Measuring what matters!

September 23, 2008

Having wondered in the last blog if I was a lone voice crying in a wilderness, it now appears even less so! Not hot news but current and relevant is the fact that the Government of Victoria, Australia has taken out a two year licence on the Canadian Common Measurements Tool (CMT)! The CMT is a set of survey questions and scales that allow individual agencies to survey their own customers’ satisfaction and identify service delivery improvements for service users. This follows on the Government of South Australia  doing the same thing but Victoria is frequently seen as a leader in matters e-government. 

My personal view is that whilst the CMT might be a great instrument for large governments its a little too big for those without the resoiuces to act upon the feedback.

A further reinforcement was reading relatively recent papers such as  Understanding Customer Experience by Christopher Meyer and Andre Schwager (Harvard Business Review, February 2007), which demonstrates a move from thinking about customer relationship management to customer experience management. Schwager is a founder of Satmetrix Systems that actually produces software to collect customer feedback.

I believe government organizations, despite being in a different market, need to collect the satisfaction data but instead of comparing with competitors, allow for the gap with  public expectation and monitor changes and feedback across channles. If expectation levels are managed honestly and the gap identified, management can then be attempted for any major variance. This needs to be done across all public facing channels to ensure adequate resourcing.

Primarily there is a need to be realistic with expectations.



Feeding back

April 20, 2008

Having marked the anniversary of the assassination of the Great Emancipator with the launch of the Great E-mancipator blog, I’ve been promoting it across the various lists and mailing lists I’ve been using and accumulating.

In some cases this has resulted in completion of the SURVEY, in others personal emails (all polite, thanks John, Dan and others) and in the case of the e-democracy list, some supportive discussion, thanks Paul and Jeremy.

I’ll pick up some threads from Paul here, since they are very relevant.

  • Channels – “who else uses channels?” “blunt usage”? – has anybody any favourite/preferred alternatives? I had the same problem with my research supervisors and the term “silo“. I also have a concern about channels turning into silos – now that’s worrying if you don’t like either expression! I still believe that customer/citizen contact should be managed as a whole with the I.T. that supports it.
  • Drop-outs from online processes better than user satisfaction – but what about the other channels? The person wanting face-to-face at five-to-nine?
  • “We still do not have a single central resource for gov webbies like the Australian state of Victoria has had for several years >” – again but I like to see this across all communication/service channels?
  • “Strategy is extremely patchy rather than holistic” – this is a ket element of my dissertation, its a Civil Service modus operandi if I’m correct. They have no idea what to do, so ask everyone else to provide exemplars, and then cherry-pick the best or in the worst instance the low-hanging fruit! At the end of the exercise, everybody is doing something different at public expense but central government have a model for all to follow, if it isn’t too late? Prime examples of this in e-government were Implementing Electronic Government Statements 1 & 2, the Priority Service Outcomes and a string of ‘national projects’.

The discussion continued and I’m looking forward to refining the model with such feedback.