Click on the High Impact Service Provider below to learn more about the actions they’re taking to improve customer experience and performance of designated services.


Service provider

Description

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) serves all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans. There were 2.02 million U.S. farms in 2020. With 51 state offices and over 2,000 county offices, including offices in U.S. territories, FSA implements farm programs and farm loans to farmers and ranchers across the country. This past year, FSA obligated more than $7.5 billion in direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans, including more than $3.4 billion for beginning farmers, an agency record.


Designated Services

Previously-reported Services


Service

Applying for direct and guaranteed real estate and operating loans to start, maintain and expand a family farm

Description

The Farm Services Agency (FSA) provides loan making and servicing to underserved and beginner farmers and ranchers; the agency also works with established producers needing credit to maintain or expand operations. Family farmers seek Farm Loans to purchase farmland and finance capital improvements and equipment; pay employees; purchase livestock, feed and seed; and support family living expenses. Customers use farm loans to finance land and water conservation practices, purchase precision agriculture technology and equipment and implement sanitation and pollution reduction. Loan servicing is a critical part of the services provided by Farm Loans and guaranteed lenders for customers to manage their debt and evolving financing needs, whether it is to grow their business, manage fluctuating revenue and input costs, or recover from natural disasters. Customers interact with the Farm Loan Programs through an online informational site, in person at local service centers, or by telephone and email.

Why this service was designated

FSA’s farm loan programs provide credit to farmers and ranchers unable to obtain commercial credit to finance their operations at reasonable rates and terms. During FY2021, the total direct and guaranteed credit provided was $6,670,756,699 provided through 29,051 loans, with a total loan portfolio of $32.4 billion to over 127,000 direct and guaranteed borrowers as of September 30, 2021.


Previously-reported Services

Prior to the first service designation exercise in 2022, HISPs were collecting data using methods unique to each agency, resulting in data that was not standardized. This previously-reported data was collected to increase visibility and awareness regarding customer experience through feedback data. Per A-11 guidance, service providers will collect feedback in a more standardized way.

Service   Previously-reported

Finding information about programs on the website.

Description

Farmers.gov is designed to provide America’s farmers, ranchers, private foresters and other agricultural producers with online self- service applications, educational materials, engagement opportunities and business tools to increase efficiency and productivity while preserving long-held traditional relationships between local USDA offices and producers. Survey feedback is collected from website visitors.

Quarterly data reported

Q4 2022

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers guaranteed and direct farm ownership and operating loans for small and family-owned farms and ranches. The customer experience feedback data reported here was collected from July through October of 2022. During that time about 36 percent of the website feedback FSA received was provided from a Farm Loan webpage reflecting the public’s interest in access to business credit and financing for small and family-owned farms and ranches. Customer understanding of the information was rated the highest out of the key drivers for satisfaction and trust. Customers indicated that the simplifying the information would improve their experience.

Service details
Service provided: Farm Loan information delivered through Farmers.gov and FSA webpages
Transaction point: Feedback button or Intercept Survey
Channel: computer
People served: 289927
Surveys offered: 225
Responses: 151
Service provided: Finding NRCS Conservation Program information on the Farmers.gov or NRCS websites
Transaction point: Feedback button or Intercept after a couple minutes of activity for 30% of customers
Channel: computer
People served: 403918
Surveys offered: 230
Responses: 180


Q3 2022

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers guaranteed and direct farm ownership and operating loans for small and family-owned farms and ranches. The customer experience feedback data reported here was collected from April through June of 2022. During that time about 42 percent of the website feedback FSA received was provided from a Farm Loan webpage reflecting the public’s interest in access to business credit and financing for small and family-owned farms and ranches. More than 91 percent of surveyed visitors indicated that they were at least somewhat satisfied with the farm loan webpages they interacted with. However, only 50 percent indicated that it took a reasonable amount of time to complete what they needed to. FSA is committed to improving the loan application process and intends to deploy new application options over the next year.

