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Weekly News Digest

July 31, 2008 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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ACSIís E-Government Satisfaction Index Shows Improvement

Citizen satisfaction with federal government websites ended a losing streak by improving for the first time in a year, according to the 2Q report of the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Government Satisfaction Index (www.theacsi.org). The index rose 0.7% to 72.9 on the ACSI’s 100-point scale. The study also found that increasing satisfaction drives citizens to use the web channel as a primary resource, which can save tax dollars by channeling citizen inquiries away from more expensive channels such as call centers.

According to the report, citizens who are satisfied with government websites are 84% more likely to use the web as a primary resource for information or to execute transactions. Satisfied citizens are also 82% more likely to recommend the website, and 56% are more likely to return to the site than dissatisfied citizens.

In aggregate, 45% of the websites rated in the Index increased their scores from last quarter, and 23 sites had superior scores of 80 or higher. The highest-scoring federal website continues to be Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/i1020), which scored 88. The site has been at the top of the Index in each quarterly report for an unprecedented 2 years.

Some government agencies are including online customer satisfaction in their vendor evaluation programs as an incentive for contractors to produce user-friendly websites. Recreation.gov, the National Park Service’s website for recreational reservations and information, had the biggest score increase of the index since last quarter (+13% to 72). By tying vendor performance to citizen satisfaction, Recreation.gov ensures that everyone involved in the site—both internal and external—shares a commitment to meeting the needs of citizens.

Search, navigation, and functionality continue to be areas that have the most impact on satisfaction, and therefore they are top priorities for improvement. Despite the increase in the overall index, satisfaction with egovernment websites still lags private sector ecommerce (81.6) and ebusiness (75.2) websites.

The ACSI is the only uniform, national, cross-industry measure of satisfaction with the quality of goods and services available in the United States. In 1999, the federal government selected ACSI to be a standard metric for measuring citizen satisfaction. The index is produced by the University of Michigan, in partnership with the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and CFI Group, an international consulting firm. ForeSee Results (www.foreseeresults.com) sponsors the ecommerce, ebusiness, and egovernment indexes.

Source: ForeSee Results



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