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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Federal Consulting Group? Are you a federal agency?

What services do you offer?

Who are your customers?

What is the history of FCG?

How can I contact the Federal Consulting Group?

What is Executive Coaching?

How can the Federal Consulting Group's executive coaching services benefit my agency?

What is the American Customer Satisfaction Index and what does it mean for federal agencies?

Why is the federal government interested in customer satisfaction?

How can agencies use the ACSI?

Where can I learn more about the ACSI?


What is the Federal Consulting Group? Are you a federal agency?

Yes, we are a federal agency. We are a fee-for-service franchise operation within the Department of the Interior. The Federal Consulting Group is made up of career federal executives who have extensive experience in managing major programs and working with senior agency leaders in areas such as process improvement, strategic planning, creative approaches to problem solving, executive coaching, leadership development, and customer and employee satisfaction.

As a fee-for-service organization, we receive no appropriated funds. All of our expenses are paid for through income we generate by providing consulting, coaching and performance measurement services to other agencies of government and as the executive agent for the American Customer Satisfaction Index. We do business with other agencies through an interagency agreement for our services. Most agencies find it very easy to enter into an agreement with us since we are also a government agency.

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What services do you offer?

The Federal Consulting Group's three business lines— consulting, executive coaching, and measuring performance and customer satisfaction —provide its federal agency customers with innovative solutions using the latest management and IT tools, techniques, and best practices.

Executive Consulting

Our skilled, seasoned executive consultants—mostly current or retired federal leaders—understand your issues and your needs. They can help you:

  • » Implement the President's Management Agenda
  • » Improve your agency's performance by applying the National Baldrige Quality Award criteria
  • » Adapt to and manage rapidly-moving organizational and culture change
  • » Develop and implement flexible strategic plans
  • » Improve communications with your employees—a must if your initiatives are to succeed
  • » Measure performance with sound, reliable metrics
  • » Conduct process improvement to improve efficiency, save money, and improve work quality
  • » Assess and develop statements of work for contact centers

Coaching and Leadership Development

We also have a national network of more than 100 executive coaches and facilitators. Our certified coaches and facilitators, working with you in a collaborative partnership, will help you:

  • » Develop and manage human capital, including succession planning and growing the next generation of managers and leaders
  • » Create and facilitate communities of practice to mentor and develop leaders from the inside out
  • » Work on the development of good management practices and positive ways to give performance feedback
  • » Develop recruitment and training strategies for high potential employees
  • » Enhance, implement and manage diversity initiatives to build high-performance teams
  • » Increase learning in a work environment through appreciative inquiry, building on strengths, and stimulating supportive collaboration
  • » Develop culture change initiatives to create a workplace of choice

American Customer Satisfaction Index

We are the federal government's executive agent for the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the Nation's leading measure of customer satisfaction. The President's Management Council selected ACSI to be a standard metric in government in 1999. ACSI measures customer satisfaction with agency programs and a Web-based ACSI survey measures customer service on agency Websites.

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Who are your customers?

FCG's customers are federal agencies. We are currently working with programs in the Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Army, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Environmental Protection Agency, Internal Revenue Service, Peace Corps, Department of State, National Institutes of Health, Department of Education, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Commerce, Government Printing Office, and many others.

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What is the history of FCG?

The Federal Consulting Group has been active since 1987 under different names. We were once the consulting arm of the Federal Quality Institute (FQI) in the Office of Personnel Management. In 1996, the executives who had been at FQI gained approval of the Department of the Treasury to become part of its franchise. In November 2008, the Federal Consulting Group transitioned to the Department of the Interior.

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How can I contact the Federal Consulting Group?

You may contact FCG by calling the main line, (202) 513-7687.

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What is Executive Coaching?

Coaching is a set of skills used to enhance learning by creating an environment of appreciation and supportive interaction for an agency executive, manager, or team leader. An executive coach works in a collaborative partnership to facilitate an executive's learning in order to achieve desired business results. In particular, a coach uses conversation as a tool to discuss leadership development, personal and organizational change, and competence. The purpose of coaching is to provide new interpretations and new possibilities for action and well-being on the job.

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How can the Federal Consulting Group's executive coaching services benefit my agency?

Our Executive Coaches work with the individual and the agency to facilitate learning and achieve business results. Agencies get high-impact results from coaching—all of which can be seen and measured—such as:

  • » Recruiting and retaining high-potential employees
  • » Developing future leaders
  • » Building cross-program and cross-agency teams
  • » Building citizen-focused programs and initiatives
  • » Improving internal and external communications
  • » Supporting diversity initiatives
  • » Creating high-performing agencies
  • » Aligning agency mission, vision, and values to achieve business results

For example, FCG has provided feedback coaches to the Department of the Army, the National Security Agency, and the Corporation for National Service in support of leadership development programs using the Office of Personnel Management Leadership 360-degree survey.

