Earlier this year IT Business Edge's Ann All wrote about President Obama's instruction to government agencies to "redouble" their efforts to utilize technology to make customer service better and more cost effective, with money saved going toward public-facing websites and productivity tools for government employees.
Some agencies are already doing a good job with their websites and with customer service, based on the high rankings of some in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index's (ACSI) E-Government Satisfaction Index, which measures citizen satisfaction for federal websites during 2011's third quarter. As Government Technology reports, the Social Security Administration's iClaim and retirement estimator websites were ranked the best federal websites for e-commerce/transaction, with a score of 90 out of 100.
In fact, according to business analytics company Foresee Results, which measures user satisfaction with both public-sector and private-sector websites, the SSA's iClaim site received a higher ranking than the scores earned by Google and Amazon, the top performers in the private sector. The Government Technology article quotes Foresee CEO Larry Freed, who calls the SSA's 90 a "phenomenal score."
The article also lists some other high- and low-scoring sites from the survey.
Foresee also audited 15 Cabinet-level government agencies on their use of social media best practices developed by Foresee's usability team. The agencies did fairly well, with all 15 having a presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. In addition, 12 of the 15 agencies utilize YouTube playlists and 12 of them label social media icons with a call to action like "connect with us."
But, Freed said, when it comes to more advanced social media practices, the agencies are "probably lagging a little bit there from where I would expect them to be or where they should be."
Agencies also didn't score as well when it came to having policies. Seven of them link to social policies on their websites and just four post a Facebook comment policy. IT Business Edge's Lora Bentley in August wrote about a Government Accountability Office report that found relatively few agencies had paid attention to the security and privacy issues associated with the use of social media.