Service details
Service provided: Farm Loan information delivered through Farmers.gov and FSA webpages
Transaction point: Feedback button or Intercept Survey
Channel: computer
People served: 235649
Surveys offered: 202
Responses: 140
Service provided: Finding NRCS Conservation Program information on the Farmers.gov or NRCS websites
Transaction point: Feedback button or Intercept after a couple minutes of activity for 30% of customers
Channel: mixed
People served: 308020
Surveys offered: 745
Responses: 614


Q2 2022

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers guaranteed and direct farm ownership and operating loans for small and family-owned farms and ranches. The customer experience feedback data reported here was collected from January to March of 2022. During that time about 40 percent of the website feedback FSA received was provided from a Farm Loan webpage or blog post, reflecting the public’s interest in access to business credit and financing for small and family-owned farms and ranches. More than 75% of surveyed visitors indicated that they were at least somewhat satisfied with the farm loan webpages they interacted with. Additionally, about 65% indicated that their visit to the webpage increased their trust in the farmers.gov product to meet their needs. Results show that improvements to the effectiveness of the farm loans webpages to complete what customers need, and ease of the process to find the information, could further increase trust in the website. On December 13th, the President issued the Executive Order on Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government. Part of this announcement includes a commitment from the USDA to improve access to farm loans through digital tools, saving time, reducing unnecessary paperwork, and avoiding unnecessary trips to the county office to improve the overall experience.

Service details
Service provided: Farm Loan information delivered through Farmers.gov and FSA webpages
Transaction point: Feedback button or Intercept Survey
Channel: mixed
People served: 21971
Surveys offered: 210
Responses: 193
Service provided: Finding NRCS Conservation Program information on the Farmers.gov or NRCS websites
Transaction point: Feedback button or Intercept after a couple minutes of activity for 30% of customers
Channel: computer
People served: 3938
Surveys offered: 151
Responses: 132


Q1 2022

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers guaranteed and direct farm ownership and operating loans for small and family-owned farms and ranches. The customer experience feedback data reported here was collected from October through December of 2021. During that time about 24 percent of the website feedback FSA received was provided from a Farm Loan webpage or blog post, reflecting the public’s interest in access to agricultural credit and financing for small and family-owned farms and ranches. More than 75% of surveyed visitors indicated that they were at least somewhat satisfied with the farm loan webpages they interacted with. However, 60% indicated that their visit to the webpage increased their trust in the farmers.gov and fsa.usda.gov products to meet their needs. Average scores for effectiveness and ease also reflect this same sentiment with average scores around 3.7. USDA is committed to improve access to farm loans through digital tools to improve the overall experience.

Service details
Service provided: Farm Loan information delivered through Farmers.gov and FSA webpages
Transaction point: Feedback button or Intercept Survey
Channel: computer
People served: 407534
Surveys offered: 394
Responses: 330
Service provided: Finding NRCS Program information on the Farmers.gov website
Transaction point: Feedback button or Intercept after a couple minutes of activity for 30% of customers
Channel: mixed
People served: 407534
Surveys offered: 274
Responses: 191


Q4 2021

What we learned from this quarter's data:

During the fourth quarter of the year, FSA surveyed 3,773 customers and received feedback using both the original and updated surveys. The updated survey separates the key drivers of satisfaction. Of those surveyed, 1,781 customers responded providing FSA with 448 total completed surveys. FSA customer ratings for ease, efficiency, and equity increased on both surveys. During this period, FSA announced new programs, however, pending litigation has delayed the implementation of these programs. With user feedback, our web team was able to prompt leadership to provide updates for the public which decreased customer dissatisfaction as a result of these delays. Initial scores for these drivers continue to show that customers want easier, more effective online services to increase their satisfaction with, and trust in, website processes.

Service details
Service provided: Farmers.gov interaction
Transaction point: Pop-up Survey after users navigate through an interaction on the website or opt to provide feedback
Channel: computer
People served: 977074
Surveys offered: 3773
Responses: 224
Service provided: New Survey - FSA Website Customer Interaction
Transaction point: Either a pop-up survey on the webpage, or self selected using the feedback button on each page
Channel: computer
People served: 977074
Surveys offered: 339
Responses: 149


Q3 2021

What we learned from this quarter's data:

During the third quarter of 2021, the farmers.gov survey was distributed to a random sample of 1,025 customers that used the website during this time. To increase customer participation, the survey is short so that the required experience driver questions about effectiveness, ease, efficiency, and transparency are assessed through one multiple choice question instead of four individual questions. Scoring for theses drivers is on a two-point scale ( 1 or 5 ), instead of the full 5-point scale like overall trust and satisfaction, which have a range of scores from 1 - 5 points. Results show that 75% of surveyed customers were at least somewhat satisfied with their experience using the website. Customers recognize the value or efficacy of the website, which received the highest score of the key drivers for satisfaction. Customers were least satisfied with the ease and efficiency of their experience, confirming previous survey results.

