RBFF releases report about online licenses

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The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation announced the results of a new report that assesses the state of the online license purchase process and a white paper that offers six ways to improve anglers’ experience with the process.

The RBFF Online Fishing License Assessment: 2012 and The Connected Angler: Six Ways to Improve Anglers’ Online License Purchase were officially announced at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference March 25-30 in Arlington, Va.

“National consumer trends show there will be many technology and demographic changes occurring in the next few years that will have a significant impact on RBFF and state agencies’ success,” RBFF president and CEO Frank Peterson said in a statement. “Nearly 190 million people will shop online this year — 118 million on a mobile device. Using this information, we embarked on a project to assess the current state fishing license online purchase process and develop a set of recommendations that we will use in our work with state agencies to help build on, or improve, the customer experience.”

RBFF in 2012 visited every state agency home page, purchased a one-day non-resident fishing license (or the shortest term available) and documented the experience in four categories: prepurchase phase, purchase phase, post-purchase phase and customer support.

The report recommendations include:

• Go mobile. Five out of 50 states offered mobile-friendly websites, and two out of 50 states offered mobile license buying.

• Require every customer to provide an email address. Forty-seven states collected email, but only a little over half of those made email collection mandatory.

• Say “thank you.” Thirty-two states offered no post-communication thank you message.

• Follow up and educate at every opportunity. Eleven states offered the option to sign-up for subscriptions or news.

• Focus on families. Three out of 50 states offered a family license.

• Offer Spanish-language translation. One state offered Spanish translation.

The Online Fishing License Assessment is RBFF’s first step toward better understanding the customer experience and assisting states in improving it. “State partnerships are a priority for RBFF, and we will continue to collaborate and create programs that benefit the states and the customers they serve,” said Peterson.

The white paper, along with the detailed final report, is available to view and download at TakeMeFishing.org/corporate.

Click here for the full release.