American satisfaction with government services continues to decline, according to a report released Jan. 27.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) showed overall satisfaction with government services falling 2.6 points in 2014 — down to 64.6 out of 100 possible points. In 2012 overall satisfaction stood at 68.4 points.
Claes Fornell, the chairman and founder of the ACSI said that budget cuts have been damaging agency customer service scores.
"Due to the very nature of their business, regulatory agencies like the IRS always face user satisfaction challenges and it becomes even more difficult to maintain quality service to a growing number of users with fewer, or even the same number of people, providing those services," he said in a statement.
Overall, the federal government lags behind the private sector with industries such as Energy Utilities, retail companies and health care fields ranking significantly higher on the satisfaction index.
Only Internet service companies rank lower than the government at 63 points.
"While there are exceptions to the general trend of lower customer satisfaction with government services, the challenge of maintaining high-quality service with fewer resources may affect even more services soon," says David VanAmburg, ACSI director. "For example, the wait time for callers to the IRS is projected to balloon even more than it did a year ago — possibly exceeding 30 minutes."
The Defense Department scored the highest among agencies at 73 points, while the Agriculture Department came in second at 69 points. The Department of Homeland Security ranked above the average at 66 points.
The Veterans Affairs Department came in below average at 59 points, and the Treasury Department ranked among the lowest with 57 points.