Service details
Service provided: Farmers.gov interaction
Transaction point: Pop-up Survey after users navigate through an interaction on the website or opt to provide feedback
Channel: computer
People served: 0
Surveys offered: 1025
Responses: 889


Q2 2021

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The first Farmers.gov CX Survey was launched at the end of January 2021 in collaboration with the FPAC farmers.gov development teams, experts, and external affairs. To gain buy-in, the survey is short, so experience drivers are assessed through one multiple choice question. Unfortunately, shortly after the survey was launched, funding delays resulted in the removal of the survey from the website. Funding was restored in late March 2021 resulting in the relaunch and collection of 180 total responses. Of those responses, 94 customers completed the CX survey while the rest choose to proceed to technical support or to interact with the AskUSDA webpage. Of those respondents, more than half were dissatisfied and expressed a lack of trust in farmers.gov, however 80 percent indicated that they overall found the website to be either effective, easy, efficient, or understandable. Additional data capture in future quarters might help us better understand the disconnect in the survey results.

Service details
Service provided: Farmers.gov interaction
Transaction point: Pop-up Survey after users navigate through an interaction on the website or opt to provide feedback
Channel: computer
People served:
Surveys offered: 217
Responses: 104



Service provider

Description

Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) works to end hunger and obesity through the administration of 15 federal nutrition assistance programs including WIC, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and school meals. SNAP helps over 40 million low-income people afford a nutritionally adequate diet; WIC provides nutritious food for about 7 million low-income women, infants, and children; and school breakfast and lunch programs provide free and reduced-price meals to over 20 million low-income children.

This HISP was newly designated and will complete action planning in FY22.

Designated Services

Previously-reported Services


Service

Using WIC food benefits

Description

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serves 6.2 million participants, including nearly 45% of all infants in the United States. WIC participants receive a range of health and nutritional support, including Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards or vouchers to purchase nutritious foods to supplement diets at authorized retail vendors. The WIC food packages are scientifically based and provide supplemental foods designed to address the specific nutritional needs of WIC participants. Food packages include foods from categories such as milk, whole grains, eggs, infant formula, and foods prescribed in quantity outlined in federal regulations.

WIC State agencies authorize WIC foods, including the brands and package sizes, following Federal WIC regulations. WIC State agencies consider various factors when determining which foods to authorize, such as price, product availability, and participant acceptance. Most participants transact their WIC benefits at a grocery store that has been authorized by their State agency. To do so, they go into the store, locate the foods included in the balance of their benefits, check out like any other customer, and pay using the WIC EBT card.

Why this service was designated

WIC serves 6.2 million participants, including nearly 45% of all infants in the United States. WIC benefits can currently only be used in person, presenting challenges to families with limited transportation. WIC households are 11% less likely to use a personal vehicle for grocery shopping than non-WIC households. In-person shopping can also present challenges to participants in remote or rural communities and has shown particular challenges during the pandemic. The requirement to redeem benefits in person has been consistently raised as a user pain point in research and usability testing sessions with WIC advocates and participants. Pursuing online ordering in WIC will ensure that WIC participants have access to a broader array of shopping options and are not left behind as the retail grocery industry continues to innovate. Additionally, online purchasing in the related Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has become increasingly available over the past several years, with 6% of all SNAP benefit transactions conducted online in December 2021. Online WIC transactions will enable a combined shopping experience for participants transacting SNAP and WIC benefits.


Previously-reported Services

Prior to the first service designation exercise in 2022, HISPs were collecting data using methods unique to each agency, resulting in data that was not standardized. This previously-reported data was collected to increase visibility and awareness regarding customer experience through feedback data. Per A-11 guidance, service providers will collect feedback in a more standardized way.

Service   Previously-reported

Food and Nutrition Service

Description

This HISP was newly designated for FY22 and will identify services for customer feedback reporting by Dec. 31st, 2021.


Service provider

Description

The Forest Service works to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands, which includes sustainable stewardship of more than 600 million acres of forestland, 193 million acres of public lands, and more than 400 million acres of private land across the United States.

This HISP was reporting for recreation.gov in previous years. They will complete action planning in FY22.

