OCSIT’s 2015 Customer Survey—What We Learned

Three years ago, GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT) set out to design a system to consistently measure customer satisfaction across our office. We were inspired by the Digital Government Strategy, which tasks agencies to adopt a customer-centric approach to service delivery.

A word cloud of Government Customer Experience Index survey responses.

Armed with tools such as the Digital Analytics Program (DAP), which offers guidance on common customer satisfaction metrics, we developed a Government Customer Experience Index (GCXi) for OCSIT. Loosely modeled after the Forrester Customer Experience Index, it’s been invaluable to help us consistently measure customer satisfaction across our major lines of business.

The Process

We identified a few core questions that would help us determine how well we’re serving our customers. The questions measure overall satisfaction, customer loyalty, and ease of use for all our programs, as well as task completion for our websites. By asking the same questions across the board, we’ve been able to benchmark satisfaction over time for individual programs, as well as collectively across the office (18 programs in total).

In 2015, we surveyed more than 8,800 customers from 135 government agencies via email, and also incorporated our core questions into the customer satisfaction surveys on several of our websites (including USA.gov), to hear from both agency and citizen customers.

Finally, we shared the survey data with the entire staff, and we instituted an action planning process to help our program managers evaluate the feedback, and take strategic, data-driven action to follow up on the findings.

Easy and Relevant

This year, we added a new core question, asking how easy it is for you to use our programs. We learned that we have some work to do in this area, particularly with more technical programs such as FedRAMP (cloud computing), Electronic Capital Planning and Investment Control (eCPIC), and Digital Analytics Program (DAP). In response, these programs now offer more frequent training, agency consultations and/or “office hours” for customers to call in and get one-on-one assistance.

In the fast-moving tech world, it’s important to be proactive, so when a listserv conversation highlights a knowledge gap, we build a training class. When an agency wants to try a new social tool, we partner with them to implement a federal-friendly terms of service agreement. We’re streamlining our training library with event recap articles, to help you quickly review the highlights if you don’t have time to watch an entire event. Finally, we’re curating topical playlists of video content to make it easier to find past events.

What’s Working Well

During the the past three years, the GCXi showed us that our agency customers, those colleagues who work at other government agencies:

  • Depend on the Communities of Practice we sponsor to network, learn from their peers and keep up-to-date on requirements and best practices. Thousands of you are listening and learning via our listservs, even if you don’t speak up.
  • Want to consume content (including webinars and training from DigitalGov University) when and where it’s most convenient for you (this is particularly important for people outside of DC).
  • Appreciate services tailored to government—easy, free, timely and convenient.
  • Love the open sharing of data, through the new analytics dashboard, for example, with its ability for cross-agency benchmarking.

Some of our favorite customer quotes include:

“This is one of the best things I have discovered in my government work.”

“Presents innovative things happening in government in a way that others (myself included) feel like we can implement in our own agencies.”

“Having one group coordinate and share knowledge that helps the entire community is incredibly useful and important.”

We Heard You

We also received a ton of constructive feedback that’s helping us to improve how we work, so we can better serve you. Here are some examples, along with changes we made:

“The meetups look awesome but…I don’t live in DC 🙁 “

  • We improved remote participation options for our events, such as offering “online only” programming for large events, such as our 2015 DigitalGov Citizen Services Summit, or hosting hybrid events for both in-person and remote participants.

“I have not heard of anything referenced here except for FedRAMP, and I’ve been in the Government for 18 years! What are all these things?”

  • Our program managers are conducting more outreach, holding office hours and hosting training sessions to increase awareness of the services we offer to agencies.

“It would be nice if there was more information outreach and something that really simplified (walked-users through) what each of these components are and how to use them.”

  • Many programs now have “101” courses that cover the basics. Browse the playlists on the DigitalGov YouTube channel to see all the on-demand training available.

What’s Next

As 2015 winds down, we’re looking ahead to continue this learning process in 2016. If you’ve participated in past GCXi surveys, we thank you for sharing your candid feedback. As you can see, we take it to heart and will continue to use your feedback to make our programs even better.

Our mission at GSA/OCSIT is to support other agencies, particularly with technology. What else can we do to make your job easier? You don’t have to wait for a survey to tell us—we’re always listening! If you have an idea or suggestion, please leave a comment here, or email the person who manages your favorite community of practice.

To wrap up, I want to share one final comment we received, which encompasses not just OCSIT, but all of you in our communities, too!

“Keep up the great work. It’s critical for us to keep talking, sharing and improving the way we ‘live digitally’ across government, and improve our services for our citizens!”

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