Citizen satisfaction with federal government services hits lowest since 2015, ACSI Data Show


ANN ARBOR, Michigan – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Citizen satisfaction with US federal government services is plummeting.

Citizen satisfaction fell from 4.4% to a score of 65.1 (out of 100), according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®) Federal Government Report 2020.

“For the third year in a row, satisfaction with the federal government has worsened,” said Forrest Morgeson, assistant professor of marketing at Michigan State University and director of research at ACSI. “Marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the controversial preparations for the November federal elections and the uncertainty that followed these elections, citizen satisfaction is now at its lowest level since 2015, making the rise of government even more so. steeper. ”

The quality of federal government services is collapsing

Of the four main drivers of citizen satisfaction – process, information, customer service, and website – only customer service prevents a free fall.

The efficiency and ease of government processes drop 3% to 66, ease of access and clarity of information drop 3% to 69, and perceptions of the quality of government websites drop 5% to 71. Professionalism and courtesy of customer service obtained the best results among the drivers of citizen satisfaction, stable at 74.

These changes reflect a broad and deep erosion in the quality of federal government services experienced by citizens in 2020.

Departments of Commerce and Agriculture stand out, while Department of Treasury lags behind

Citizen satisfaction differs considerably from one department to another, with the differences observed being larger among federal departments than among companies in most private sector industries.

This year, the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture lead the way, both at 74.

The remainder is well below the ACSI national average across the economy (74.4 in Q3 2020), with the Treasury Department bringing up the rear at 60. It should be noted that Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer separate federal departments are included in the ACSI 2020 sample.

Democrats, Republicans and Independents each achieved the lowest satisfaction score in 3 years

The federal government study of ACSI does not measure public endorsement of specific politicians or political parties. However, political party affiliation is likely to have some influence on citizens’ satisfaction with government services, according to ACSI data.

Looking at trends in citizen satisfaction by party affiliation between 2019 and 2020, Democrats (down 4% to 68), Republicans (down 7% to 65) and independents (down 5% to 68) % to 62) all show a decline in satisfaction from one year to the next. Each group now has its lowest score since 2018. Only the much smaller group of “Other Party” supporters (+ 7% to 62) report higher satisfaction in 2020 than in the previous two years.

The Federal Government’s ACSI 2020 report is based on interviews with 1,291 users, selected at random and contacted by email throughout the year. Download the full report, and follow ACSI on LinkedIn and Twitter on @ ACSI.

No advertising or other promotional use may be made of the data and information contained in this press release without the express prior written consent of ACSI LLC.

About ACSI

the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®) has been a national economic indicator for 25 years. It measures and analyzes customer satisfaction with more than 400 companies in 47 industries and 10 economic sectors, including various departments of federal and local government agencies. Reported on a scale of 0 to 100, the scores are based on data from interviews with approximately 500,000 clients per year. For more information visit

ACSI and its logo are registered trademarks of the University of Michigan, licensed worldwide exclusively to American Customer Satisfaction Index LLC with the right to sublicense.


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