points and unresolved issues yielded CSI scores a full 33 points lower.

The study also noted that the computer is replacing the phone as a point of contact. After accounting for 13 and 14 percent of contacts in 2012 and 2013, respectively, use of agency websites as the preferred avenue of contact increased to 25 percent in 2014, a trend that is expected to continue. Citizens who used agency websites had a CSI score 5 points higher than those who called agencies. 

Verbatim: “Increases in the key drivers of satisfaction, Policies and Procedures, Contact Process, and Representative Knowledge, led the way for the improvement [over 2013’s scores]. Continued focus on these areas should be prioritized, as they represent the aspects of the contact experience that leverage the greatest impact onto satisfaction, and in turn, desired outcomes such as a feeling of increased government transparency.”

Full Report: Read the full report here.

About the Author

Eli Gorski is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @EliasGorski

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