Designated Services


Service

Getting a recreation special use permit

Description

The Special Use program is a complex program that is critical to the customer experience, provides multiple public benefits, and supports effective mission delivery. Attaining a special use permit allows the public to enjoy additional benefits of public land visitation beyond normal recreational use. Applying for these permits can be a confusing process, especially for historically undeserved communities that lack familiarity with the permit process and pre-existing relationships with their local Ranger District or a Forest Supervisor Office location. Our strategic vision has been to make it easier for the American people to use and enjoy their national forests and grasslands by reducing the regulatory burden for applicants and providing online access to popular permit types. While we have gained efficiencies over the past several years through our modernization efforts, the work continues. Recreation special use permits enable private sector professionals, nonprofits, and educational institutions to lead a range of activities on National Forest System lands, from whitewater rafting, downhill skiing, horseback riding, weddings, family reunions, and big game hunting to youth education trips in the wilderness and scenic jeep tours. For many, these activities represent their first introduction to the outdoors, and the outfitters and guides they employ are often small businesses that generate jobs and income for local communities. Forest Service permit holders help connect Americans to their natural world and help restore mental health and maintain healthy lifestyles.

Why this service was designated

Barriers to obtaining recreation special use permits (e.g., outfitting and guiding, Campground concession, and recreation event permits) are one challenge that can limit valuable economic stimulus in communities of color and socially vulnerable communities. Based on recent workshops and data assessments conducted in support of EO 13985, the Forest Service does not always solicit applicants or advertise when recreation special use permits become available. As a result, existing permit holders are more likely to retain and obtain special use permits, and other groups and individuals may never know when new special use permits become available. When these groups and individuals become aware of permit availability, navigating the application process requires knowledge that socially vulnerable communities have difficulty accessing, putting them at a further disadvantage.

Recreation on National Forest System lands is an important economic driver that contributes more than $13.5 billion to America’s gross domestic product and supports more than 161,000 full and part-time jobs. The Forest Service administers over 30,000 recreation special use authorizations, including 122 ski area permits and over 8,000 outfitter and guide permits. These activities generate nearly $2 billion to the permit holders. This would not be possible without the recreation assets managed by the Forest Service, including over 150,000 miles of trails, the largest trail network in the nation, and ski areas that host over 60% of the country’s ski area visits.


Service provider

Description

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works with farmers, ranchers and forest landowners across the country to help them boost agricultural productivity and protect our natural resources through conservation In 2020, NRCS worked with producers to develop more than 100,000 conservation plans as well as place conservation practices and enhancements on more than 19 million acres.


Designated Services


Service

Applying for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

Description

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program that helps producers make conservation work for their farm. Together, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and producers invest in solutions that conserve natural resources for the future while also improving agricultural operations. NRCS provides agricultural producers with technical assistance through the conservation planning process to develop a plan to address natural resource concerns and improve the environment. EQIP provides agricultural producers with financial assistance and one-on-one help to design and implement improvements, or what NRCS calls conservation practices, based on a conservation plan. Conservation practices create environmental benefits that extend well beyond the farm.

Why this service was designated

EQIP advances the voluntary adoption of conservation practices to promote agricultural production, forest management, and environmental quality as compatible goals. Conservation practices funded through EQIP help producers comply with environmental regulations and improve the condition of soil, water, air, wildlife habitat and other natural resources. The program assists owners and operators of agricultural and forest land with the identification of natural resource problems and opportunities and aids in solving identified problems in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner.

In fiscal year 2022, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) committed over $1.28 billion in conservation solutions for 9,691,508 acres and 32,115 program participants. Conservation practices funded through EQIP generate benefits on the recipient’s land, including improved grazing lands, improved water, and air quality, enhanced or created fish and wildlife habitat, increased soil health and plant conditions, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion, mitigation against drought and increasing weather volatility, and energy conservation.


Service provider

Description

Recreation.gov provides a gateway to discover our nation's hidden treasures and engage in timeless outdoor recreation and cultural activities. 21,000,000+ users, reserve experiences at over 4,200 facilities and 113,000 individual sites across the country.


