What we learned from FY21 Q2 customer feedback data
The High Impact Service Providers (HISPs) deliver critical public services and consistently update their experiences based on customer feedback which they report to OMB (and the public) quarterly. In FY 21 Q2 (Jan. 1 – Mar. 31 2021), HISPs collected feedback from more than 1.2 million surveys.
Analyzing across, here is what we learned:
Increased demand for government services in Q2
HISPs reported serving 456,995,460 customers in Q2 which is more than double the 210,815,683 served in Q1. As a result, they logged more than 1.2 million responses in Q2 compared to only 934,972 in Q1. The increased volume was largely driven by new activities and questions related to the American Rescue Plan and extension of the tax filing deadline. In particular, the Internal Revenue Service reported that pandemic related tax processing delays and inquiries related to Economic Impact Payments drove significantly higher than normal volumes on their online and toll-free service channels. At its peak, IRS was getting more than 1,500 calls per second.
Overall satisfaction scores dipped slightly
The total overall satisfaction score of 4.17 out of 5 in Q2 was not quite as high as 4.30 in Q1.
For context, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) collects data and sets benchmarks across industries for customer satisfaction. While the highest scores fluctuate year to year, 4.25 (85%) is considered to be “very good.”
The specific experience driver impacting overall satisfaction was “Efficiency,” which dropped to an average score of 3.95 from 4.10 last quarter. The dip suggests that delays in completing service transactions did have an impact - as customers have expectations for completion times and that are not being met. Many agencies noted challenges meeting high demand drove scores down. Customer confusion, like unclear instructions on a website, can also affect efficiency. The Office of Federal Student Aid identified some flow errors on their website and mobile app that they were able to detect and patch quickly.
Mobile still leads desktop
Mobile continues to be a popular service channel because it offers fast and easy service as it becomes the predominant way people access the internet. Some HISPs collect separate customer feedback on the desktop and mobile versions of their service transactions, and these customer satisfaction scores were compared. The mobile versions of these services scored much higher than desktop in satisfaction (4.22 to 4.07), effectiveness (4.14 to 3.99), ease (4.11 to 3.94), efficiency (4.06 to 3.86) and transparency (4.38 to 4.14). The scores suggest that a well-designed mobile experience can raise experience scores.
More services and more data added
We now have more Federal services reporting customer experience data. A number of HISPs like the Veteran’s Benefits Administration, the Veteran’s Health Administration and the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office added data from new service transaction point surveys. In addition, Performance.gov/cx/ has been updated to enable sharing this information more publicly in 2021 with raw data files. We are working to ensure this data is available for download directly from our site and users should be able to download FY21 Q1 and Q2 data.