The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) earned a score of 81 in
a recent American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey of individuals who
applied for and received unemployment or sickness benefits from the agency. This
is an increase of 6 points from the previous survey of this customer group in
2002, and almost 15 points higher than the most recent satisfaction score for
the Federal government as a whole.
The areas evaluated by the survey included claims activity, telephone service
and face-to-face contact with an agency representative. Claims activity received
a score of 85, a slight increase over the prior survey, with respondents
indicating that claim forms are easy to read and fill out.
Interactions with an agency employee on the phone scored 88, a key measure since
83 percent of customers contact the RRB by telephone. Face-to-face contact,
utilized by about a third of customers, scored even higher at 92.
Since the previous survey was conducted, the RRB implemented an automated
telephone system in which callers to a toll-free number follow a series of
prompts to obtain information or services. As a result, it was a first-time
addition to the current survey. The agency received a score of 82 in this area,
with respondents indicating that the agency could probably improve navigation of
The agency has also expanded the number of services available on its website,
www.rrb.gov. The survey indicated customers were satisfied with these services,
but also suggested that the RRB take some steps to increase their use. For
example, about 90 percent of the respondents were aware of the ability to file
benefit claims online, but three-fourths of them still used paper claim forms.
Overall, applicants for unemployment benefits were slightly more satisfied than
those for sickness benefits. Both groups were least satisfied with the
timeliness of receiving benefits, although it still scored relatively high at 83
and 73 for unemployment and sickness benefits, respectively.
Customers also had a high level of confidence in the RRB doing a good job, with
a score of 87, an increase from 83 in 2002. Similarly, the number of respondents
who had complained to the agency in the last 12 months dropped from 11 percent
to 9 percent.
Produced through a partnership of the University of Michigan Business School,
the CFI Group, and the American Society for Quality, the ACSI regularly measures
national customer satisfaction with corporate and government goods and services.
Working with the Department of the Interior's National Business Center Federal
Consulting Group, government agencies participating in the survey use the ACSI
to gauge their level of service and benchmark their performance for comparison
with similar organizations in the private sector. The ACSI also helps agencies
focus on those processes, based on customer feedback, which will have the
biggest impact on an agency's ability to deliver the highest quality products
This marks the sixth time the RRB has participated in the survey. In 2009, the
RRB earned a score of 88 in an ACSI survey of recently retired railroad workers
who were receiving a monthly annuity. Other recent surveys included a score of
85 in a 2006 survey of individuals who were recently awarded disability
benefits, and a score of 90 in a 2005 ACSI survey that focused on the agency's
survivor benefit process. The RRB has consistently received higher scores than
the composite Federal number.
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