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RightNow Federal Customer Service Survey Reveals Sector Highs and Lows

The results of the “Uncle Sam at Your Service: 2011 Federal Customer Experience Study” are in, and they aren’t pleasant. The study, underwritten by RightNow Technologies, found that just 31 percent of Americans are very satisfied with Federal customer service, with four out of five Americans believing the Federal government can improve customer service.

Despite the grim numbers, the study of 1,000 Americans in July 2011 found some bright spots. 31 percent of respondents report being very satisfied with Federal service this year, up from 24 percent in 2010. Americans say they see the biggest improvements in agency responsiveness and consistency — two attributes they consider key to the customer service experience. The Social Security Administration and Department of Education earned admirably high marks, with more than half of customers reporting exceptional service.

Private sector service also continues to outrank Federal service. Forty-four percent of Americans are very satisfied with the service they receive from private companies, compared to the 31 percent who are very satisfied with agency service. In his executive order, President Obama directs Feds to “learn from what is working in the private sector and apply these best practices to deliver services better, faster and at lower cost.” To do so, the report suggests agencies simplify Federal data search; utilize a multi-channel approach to meet customer communication preferences; and offer opt-in agency accounts to streamline service delivery.

MeriTalk and RightNow will offer a complimentary Webcast to help Federal agencies further improve customer service practices on September 28, 2011 at 1 p.m. EDT. Interested participants can register at www.meritalk.com/customerservice2011webcast.

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