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How to measure customer satisfaction

How to measure customer satisfaction 34
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How to measure customer satisfaction A tool to improve the experience of customers November 2007 1How to measure customer satisfaction A tool to improve the experience of customers November 2007 2Table of Contents 4.3 How should the information be collected? 25 Introduction 4 4.4 How do I know I have got it right? 27 1 Why should we measure customer 5 How can I get insight from the results? 29 satisfaction and who should be involved? 6 5.1 Where do I start? 29 1.1 Why should we measure satisfaction? 6 5.2 Who thinks what? 29 1.2 Who should be involved? 7 5.3 What is driving satisfaction and how? 30 5.4 What can I compare my results with? 31 2 What will the process involve? 9 3 Where do I start? 11 6 How do I communicate and action 3.1 How do I define my service? 11 35 the results, and then what? 3.2 Who are my customers? 14 6.1 Who should I communicate the findings to? 35 3.3 What do we know already? 15 6.2 How do I communicate the findings? 35 3.4 What else can I find out? 17 6.3 How do I action the results? 36 4 How do I measure satisfaction? 19 6.4 And now what happens? 36 4.1 What should I ask? 19 4.2 Who should be interviewed? 23 3Introduction This document is a customer satisfaction The toolkit is designed for ‘service owners’ The toolkit has been commissioned by measurement ‘toolkit’. It is designed to within government, and those in the the Customer Insight Forum (CIF), within help public service providers improve research, insight and policy communities the framework of Transformational the experiences of their customers by who are responsible for implementing Government, and follows on from the understanding how to undertake effective a programme to measure and monitor Primer in Customer Insight in Public 2 customer satisfaction measurement. customer satisfaction. It can be read Services. The CIF was first formed as The toolkit considers the process of alongside a sister publication, Promoting an informal network in 2006, following measurement from customer research and Customer Satisfaction: Guidance on publication of the Transformational analysis through to the implementation of a Improving the Customer Experience Government strategy, to promote service improvement strategy. in the Public Services, which has been best practice in the use of customer written to support the process of insight across Government. It now has Transformational Government and the a more formal and active role in the drive towards improved service delivery. implementation and governance of service With the introduction in CSR 07 of a transformation. The toolkit and guidance cross-government Service Transformation have both been developed and produced 1 Agreement , departments, agencies and by BMRB Social Research and Henley Centre local government need to show how they HeadlightVision. are improving customers’ experiences of their services. Together the Guidance and Toolkit set out how public service providers can begin to do this. 1 Service Transformation Agreement, October 2007: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/B/9/pbr_csr07_service.pdf 4 2 Customer Insight in Public Services - A Primer, October 2006: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/upload/assets/www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/publications/delivery_council/word/cust_insight_primer061128.docREADER’S GUIDANCE: This toolkit is intended to be accessible to all those involved in conducting or interpreting customer satisfaction measurement. As such there may be some sections which cover areas that the reader is already familiar with. In particular, research professionals may find that the overviews of data collection and sampling approaches summarise rather than provide detail in these potentially complex areas. For more detailed information about methodological issues please see the Government Social 3 Research Unit’s Magenta book. 3 The Magenta Book: Guidance notes for Policy Evaluation and Analysis: http://www.gsr.gov.uk/professional_guidance/magenta_book/ 5Why should we measure customer 1 satisfaction and who should be involved? The experience that customers have of Customer satisfaction measurement is a Customer satisfaction measurement allows an questionnaire-based research approach. organisation to understand the issues, or key drivers, services can be explored in various ways. However, for quantitative measurement to be that cause satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a Qualitative research techniques can effective, it will generally need to be preceded service experience. When an organisation is able to be used to better understand a service by qualitative research to explore the key understand how satisfied its customers are, and why, through the customers’ eyes, and to features of a service from the perspective of it can focus its time and resources more effectively. explore in depth their experiences and the customer. Customer Journey Mapping and Customer satisfaction measurement may also enable expectations. Quantitative research can other techniques that do this are discussed in an organisation to understand the extent to which provide numerical measures of customer 4 detail in the CIF publication on this subject. satisfaction with a service is influenced by factors satisfaction and statistically representative outside of its control (such as the media) and to findings to assess the performance of 1.1 Why should we measure differentiate between what people say influences a service and provide information to how satisfied they are, and what is really driving their satisfaction? drive improved service quality. This is satisfaction during a service experience. Customer referred to as Customer Satisfaction While good research can be used for performance satisfaction measurement can help an organisation management and/or to meet statutory requirements, Measurement and is our focus here. understand what it can and cannot control. the most successful customer measurement Customer satisfaction measurement involves the Most importantly, customer satisfaction measurement programmes are motivated by the desire to put collection of data that provides information about helps an organisation focus on its customers, and customer focus at the heart of an organisation. how satisfied or dissatisfied customers are with a should galvanise service owners, customer-facing Customer-focused organisations view customer service. As well as providing an organisation with staff, policy, strategy and research staff, as well as satisfaction measurement as a means rather than an ‘scores’, the data can be used to understand the senior management, around the aim of improving the end – as part of a cycle of continuous improvement reasons for the level of satisfaction that has been customer experience. in service delivery, and as part of the wider toolkit recorded. This information can be collected and of customer insight techniques. Many organisations analysed in many different ways. This toolkit explores regularly track their levels of customer satisfaction the basic processes and the relative benefits of to monitor performance over time and measure the different approaches. impact of service improvement activity. 