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A 'Yelp for Government' is Coming

Travelers wait in line to check in at a security checkpoint area at Midway International Airport, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in Chicago.

Travelers wait in line to check in at a security checkpoint area at Midway International Airport, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in Chicago. // Nam Y. Huh/AP

Whether you were frustrated by the long airport security line or elated by how quickly you were issued a visa, the General Services Administration wants to make sure agencies know.

GSA has teamed with the State Department and the Social Security Administration to launch Feedback USA -- also known as “Yelp for government.” The program is meant to provide agencies with timely feedback on their most popular services, according to a GSA press release.

The pilot version of Feedback USA rolled out Tuesday. It’s expected to stay in this pilot format for one full year, accompanied by the occasional evaluation.

Customer satisfaction with agency services has been declining over the last few years, according to a January report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Its most recent finding came in 2014 when the level of satisfaction had sunk to 64 points out of 100.

While both SSA and the Department of Veterans Affairs are in the process of launching their pilot versions of the program, the State Department announced on its website it had already successfully installed customer service kiosks at each of its 27 passport agencies and centers.

State's devices ask customers, "How did we do today?" Users can then answer by clicking on one of four emoticon-like faces showcasing a range of emotions.

"Our first goal is to enhance national security by issuing secure travel documents to eligible U.S. citizens and nationals," said Brenda Sprague, deputy assistant secretary of state for passport services, in a statement. "We’re also actively listening to feedback from our customers about improving the application process.”

SSA is expected to implement a similar type of kiosk in its card centers. The Transportation Security Administration plans to collect feedback from those travelers who go through security screening at certain airports located in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

The feedback will be anonymous and in real time so agency partners "can act quickly to resolve any issues and improve their service,” the release stated.

GSA has helped manage these projects, acquired kiosks and fashioned them with the appropriate software, according to the release.

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