Annual surveys

July 1, 2011

Whilst doing the literature review for my thesis I found lots of information that directed towards the view that annual or similar surveys to determine customer satisfaction were a waste of energy. This, of course, was at the time when the Audit Commission was still expecting local government to do such exercises and spend a lot of taxpayers money doing them.

A new short report from Clicktools supports this view and offers some useful guidance in the process. Whilst Clicktools is very probably a useful tool, it’s not the only way;  the main thing being to recognise that feedback regarding a transaction is best gathered by micro-surveys as near as possible to the time of the transaction.

The advice is focused on the private sector but can be easily turned to the public sector processes dealing with clients and citizens not customers.

Complaining culture

March 19, 2009

Whilst I am encouraging the use of citizen feedback to bring about engagement and change, I think it sad when complaints reach the stage of ‘complaints culture’ as in the Singapore Complaints Choir or the orginal Helsinki one.

I can only assume their complaints weren’t observed or they were just a bunch of whingers…

Old Australian joke: Question – How do you tell when a airplane has landed full of poms (UK immigrants)? Answer – because it carries on whining after the engines have been turned off!

Without being totally anti-complainant there is a web site worth considering:

Along with a fairly lengthy private-sector publication from June 2008 from the Aberdeen Group available for download via the Clicktools site entitled: Customer Feedback Management – mind if I ask you a few questions – lots of ideas and actions to play with!

Triumph of the will

March 17, 2009

I was thinking further about ‘The many angles of multichannel service’, and whilst the workflow modelling may assist, the main requirement for it to be successful is an organizational culture that encourages feedback and, importantly, is seen to employ it.

The model I have proposed is effectively just that, a model. Due to the diversity of organizational structures, customer relationship management systems (CRM), content management systems (CMS), telephony systems and applications in use I don’t believe a standard middleware broker applicable at the current time, but who knows what may happen in the future?

However, certain applications can facilitate recording of feedback, transaction volumes and vary in complexity and cost. However, the main requirement is a corporate will for cultural change – the need to accept the variants on co-production as useful tools, the understanding that all channels need to operate sympathetically to each other, the need for staff supporting the different channels to cooperate.

There is also a requirement to understand citizen need prior to the establishment of the citizen engagement exchange. In terms of need, this may be expressed as understanding the citizen neighbourhood, educating and empowering them to advise, and comprehending the demographics.

Some private sector support for the above ideas can be found in reports by clicktools, particularly the one on “Why the annual ‘do you love us survey’ doesn’t work”, which may apply to the Place survey local authorities are expected to do?