Skip to page navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Skip to main content

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS)

The CSS is a powerful diagnostic tool for assessing satisfaction with services provided to internal (e.g., Human Resources, Information Technology, Chief Financial Officer, contracting) or external customers. The CSS includes nine service quality dimensions that predict customer satisfaction and are related to organizational effectiveness and financial performance:

  • Access
  • Courtesy
  • Knowledge
  • Timeliness
  • Reliability
  • Choice
  • Tangibles
  • Recovery
  • Quality

Components of this instrument can be customized to assess any type of service provided in the public sector. The CSS is used by OPM and other agencies to meet Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requirements and as part of a balanced measurement system.

The 1999 Government Accounting Office (GAO) report, Selected Approaches for Verification and Validation of Agency Performance Information, benchmarks best practices in outcome measurement and cites OPM's Customer Satisfaction Survey as a valid and reliable GPRA measure. The survey was developed by OPM research psychologists and designed to provide agencies with accurate and reliable measures of customer satisfaction that can be used for benchmarking across the Federal government.

With the CSS, you get these benefits:

  • Research-Based - building on thorough literature reviews and rigorous scientific testing
  • Empirical - providing empirical data on key dimensions of organizational performance
  • Benchmarking capability - building on benchmark comparisons against other high-performing organizations in the Federal government
  • Fast and Easy to Administer - online or scannable forms for fast feedback
  • Easy-to-Understand Reports - results presented in a variety of ways, providing easy understanding and meaningful comparisons by all readers
  • By Government for Government - thorough knowledge of the government gained through more than 80 years of personnel research and service to Federal agencies
  • Follow-On Assistance - professional consulting, and change management services to help you take positive action to improve performance within your organization.

Federal agencies have been measuring customer satisfaction in various ways since at least 1993, when the President issued an Executive Order on Setting Customer Service Standards and Measuring Customer Satisfaction. Benchmarking results across agencies has not been possible because each agency has used its own instrument.

The CSS provides a solution: valid, reliable, fast, easy, and useful.

If you want to take advantage of our expertise, contact:

Henry Thibodeaux, Ph.D.
Manager, Assessment Services Branch
U. S. Office of Personnel Management
Phone: 202-606-7228
Fax: 202-606-1399

Back to Top

Control Panel