During the past two years, FCG has worked with high potential GS-14s and 15s in the Environmental Protection Agency on the development of leadership and emotional intelligence competencies using communities of practice called Creative Leadership Groups (CLGs). Participants in these highly diverse CLGs have demonstrated improvements in self-awareness, interpersonal communication skills, collaboration, and the ability to bring out the best in others through enhanced coaching and relationship-building skills.

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What is the American Customer Satisfaction Index and what does it mean for federal agencies?

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the national measure for customer satisfaction, was developed at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. The ACSI is based on extensive research conducted in Europe and the United States. The ACSI is the "gold standard" metric in this country and is the only uniform, independent, national measure of consumer's experiences with the purchase and consumption of goods and services. Further, it is an indicator of future consumer behavior. The ACSI reports scores on a scale of 0 to 100.

ACSI is used by more than 300 of the largest American private corporations. In government, the ACSI is measuring customer satisfaction for about 100 programs and 200 Websites. For example, the United States Mint has an agreement with the Federal Consulting Group—the federal government's executive agent for the ACSI—to measure customer satisfaction on several Mint programs and several Web pages.

The ACSI enables federal agencies to:

  • » Measure program performance
  • » Identify targets of opportunity
  • » Efficiently leverage scarce resources
  • » Obtain valuable feedback from their customers
  • » Focus management's attention on outcomes
  • » Report results for GPRA

As a fee-for-service franchise in Interior, we are easy to work with. The Office of Management and Budget has provided a generic clearance to survey questions. We offer a streamlined process that allows your agency to obtain our services through an Interagency Agreement or whatever documentation your agency requires.

Our work is carried out by partnerships with the University of Michigan, ForeSee Results, and the CFI Group of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

If you would like to know more about ACSI, contact the Federal Consulting Group. We are the federal government's executive agent for the ACSI. Call us at (202) 513-7687 or email us at FCG@nbc.gov.

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Why is the federal government interested in customer satisfaction?

Both the Administration and Congress want to increase the public's trust in government and make government more citizen-centered. Studies show that customer satisfaction is related to trust.

Several laws focus on serving customers, including the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act and the E-Government Act of 2002. The President's Management Agenda requires federal managers to determine if the programs they administer are achieving the desired results at an acceptable cost. If not, they must do something about it, such as determine the causes of unsatisfactory performance and construct remedies.

Many agencies are using the American Customer Satisfaction Index to determine customer satisfaction in order to know how well agencies are performing. For example, in 2004, the Veterans Health Administration and the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) used the ACSI to measure customer satisfaction. The NCA received the highest customer satisfaction score in ACSI's history and VHA received a score considerably higher than the private sector average.

Low ACSI scores have a positive side. Some agencies may know a program is not performing, and will use the ACSI to find the parts of the program that do not meet customer expectations. Low scores reveal what needs to be fixed.

The Federal Consulting Group sponsors an Interagency Customer Satisfaction Forum and an American Customer Satisfaction Index User Group, both of which meet quarterly. In addition, we publish agency ACSI scores and key findings on our Customer Service Website.

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How can agencies use the ACSI?

Agencies can use the ACSI results for:

  • » Analysis of customer needs
  • » Internal strategic planning and performance improvement strategies
  • » Justification of budget requests
  • » Reports on customer satisfaction performance to the Administration and Congress as required under the Government Performance and Results Act and the President's Management Agenda.

We encourage agencies to communicate ACSI results and improvement strategies to employees, customers, and stakeholders.

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When are the ACSI survey scores released?

One of our partners, the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, releases the scores for agency programs once a year in December. The E-Government scores for agency Websites are released quarterly in conjunction with an ACSI user group meeting sponsored by the Federal Consulting Group.

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Where can I learn more about the ACSI?

Results of the government-wide Index, along with key findings, participating agencies, and results for each are available on our ACSI Results page and the ACSI webpage. For more details about the federal government's participation in the ACSI, please contact (202) 513-7687 to reach the ACSI Program Manager.

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Last Reviewed: December 20, 2013

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The Federal Consulting Group
U.S. Department of the Interior

1849 C St, NW
Washington, DC 20240
Phone: (202) 513-7687
Fax: (202) 513-7686