The White House has been trying to improve the federal digital customer experience (CX) since 2011. But when I published my first report and blog on the topic in 2015, the situation was still dire. A Forrester survey had just shown that, for instance:

  • Only two-fifths of the public agreed that the federal government should focus on offering more digital services.
  • Fewer than a third of Americans wanted federal mobile apps that tailor safety alerts and other government information to the user’s location.
  • Just two-fifths of people were interested in a single-sign-on credential for federal websites.

My latest report on federal digital CX, “The Public Is Still Skeptical Of Federal Digital Customer Experience,” offers a faint glimmer of hope. The report uses our latest survey research to show that although federal digital CX is finally starting to get better, the public is still apathetic about digital government. The report is loaded with details and graphs, so I hope you’ll check it out. To whet your appetite, here are just two of several items from the full report that show some hope for the quality of federal digital CX:

  • Instagram scored the highest customer satisfaction rating of the 10 digital and nondigital channels we studied. The telephone scored the lowest. What about the eight in between — things like in-person, Facebook, websites, and email? Check out the report to see the details on how they scored.
  • Customers think that federal websites are getting slightly better. Our data shows that 53% of customers now agree that federal websites are "exactly what [they] should be." That’s only 2 percentage points higher than our 2014 survey showed, but the number is finally moving in the right direction. The full report contains a more complete readout on measures like website organization and ease of use.

And here are two of numerous data points from the full report that demonstrate the apathy the public still feels toward federal digital CX:

  • Even fewer customers want digital interactions with federal agencies. That’s right — 39% of federal customers said they want Washington to focus on offering more digital services, a 2% decline from 2014.
  • Still only two-fifths of the public wants a single-sign-on credential for federal websites. Despite another year of having to remember multiple sets of login information, federal customers just don’t want to make it easy on themselves.

The report also has great data on things like public attitudes toward federal location-based services, a single government web portal, and trust in the government’s protection of personal information. Please take a look at the full report for all the gory details.

At the end of the report, I recommend four core tactics to make federal digital CX more enticing to the public. One tactic that I’ve written about extensively is protecting digital CX from overbearing security practices. In the wake of so many high-profile hacks of federal systems, it’s good that agencies are focused on cybersecurity. But high security is at best a pyrrhic victory if it makes digital channels more confusing or difficult to use. Luckily, security and CX don't have to be mutually exclusive. To learn how to create digital channels that provide both safer and better customer experiences, please read my report “Five Ways For Federal Agencies To Improve The User Experience And Digital Security.”

I’m looking forward to next year’s federal digital CX update, when I hope to report big gains in both the quality of federal digital CX and the public’s excitement about it. Good luck!