This is the second blog post in a series that explores the meaning of the digital citizen experience. In my first blog post, I looked at What is the Citizen Experience in the 21st Century?, the third posts presents an infographic explaining The Hierarchy of Needs: Citizen Experience in the Public Sector. In this post, I will outline The Metrics you need to Improve the Citizen Experience.
Governments need ways to measure citizen experience and satisfaction so that common challenges with the digital experience can be identified and rectified – leading to better engagement and service.
As mentioned in my last blog post (the first post in a blog series about improving the citizen experience), one of the most efficient ways to measure, monitor, predict and improve citizen experience is by conducting Voice of the Customer (VoC) research.
To get this essential information, you have to obtain feedback directly from your site visitors. In addition, you need to understand how you are going to use this information, and the key here is to determine the metrics that are best for customer experience measurement.
While there are a variety of metrics that can be used as part of a customer experience program, there are a few key metrics that can be leveraged to get any program off the ground – they are your foundation pieces or benchmarks. Four of the most widely leveraged and useful customer experience metrics are:
- Overall Satisfaction (OSAT)
- Net Promoter Score
- Visitor Intent
- Task Completion
The US Digital Analytics Program will use some of these metrics to measure how people perceive the information and services that agencies provide. Let’s look at these foundation KPIs.
Overall Satisfaction (OSAT)
Satisfaction is an essential metric in measuring and managing the customer experience over time. Satisfaction is used to provide a baseline measurement of performance, identify change, and understand key drivers to set and align priorities at an organizational level. It is also a good indicator of the effectiveness of a given service, and provides agencies with an immediate understanding of how citizens feel about them.
One of the common question constructions to measure OSAT is:
“How would you rate your overall experience today?”
With visitors providing a score of your website’s experience on a scale of 0-10 (where 0 represents a very bad experience and 10 being an outstanding experience), you can quickly evaluate your website’s performance and monitor how your site may be improving over time.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
How likely are customers to recommend a given service to another person? Are they going to return time and again? These are the questions that the Net Promoter Score (NPS) aim to answer and measure.
NPS is a customer loyalty metric developed by Frederick F. Reichheld of Bain & Company that provides a read on how your customers feel about your company.
One of the biggest advantages of NPS is that it is relevant to all levels and functions of an organization, all the while retaining its simplicity. Also, it has been shown to be a good leading indicator of overall performance.
Typically, NPS is derived from asking the following question on a scale from 0 to 10:
“How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?”
Respondents are grouped in the following categories based on how they answer this question:
Loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth
Satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings
Unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth
Your NPS score is then calculated by subtracting the proportion of Detractors from the proportion of Promoters to give you a score of between -100 and 100.
Once you have calculated your NPS score, you can better understand your digital reputation and understand your strengths and weaknesses in growing your site’s penetration among citizens.
It is worth noting that NPS is not without its limitations and critics, however it remains a useful and simple metric that can be easily implemented.
Purpose of Visit (Visitor Intent)
Understanding what your visitors are trying to achieve is one of the most critical pieces of information digital marketers need for effective strategies. It paints a detailed picture of the visitor by identifying the intentions that drive their actions.
Marketing Profs states that intent is at the heart of conversion rate optimization. “Your potential customers are seeking for solutions to problems you solve. When you can create strong alignment between the value of your offering and the intent of the visitor, you have your best chance at conversion success”.
The Visitor Intent question is typically framed the following way:
“Which of the following best describes the primary purpose of your visit?”
Armed with visitor intent, you can now know why people are coming to your site, and in turn better align your content to what visitors are trying to achieve.
According to Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist for Google and bestselling web analytics author:
“My one metric on a desert island, if allowed to choose from Web Analytics 2.0, would be Task Completion”
Task Completion tells you if visitors are able to successfully complete the reason for their visit. If visitors are not able to do so, it can impact their satisfaction towards your site, their likelihood to return, as well as their likelihood to recommend your site.
The Task Completion question is often phrased the following way, asking the respondent to answer Yes or No:
“Were you able to accomplish everything you wanted to do on the site today?”
You can also cross tab Task Completion with other metrics to obtain a more in-depth look at the website experience.
Below is a snapshot from the iperceptions industry benchmark report, averaged over the last twelve months:
In the report above we see a bubble chart comparing task completion (x axis) and overall satisfaction (y axis) for different industries - government, health-care, finance and insurance, transportation and education. With this comparison we are able to better understand where Government sites on average rank vs. other Industries and the performance of Government sites vs. the average for both task completion and overall satisfaction.
Specifically for websites there is a correlation between Task Completion and Overall Experience, in the sense that visitors who are able to complete their purpose of visit have a higher Task Completion rate vs. those who are unable to accomplish their task online. So for government websites to increase its task completion rate of 70.8 percent, iperceptions recommends that more research be done to uncover the causes of the failure to complete tasks and unlock the potential to increase overall satisfaction scores from 6.9. By applying a research framework to the government’s current research project governments can get a better handle on measurement and predict which areas of the digital journey should be worked on to improve the experience.
Metrics you can benchmark
How does the digital experience of a website stack up to industry averages? How does it compare month-to-month, and how does it stack up when you make a change to your website? Continuous listening is crucial to creating a stable benchmark.
As discussed earlier in this post, having industries you can benchmark against gives you an idea of your performance by providing context.
Only benchmarking will tell you where you fit in a range of scores, and this knowledge is essential when making strategic decisions that will impact the performance of your website.
OSAT, NPS, Task Completion, Purpose of Visit - each of these metrics offer government agencies an idea of the effectiveness of their citizen satisfaction programs. Paired with the iperceptions Experience and Intent Benchmark, which aggregates and compares information over more than fifteen industry types and across seven site objectives.
In the next blog post, we'll explore the benefits of creating segments, personas and user journeys to maximize the experience.