6 4 http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/public_service_reform/delivery_council/workplan.aspxto improve customer experience can lead to more From their day to day work, customer-facing 1.2 Who should be timely action on the findings of the research. This is staff will have ideas about how customers view Our research involved? particularly important in local government where the the experience of a service and the reasons why found that there leadership tends to be more closely involved in service experiences are satisfactory or not. When preparing is much excellent The most important stakeholders in customer design and delivery. the way for customer research, it is important to customer satisfaction measurement are, of course, the service tap into this insight as it can guide the focus of the satisfaction ● Policy and Strategic staff should use the customers themselves. From an internal perspective, measurement work and provide valuable material for questionnaire findings to support strategic decision making. however, there are a number of professional groups already being development. Customer-facing staff are also critical whose involvement in the research will ultimately ● Research and Insight staff will need to undertaken across stakeholders when it comes to implementing the central and local determine whether or not it is effective. The customer analyse the data and share findings effectively. results of customer satisfaction measurement: it will government. measurement programme itself may be executed often be their job to deliver the changes which can ● Communications staff should be involved in However, only a by the research community within an organisation, bring improvements in the customer experience. Their communicating the research findings and resulting small proportion but for implementation to be effective it needs to be commitment and buy-in is essential. actions to internal and external audiences, including of this work is ‘owned’ by the organisation: customers. being used to ● Senior management can make the difference drive service ● Operational management need to between good research that remains unused and transformation. understand how the findings can be applied to A basic rule of genuine service transformation. The involvement of their area of responsibility. Customer satisfaction thumb is – if you senior management not only signals that the work is measurement will give a sense – at a very tactical don’t have the viewed as strategically important, it also means that level - of how customers feel about the service they full support and those who have the power to act on the findings are are providing and the performance of staff involved involvement more likely to do so. in delivery of the service. Service directors need to of key internal understand why they are obtaining these results and ● Political leaders are important to help agree stakeholders, how they can be used to drive forward improvements and articulate the policy commitments in terms your research in delivery. programme will of service improvement that can be undertaken not be effective. as a result of the findings. In particular, the early ● Customer-facing staff are incredibly valuable involvement of politicians in recognising the need in customer research programmes for many reasons. 7What will the process involve? 2 First Time? Start here... Find out What will the Define what you Explore process involve? know Insight audit: Qualitatively: What/who? Admin data Internal clients Service Complaints Customers Customers Previous surveys Staff Internal clients Other research Measure Take action customer experience Uncover your Communicate insights and plan Engage and Analyse and build: discuss with: Segmentation Internal clients Key drivers Staff (all levels) Further qual work Customers Build other info in Service Transformation Cycle 8What will the process involve? 2 Measuring customer satisfaction is just one For further guidance on embedding customer insight in your organisation, see the Customer Insight Forum’s stage in a continuous programme of service paper Establishing an Effective Customer Insight transformation. For organisations new 5 Capability in the Public Sector. to this process, the first stages require a review of what the service provides, where The Government Communication Network’s Engage it sits in context with other related services programme also provides an excellent framework for the effective use of customer insight, taking well tried in customers’ minds, who its customers are principles of strategic communication and adapting and what information about the customer them for Government to develop communications experience is already available. 6 that shift attitudes and change behaviours. After this, qualitative research should be conducted with customers and staff to highlight key issues that the survey will need to capture. At this point decisions will need to be made about which customers should be interviewed and what methods should be used. Once the survey has been conducted the data will need to be interpreted to provide actionable insights for the organisation. Finally, the results will need to be communicated across the organisation in such a way that the findings are taken on board and action taken as a result. For many organisations this process will form a continuous cycle of improvement. 5 Establishing an Effective Customer Insight Capability in Public Sector Organisations, Cabinet Office, January 2007: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/upload/ 9 assets/www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/publications/delivery_council/word/emerging_principles.doc 6 Further information on the Engage programme is available at: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/government_communication/engage.aspxWhere do I start? 