Performance Improvement 2008. American Customer Satisfaction Index: Ready for Broader HHS Use?


Could the American Customer Satisfaction Index, widely by the private sector and other government agencies, be useful across NIH? This study evaluated its use for 60 NIH web sites. The Index is an online customer satisfaction survey methodology widely used across government to meet the Federal directive to measure citizen satisfaction with e-government. The evaluation focused on: (1) how the individual participating web site teams applied the Index to evaluate their sites and the ways these sites benefited from using the Index, and (2) whether broad use of the Index across individual web sites provided additional benefits for NIH. An objective was to determine whether the Index site-level data provided any additional insight into how NIH web sites were used and how they performed relative to NIH communication goals. Researchers reviewed secondary data, surveyed participating teams, and interviewed selected teams.

The Index filled a gap for most NIH web site teams that did not already have resources for evaluation and/or previous experience in measuring customer satisfaction. Two-thirds of the teams indicated overall satisfaction with their use of the Index for site evaluation. Dissatisfied teams were those that used the Index for a shorter period, did not receive results within the evaluation period, or were unsure about the methodology. The Index provided web site teams with a convenient way to measure customer satisfaction. It allowed continuous qualitative data collection at a lower cost than options such as a one-time user survey. Use of the Index across sites provided additional benefits, such as establishing a network of NIH web site professionals for sharing experiences, knowledge, and tips about evaluation in general, and about customer satisfaction measurement and Index use.

Report Title: Trans-NIH American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Web Site Evaluation. Report may be obtained from Federal Contact
Agency Sponsor:
NIH, National Institutes of Health
Federal Contact:
Fred Wood, 301-402-9278
Interagency Agreement with Federal Consulting Group/US Department of the Treasury; subcontracts to ForeSeeResults Inc., and Westat Inc
PIC ID: 8385

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"PerformanceImprovement2008.pdf" (pdf, 1.29Mb)

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