Americans are more satisfied with the IRS than they are with commercial airlines. And that was before September 11th!
The latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has revealed that Americans regard filing their taxes as a more favourable experience than flying on a commercial airline. The Internal Revenue Service scored 62 (out of 100), compared to the commercial airlines' score of 61 earlier this year.
Claes Fornell, professor of business and director of the University of Michigan Business School's National Quality Research Center, which compiles and analyses the ACSI data, says that high satisfaction levels among those who file their tax returns electronically have bumped up the tax man's score. Generally, people view the process as simple and efficient and get their tax refunds sooner.
Private sector techniques
And according to Jack West, past president of the American Society for Quality, a partner in producing the ACSI, "The IRS has adopted some of the private sector's techniques, such as actively listening to their customers then changing processes, reallocating resources and focusing technology to enhance the overall tax-filing experience."
The ACSI is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of goods and services available to household consumers in the United States. It is updated each quarter with new measures for different sectors of the economy replacing data from the prior year. In December of each year, the ACSI issues a report on satisfaction of recipients of services from the federal government.
The index is produced by a partnership of the U-M Business School, American Society for Quality and CFI Group, and supported in part by Market Strategies Inc., a major corporate sponsor. The Federal Consulting Group, a franchise within the Department of the Treasury, is the executive agent for the ACSI and the federal government.