3 First Time? Start here... Find out Define what you Explore know Insight audit: Qualitatively: What/who? Admin data Internal clients Service Complaints Customers Customers Previous surveys Staff Internal clients Other research Measure Take action customer experience Uncover your Communicate insights and plan Engage and Analyse and build: discuss with: Segmentation Internal clients Key drivers Staff (all levels) Further qual work Customers Build other info in 10Where do I start? 3 For organisations that are new to customer Broadly speaking there are four questions to address, ● Are my customers involved in simple or complex and we will go through each of these in turn in more interactions with my service? satisfaction measurement, getting started detail: can seem a daunting task in itself. As a ● How do customers interact with my service? first step, it involves understanding what ● How do I define my service ? ● Do customers define my service in the same way customer satisfaction measurement can do ● Who are my customers? that I do? for your organisation and making sure that ● What do I know already? The answers to these questions can influence both your key internal stakeholders understand customer perceptions of the service and the way this as well as the research community. ● What else can I find out? in which the customer satisfaction measurement After this, there are a series of (quite programme is designed, conducted and analysed. straightforward) issues to consider on It is therefore important to think through these the road to designing or commissioning a 3.1 How do I define my issues before designing or commissioning customer research programme. satisfaction measurement. service? This section provides a check list of questions How do customers come to use my service? to answer before starting to measure customer Defining the service that the organisation (or relevant The answers to this question may seem obvious, and satisfaction. All organisations, whether they part of it) provides will help inform everything else. will be for some types of service, but it is worth asking are already carrying out customer satisfaction The most fundamental things that an organisation as part of the process of defining your service. One measurement or are relatively new to it, should should consider are what its service is and what of the key issues to consider here is that of customer consider these points to ensure that they are spending vision it has for it. Among the more specific issues to choice – for example, is the service one that customers taxpayers’ money wisely. consider when measuring customer satisfaction are: opt in to (such as dental services or NHS Direct), one ● How do customers come to use my service? that is universally provided (such as refuse collection) ● Does my service involve an outcome that is likely to or one that customers are required by law to use (such affect satisfaction ? as vehicle tax)? Whichever of these applies, is your organisation the sole provider of the service or can ● Do customers pay for my service or is it ‘free at the the customer choose between different providers? point of delivery’? 11Choice and competition are almost always present in However, even more complex services can be broken Does my service involve an outcome that is The HMRC private sector product and service provision, but often down conceptually into single interactions to better likely to affect satisfaction? Customer not in public sector provision, and this is one of the understand and define the service. Before designing Outcome can influence satisfaction. For example, a Service key features that distinguishes the two in relation to a customer research programme, consider whether it service that is universally available (e.g. Child Benefit) Survey divides measuring customer perceptions. is better to conduct a single survey for all customers is likely to be perceived differently from a service or separate surveys for different customer groups. customers into where there is judgement on which customers are If service experiences are likely to differ radically 13 different eligible (e.g. Tax Credits, Incapacity Benefit). Similarly, Are my customers involved in simple or for different customer groups, a more customised groups the outcome of a civil or criminal court case will complex interactions with my service? approach may yield a greater depth of understanding based on influence the satisfaction of the parties involved in at the analysis stage . Whether a service involves one or two simple ‘one-off’ the case and the outcome of a planning application their service transactions or a complex set of ongoing interactions will affect the perceptions of the applicant and other interactions. between the customer and service provider will interested parties in the application process. For Do customers pay for my service or is it This allows have a strong bearing on how customer satisfaction many services, then, the effect of the outcome on ‘free at the point of delivery’? the survey to measurement should be conducted. An example of the customer’s perceptions of the service needs to provide more a service involving relatively simple transactions is the Customers may have different expectations of a be taken into account when measuring customer meaningful passport application service provided by the Identity service which they pay for directly and one which satisfaction. and Passport Service (IPS). Most customers contact is paid for through general taxation (but may be and actionable How do customers interact with my service? the IPS to apply for or renew passports and can be perceived as ‘free’). This affects the way in which the results as interviewed in a relatively straightforward way about findings need to be viewed; it also impacts on the The way in which customers interact with a service information is their experience of the application process. HM type of research techniques that can be used. For varies (e.g. face to face in a local office, over the gained about Revenue and Customs (HMRC), on the other hand, example, if a cost can be assigned to different levels telephone or by submitting forms online or in the each group provides a more complex service (a variety of taxes, of service, then there are research techniques that ask post) and customers may each use a variety of on the specic fi duties and benefits with