Customer survey release delayed until December

Don't look for the next governmentwide customer satisfaction survey until December, project officials said Tuesday. In January, officials with the now-defunct National Partnership for Reinventing Government said that broader results of the 2000 customer satisfaction survey would be unveiled this spring. The results have been tabulated, but the survey's managers have decided to release them in tandem with the full 2001 survey, which will not be finished until December. This will garner more public attention, according to the survey's overseers. "We want the splash to be as big as possible," said David VanAmburg, an official with the University of Michigan Business School, which conducts the survey. The survey ranks agencies on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which has been used as a gauge of customer satisfaction for more than 200 private companies since 1994. The ACSI provides each agency with a numerical score from 0 to 100 based on customer expectations, perceived quality and perceived value. First conducted in 1999, the survey is based on interviews with about 30 customer groups as selected by agencies. Agencies determine which customers are interviewed for the survey, and have pursued different strategies as they seek feedback on their activities. For example, while the Federal Emergency Management Agency has surveyed a random sample of disaster assistance recipients, considered primary customers of FEMA services, the Environmental Protection Agency has selected reference librarians who use the EPA Web site and respond to questions about the environment. In December, the University of Michigan and the Federal Consulting Group, a Treasury Department unit that inherited survey management duties from the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, will release 2001 survey results for these original 30 customer groups. At the same time, survey overseers will release results for more than 60 new customer groups for the year 2000, including several first-time agency participants, among them the Small Business Administration and the Energy Department. All of these customer groups will be folded into the 2002 survey, according to VanAmburg. While the public will have to wait a little longer for the expanded survey, the Federal Consulting Group is encouraging agencies to stay on the customer satisfaction bandwagon. The organization has formed an interagency working group on customer service that will explore how customer feedback can be used as a management tool, among other topics. Agencies will likely pay for the survey themselves next year, when funding from the General Services Administration runs out, according to VanAmburg and franchise officials. The Federal Consulting Group is also encouraging agencies to survey customers who are the primary users of their services. Critics have long questioned the survey because agencies decide what customers to interview, and some have surveyed arguably easy-to-please customers. "My hope is that agencies will really step up to the plate and measure their most important customers," said Anne Kelly, director of the Federal Consulting Group. The following table contains a working list of all customer groups to be interviewed in both surveys to be released in December. New participants for the survey are in italics.
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service International travelers having plant/animal inspections
Flower importers
Forest Service Visitors to National Parks
Food and Nutrition Service WIC program recipients
Food Safety and Inspection Service Principal grocery shoppers and food preparers
Farm Service Agency Farmers receiving loans
Recipients of federal crop insurance
Food and Nutrition Service Food stamp recipients
School lunch recipients
National Agriculture Resource Service Data users of Agricultural statistics
Natural Resources Conservation Service Recipients of technical assistance
National Agriculture Statistics Service Data recipients
Census Bureau Data users in libraries, states, local agencies
Patent and Trademark Office Recent individual patent and trademark applicants
Defense Acquisition Suppliers to the Defense Department
Army Warfighters receiving new equipment
Navy Warfighters receiving new equipment
Air Force Warfighters receiving new equipment
Corps of Engineers Users of recreation water facilities
Education Primary users of educational publications
Users of Education-Information website
Grant Administration payments
Student Financial Assistance, Education Dept. Electronic applicants for Title IV aid
All other customer groups
Energy Information Administration Information Users
Environmental Protection Agency
EPA Reference Librarians accessing EPA Web site
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Disaster assistance recipients
General Services Administration
Consumer Information Center Users of Consumer Information Center Publications
Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families Parents of Head Start students
Food and Drug Administration Principal grocery shoppers and food preparers
Health Care Financing Administration Recent Medicare beneficiaries
Health Care Financing Administration (4 segments) Participants in state Medicaid/SCHIP programs
Centers for Disease Control Users of website
Health Resources and Services Administration Data recipients
States receiving block grants
States receiving discretionary grants
Housing and Urban Development
Community Development Community Block Grants
Federal Housing Administration Applicants for FHA mortgages
Housing assistance recipients
Bureau of Land Management Recreational visitors
National Park Service Recreational visitors to parks
Fish and Wildlife Service Visitors to conservation refuges
Immigration and Naturalization Service International air travelors
International travelers -- Northern U.S. border
International travelers -- Southern U.S. border
Office of Justice Programs Data recipients of criminal justice information
OSHA Health and safety professionals
Employees who experience walk throughs
Employment and Training Administration Users of One Stop centers
Employment Standards Administration Black lung part b beneficiaries
Pension & Welfare Benefits Benefit plan participants
Bureau of Labor Statistics Users of labor statistics
Educators involved in NASA center programs
Media Contacts
National Science Foundation
Recent grant applicants
Recent grant awardees
Office of Personnel Management
Federal retirees and annuitants
Small Business Administration
Recipients of small business financing
Recipients of business development assistance
Users of small business development centers
Social Security Administration Recent retirement benefits recipients
Survivor annuitants
Disability beneficiaries
Users of information/website
Bureau of Counsular Affairs Recent passport applicants
Federal Aviation Administration Commercial pilots
Federal Highway Administration Engineers/Administrators of Transporation at the state level
Customs Service International air travelors
Internal Revenue Service Electronic tax filers
Paper tax filers
Tax exempt tax filers
Small business/self employed filers
Large and mid-size business filers
Employee plans
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Brewers, winery, and importers
Veterans Affairs
Veteran compensation/benefit claimants
Veterans Health Adminstration Outpatients at VHA clinics
Patients at VHA hospitals
Recipients of pharmacy services
Veterans Benefits Administration Participants in insurance programs
Board of Veterans Appeals Veterans or beneficiaries making appeals
National Cemetary Administration Cemetary programs and services
Pension Benefit Corporation
Pension beneficiaries
Participants in pension plans that have been taken over
Export-Import Bank
U.S. Mint
U.S. Postal Service Recipients of regular mail
Recipients of express mail

Source: Federal Consulting Group

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