Citizen satisfaction with Federal government services has never been worse, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI) Federal Government Report 2021.

The U.S. government saw a sharp decline in citizen satisfaction in 2021, dropping to an all-time low score of 63.4 out of 100 – a 2.6 percent decrease from the previous report.

“This is the fourth consecutive year that satisfaction with the Federal government takes a hit, marking an unprecedented run of negative movement in the index,” says Forrest Morgeson, assistant professor of marketing at Michigan State University and Director of Research at the ACSI. “Citizens’ perceptions of Federal government services have been greatly impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the fallout from the contentious 2020 federal elections.”

According to the report, it wasn’t just one particular area that sank the satisfaction numbers for the Federal government, but rather all four primary drivers of citizen satisfaction taking a hit. Those drivers include: process, information, customer service, and website.

“Efficiency and ease of government processes tumbles five percent to 63, while ease of accessing and clarity of information slides three percent to 67,” the report states. “Likewise, the courtesy and professionalism of customer service slips one percent to 73, and government website quality dips one percent to 70.”

Further, the Department of Interior is the only Federal agency to exceed the economy-wide national ACSI average with a score of 77 and the average being 73.7. Meanwhile, the Department of the Treasury set the lowest bar with a score of 54, but the report does make note that the agency deals with citizens primarily through “its inherently unpopular tax collection mission.”

The results speak volumes, with citizen satisfaction descending to an all-time low. The Federal government has its work cut out for it if it hopes to turn things around,” said Morgeson.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.