Designated Services

Previously-reported Services


Service

Reserving a campsite on Recreation.gov

Description

Recreation.gov users are predominantly domestic with 98 percent of all sessions conducted within the United States. Visitors to Recreation.gov often seek inspiration for a trip, research destinations, learn about details for a successful visit, and make reservations. Camping provides an authentic and immersive experience within public land and water destinations across the country. These experiences influence how visitors value these public spaces and can lead to a lifetime of connection and stewardship.

Why this service was designated

Campsite reservations represent more than 60 percent of all reservations made on the Recreation.gov platform. For FY21 there were more than 9 million reservations made on Recreation.gov, and 4.03 million of those were campsite reservations.

Service

Reserving a timed-entry ticket or vehicle reservation

Description

Timed-entry tickets for popular destinations was a new service introduced in June 2020 to help agencies and locations re-open to the public after being closed due to the COVID pandemic.

Why this service was designated

Following the initial COVID-related reason for rolling out this service, several other locations have adopted timed-entry tickets and at the end of FY21, more than 1.7 million timed ticket reservations were made by Recreation.gov users. Timed tickets allow for local managers to offer reserved times throughout the day for visitors to access a park or forest location and help to minimize crowding and congestion.


Previously-reported Services

Prior to the first service designation exercise in 2022, HISPs were collecting data using methods unique to each agency, resulting in data that was not standardized. This previously-reported data was collected to increase visibility and awareness regarding customer experience through feedback data. Per A-11 guidance, service providers will collect feedback in a more standardized way.

Service   Previously-reported

Searching Recreation.gov for a camping reservation

Description

Recreation.gov surveys website visitors who view multiple pages on the site.

Quarterly data reported

Q4 2022

What we learned from this quarter's data:

In the fourth quarter of FY2022 (July - Sept 2022) visitor traffic on the website was about the same as the previous quarter at 15.1 million visitors, 28.1 million sessions, 79.7 million pageviews, and 2 million transactions. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) for the quarter was 37.3, which is a massive improvement from the year-over-year NPS in FY21 Q4 of 17.2. Also of note, is customer satisfaction with the contact center, which continues to report an above-industry-benchmark (75%) score of 81.9%. Another strong satisfaction score is for the Recreation.gov mobile app. The scores for both iOS and Android have been at a strong 4.8 since launch, and for this quarter the iOS app bumped up to 4.9. Our teams find that field site visits provide valuable information and insights into how visitors and field managers are experiencing the service. As a result, we conducted site visits to multiple locations in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennesee and interviewed field staff as well as campground visitors. The information gained from these visits will help our teams develop enhancements to the overall user experience.

Service details
Service provided: Recreation.gov
Transaction point: 25% of website users are presented with the survey after visiting 5 pages, and spending more than one minute on the site
Channel: computer
People served: 15100000
Surveys offered: 3700000
Responses: 6507


Q3 2022

What we learned from this quarter's data:

In the third quarter of FY2022 (March - June 2022) visitor traffic on the website signifantly increased from the previous quarter for expected seasonal variance -- 15.1 million visitors (up from 6.5 million), 28.2 million sessions, 84.7 million pageviews, and 2 million transactions. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) for the quarter was 35.4, which is a massive improvement from the year-over-year NPS in FY21 Q1 of 13.7. Also of note, is customer satisfaction with the contact center, which continues to report an above-industry-benchmark (75%) score of 80.6%. Another strong satisfaction score is for the Recreation.gov mobile app. The scores for both iOS and Android have been at a strong 4.8 since launch, and for this quarter the iOS app bumped up to 4.9.

Service details
Service provided: Recreation.gov
Transaction point: 25% of website users are presented with the survey after visiting 5 pages, and spending more than one minute on the site
Channel: computer
People served: 15133920
Surveys offered: 3775000
Responses: 6095


Q2 2022

What we learned from this quarter's data:

The overall satisfaction score was slightly up and respondents were more likely to have accomplished their goal when visiting the site from last year at this time. Our overall contact center satisfaction rates are also up (over 80%), and well above the industry benchmark (75%). The number of people reaching out to the contact center is also down YOY, indicating that people are making online reservations without assistance. Our teams are focusing on Cx initiatives, which are either in progress or in an exploration phase: 1) Help getting started; first-time visitors tend to be less satisfied. 2) Findability; the #2 task failure is difficulty finding information. 3) Customer engagement; seeking opportunities to educate, build loyalty, and improve on-site experience. 4) Accessibility; making it easier to find accessible campsites. 5) Working to reduce confusion with Help Center articles and other resources. 6) Reducing no-shows at campsites.

