No place to be

May 10, 2009

The website, the online version of the Municipal Journal, had the headline on 7 May 2009 that ‘Less than half happy with council services’, which was a report about figures compiled by Ipsos MORI from the Place survey data required to be collected by local authorities.

Ben Page of Ipsos MORI blames this drop in public satisfaction on poor communication and increases in Council Tax. I think the Place survey is a waste of money and meaningless. If a local authority employs the strategy proposed by Ben Page and communicates good messages before its survey, it’ll get improved results!

Lets better employ the money by continually measuring satisfaction with services and channels and using it to improve the delivery of services!


If you are interested and, preferably, in UK local government please complete the survey, it doesn’t take long at all. I’ll keep feeding back through these pages, which are also covered by and PSF.



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?

Customer insight: an online conference

June 10, 2008

The Improvement & Development Agency (IDeA) are this month (June 2008) hosting an online conference on the subject of ‘customer insight’. The’ve neatly started off by inviting Mary Tetlow to provide a piece with her views and a video of herself.

I believe Mary’s piece is a  reasonable criticism of the National Indicator set and Place survey, reflecting the views of the public and in two A4 pages she explains some of the issues faced by many local authorities having to do something that is of little or no value  (which perhaps echoes back to the government’s own NI14).

Anyway, the debate has opened but registration is required to partake. Please take a look!

Having read about and discussed customer insight, need, satisfaction etc., I believe we can make this as complex or as simple as we want, but on this occasion, please, please, lets opt for the Occam’s razor of solutions and go for something that is easy for councils to operate and gives the public what they deserve!