Federal Government Websites More Important Than Ever for Serving the Public
This year’s release of CFI Group’s 2020 Government Websites report comes at a time when use of government websites is unprecedented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Never have government websites served such a vital role in providing critical information to the public. At the same time, the 2020 Census has moved online and 2020census.gov is being used to collect the data crucial for lawmaker decision-making. With extraordinary reliance on government websites to provide and collect high quality, reliable information, it’s imperative that agencies focus resources toward ensuring their websites consistently deliver on the agency mission.
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For the fourth year in a row, the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) score for federal government websites is 73 as measured on a 0-100 scale. This stable level of performance suggests agencies are keeping up with ever-changing technology and the increased expectations of visitors.
The CFI Government Websites study is designed to measure satisfaction with agency websites based on feedback from 700 respondents who visited a federal government website. The 2020 study provides the latest information on citizen satisfaction, the pain points that still exist, trends in mobile access, how chat functionality is paving the way to superior customer service, and the financial rewards continued investment can provide.
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Most federal government websites are charged with providing large volumes of information to widely diverse groups of site visitors. As such, website navigation is an ongoing challenge, even with the help of search engines.
Mobile access to federal government websites has shown significant growth and is likely to continue. Finding ways to effectively deliver a positive experience needs to be a priority for federal agencies moving forward. “Mobile access to federal government websites will be key to reaching large cross sections of the population in the future,” says Sheri Petras, CEO of CFI Group. “In addition to mobile access, we are seeing chat continue to be important for delivering a superior website experience that is comparable to the private sector.”
As the public becomes increasingly comfortable interacting with the federal government online, agencies stand to benefit from significant cost savings. Fewer calls to government contact centers and fewer visits to local offices will reduce the cost of serving the public but only if federal websites can provide efficient and effective service to the public.
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