Service details
Service provided: Recreation.gov
Transaction point: 25% of website users are presented with the survey after visiting 5 pages, and spending more than one minute on the site
Channel: computer
People served: 9364828
Surveys offered: 0
Responses: 4832


Q1 2022

What we learned from this quarter's data:

In the first quarter of FY2022 (October - December 2021) visitor traffic on the website signifantly decreased from the previous quarter for expected seasonal variance -- 6.5 million visitors (down from 15.3 million), 11 million sessions (down from 28 million), and 866k transactions (down from 1.8 million). The Net Promoter Score (NPS) for the quarter was 43.5, which is a massive improvement from the year-over-year NPS in FY21 Q1 of 23.2. Also of note, is customer satisfaction with the contact center. Last year at this time, satisfaction was 79%, which is also the industry benchmark we strive to meet or exceed. For FY21 Q1 that satisfaction score is 82.6%. Another strong satisfaction score is for the Recreation.gov mobile app, which has stayed at 4.8 stars (on a 1-5 star rating) in both iOS and Android, with more than 2 million downloads. As we move into the new year, our focus is more on listening to our customer and bringing their voices into our efforts to improve their experience

Service details
Service provided: Recreation.gov
Transaction point: 25% of website users are presented with the survey after visiting 5 pages, and spending more than one minute on the site
Channel: computer
People served: 6500000
Surveys offered: 651272
Responses: 2901


Q4 2021

What we learned from this quarter's data:

In the fourth quarter of FY2021 (July - September 2021) visitor traffic on the website declined slightly from the previous quarter -- 15.3 million visitors (down from 17.1 million), 28 million sessions (down from 32 million), and 1.8 million transactions (down from 2.1 million). However, our conversion rate increased 2% (from 6.6% to 6.7%) from the previous quarter, and 8% (from 6.2% to 6.7%). An increased conversion rate indicates that more visitors were successful in completing a transaction and this connects directly to increased customer satisfaction. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) for the quarter was 21, which is about 9 points from the previous quarter (NPS 12), and about 7 points year over year (NPS 14.2). Our highest satisfaction ratings come from those researching or reserving campsites; the lowest satisfaction is among those seeking timed entry, tickets, and passes. Two other groups whose CSAT metrics lag behind our overall ratings are first-time visitors and mobile-responsive visitors. We are using HotJar (a heatmapping and screen recording tool) to dig into "in the wild" customer behavior on the website, as well as running usability tests and focus groups, to help us better understand their expectations and frustrations. Monitoring our NPS trends over time, especially when segmented by the different visitor types, is helping us monitor the impact of the improvements we are making--confirming that we are moving in the right direction. For example, we can see that the NPS for timed-entry ticket seekers has improved 18 points year-over-year in Q4, thanks to a concerted effort to improve messaging and workflows.

Service details
Service provided: Recreation.gov
Transaction point: 5% of website users are presented with the survey after visiting 5 pages, and spending more than one minute on the site
Channel: computer
People served: 15300000
Surveys offered: 10555
Responses: 10555


Q3 2021

What we learned from this quarter's data:

In the third quarter of FY2021 (April - June 2021) metrics doubled from the previous quarter -- users increased from 8.7 million to 17.1 million, sessions were up from 16.1 million to 32 million, and transactions rose from 1.3 to 2.1 million. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) decreased by about 12 points from the previous quarter with visitors expressing frustration over the lack of availability. In fact, lack of availability is the primary reason for visitor task failures for the past two quarters, according to the CSAT survey. Among those respondents who have the highest dissatisfaction scores are those making reservations for timed entry and tickets. With many locations requiring entry tickets, which is new since 2020 and in response to COVID-19, visitors express frustration and confusion about the need for tickets/reservations and often arrive without a reservation. New users are also frustrated when they are not able to reserve desired sites and activities. Since the demand has increased so dramatically, yet inventory remains relatively stagnant, our teams have increased efforts to suggest alternative locations that do have availability through the reservation flow recommendation engine and marketing efforts. We also imposed on-screen reminders to create an account and/or login prior to making a reservation, especially for areas that tend to book up quickly. Help Center articles also provide advice for seeking alternatives when the first choice is booked. In addition, our user experience teams have expanded our ability to get direct feedback from visitors and will continually update and enhance the reservation workflow to help visitors achieve their goals and better understand what is, and is not, available.

Service details
Service provided: Recreation.gov
Transaction point: 5% of website users are presented with the survey after visiting 5 pages, and spending more than one minute on the site
Channel: computer
People served: 17200000
Surveys offered: 862557
Responses: 18366


Q2 2021

What we learned from this quarter's data:

In the second quarter of FY2021 (January - March 2021) we noticed an increase in users from 6.6 to 8.7 million, sessions up from 10.9 to 16.1 million, and transactions rose from 962k to 1.3 million over the first quarter of FY2021. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) also improved by 5.4 points over the same time period in 2020. The NPS revealed that visitors who visit once a month were more satisfied than those who visit multiple times per week; which is indicative of those seeking reservations at high-demand locations with limited availability. In fact, lack of availability is the primary reason for visitor task failures for the past two quarters, according to the CSAT survey. The increased demand for recreation opportunities is decreasing the availability for reservable inventory on Recreation.gov, which is frustrating for visitors. The recommendation feature is a tool to help visitors find nearby locations that are available when the sites they originally selected are not. The team also focused on the needs of new users. With 2 million new users in FY2020, we looked at pain points for this specific user group. In response to feedback, we increased the consistency of terminology to reduce confusion, placed Help Center articles at key points in the workflow, and improved redirect flow after account creation. Usability testing is another way for our teams to see the customer experience through fresh eyes. Our team conducted 56 usability tests in Q2 across camping, permits, mobile app, timed entry and a few other features. Applying what we learned through persona-driven journey maps helps to highlight points of friction and frustration for our teams, and allows us to prioritize improvements, enhancements and updates accordingly.

Service details
Service provided: Recreation.gov
Transaction point: 5% of website users are presented with the survey after visiting 5 pages, and spending more than one minute on the site
Channel: computer
People served: 8700000
Surveys offered: 381294
Responses: 12701



Service provider

Description

Nearly 60 million Americans live in rural areas and experience higher rates of poverty; since 2009, Rural Development has financed nearly 8,000 community facilities projects, helped save or create more than 375,000 rural jobs, aided nearly 75,000 rural businesses, improved rural electric infrastructure for more than 25 million rural residents, and supported more than 5,500 distance learning and telemedicine projects.

This HISP was newly designated and will complete action planning in FY22.

Designated Services


Service

Filing an application under the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative

Description

The OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative (launched in 2020) provides government-backed loans through commercial lenders to rural small business owners, agricultural producers, community organizations, utility providers, or municipalities seeking financing to develop a project and who may have challenges securing a loan without a guarantee. The OneRD initiative provides a streamlined and standardized application process for lenders to access four of RD’s flagship loan programs: Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program; Community Facilities (CF) Guaranteed Loan Program; Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Loan Guarantees; and Water and Waste Disposal (WWD) Loan Guarantees Programs.

Why this service was designated

Rural Development annually issues over $2 billion in loan guarantees that increase private investment in rural businesses and economic development projects through the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative. In addition to supporting rural communities and individuals through direct loan and grants offered under the CF, REAP, and WWD programs, the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative offers an opportunity for RD to partner with private lenders, expanding the reach and accessibility of the four RD loan programs.

Service

Searching for regulatory information on a Rural Development program

Description

RD offers a digital library of regulatory information that spans all of its 50+ programs. Many customer groups – potential applicants, award recipients, technical assistance providers, Federal partners, and even RD employees use this library to see the breadth of programs offered, understand eligibility and competitive program criteria points, research requirements to comply with award conditions (such as reporting, audit and accounting guidelines, engineering specifications), and view notices and rulemaking actions posted in the Federal Register.

Why this service was designated

RD’s grant, loan, loan guarantee, and technical assistance programs meet the needs of communities across rural America. However, RD’s customers have regularly identified understanding and knowing where to find information on regulatory requirements for RD programs as a common pain point felt across all aspects of the customer journey (e.g., program awareness, application process, and award reporting requirements). In Fiscal Year 2021, this webpage had 57,677 page views (49,533 of which were unique individual views). Building a more customer-focused, simple, streamlined digital repository to learn about program grant or loan eligibility requirements, how applications will be evaluated, and what follow-on requirements are required to be in good standing with grant or loan conditions will help to address complexity identified across programs.