interactions of varying levels customers to ‘trade off’ cost against various service channels. The channels that are used will impact on experiences of complexity) and the way in which questions are elements, helping an organisation understand more decisions about which data collection methods to use, asked of the customer about the service they have about what their customers value. as well as on the levels of satisfaction with the service. they have. experienced needs to take this into account. If a service is largely provided online, for example, 12online data collection is a viable and even desirable think of the customer as the recipient of a range of . option. Likewise, if the majority of interactions take different services that it provides, while the customer Many public place in person or by telephone, then online data may think of the services as distinct and unrelated. In collection may not be viable, especially if a significant some cases the customer may not even know who services are minority of customers do not have access to the provides the service. accessible via internet. a variety of The best way to explore how customers define channels and It is important to recognise that customer needs the service is through qualitative interviews with it is important vary by channel. For example, customers making a customers, using techniques such as Customer payment online may place an emphasis on security Journey Mapping and to tailor questionnaire content for an and instant confirmation of the transaction, whereas and language accordingly. However, it should be organisation customer satisfaction with the same payment recognised that there may be instances where it is not to understand transaction over the telephone may be affected realistic to expect customers to be able to differentiate which by being kept in a queue or being asked to press between organisations or understand some of the customers are additional number options, rather than being able to complexities of how services are delivered even after using which speak to a call centre agent straight away. extensive questionnaire development. channels and to design their customer Do customers define my service in the same satisfaction way that I do? research When assessing what needs to be measured it is programme important to understand whether the customer accordingly.. defines the service in the same way as the service provider. For example, the customer’s definition of the service may cross organisational boundaries and the contribution of different agencies or departments will need to be taken into account; the organisation may 13Research survey and to focus on getting feedback from those Customer segmentation 3.2 Who are my customers? commissioned by who are better placed to comment on the service and Segmentation involves grouping customers based the Ministry of so inform service transformation. Having defined the service, you now need to work on who they are and how they interact with an Justice involved out who your customers are. In the public sector this The needs of different customers will also have an organisation’s services. Once customer segments have speaking to can be a matter of some debate. The view we take impact on the research design. Particular attention been established within an organisation they can the relatives of here is that a customer is somebody who is a direct should be given to customers who are vulnerable or then be used to better target operational resources. murder victims recipient of a service, as distinct from a citizen, who hard to reach. Services provided for these customers In addition to this they can also provide a common as part of an will typically be a stakeholder (for instance a taxpayer) may be so different from those for mainstream service framework and language for referring to customers evaluation of the who may not have a direct connection with the users that it is advisable to look at their experiences within an organisation. A segmentation is an Victims Advocate service at that time. For example, even though an separately. By doing so an organisation can focus approximation – a tool that can allow an organisation scheme. Given individual may not have any children of their own they measures on service aspects that are critical for these to use internal ‘short hand’ when talking about their the complexity still have an interest in having an education system groups even if the majority of customers never access customers. of the subject that is efficient and that provides the skilled workers them (for example translated materials or adapted and the issues Customers can be segmented in a multitude of ways. for the future. Their views matter, but it is customers services for customers with disabilities). arising from it At its simplest level, a segmentation may be based on rather than citizens that are the focus of this toolkit. the decision was If the experiences of these customers are particularly service usage. For example, Acas conducts customer Definitions of ‘customers’ for the purpose of customer made to conduct complex it may be worthwhile conducting exploratory feedback surveys on key service areas of their delivery satisfaction measurement may range from all residents the evaluation qualitative research rather than attempting to such as individual and collective conciliation; advisory in a local authority area to people who have had using qualitative interview them in a larger scale quantitative survey. services; and training events. More sophisticated recent involvement with a specific service. face to face segments can be derived from administrative data For further discussion on how customers should be interviews. or previous research. Some segmentations are based Some organisations may have customers with whom defined, see the Cabinet Office publication: Customer on demographic or attitudinal characteristics, or a 7 they have virtually no contact. For example, child Insight in Public Services: A Primer. . combination of both. Exploratory qualitative research benefit recipients may have no need for contact with can also be used to tease out how different customers HMRC following their initial application, whilst Tax use a service. Credit recipients have regular contact with HMRC each year. When customers have very little contact If an organisation has already identified customer with a service it may be best to exclude them from the segments, it is generally helpful if customer 7 http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/upload/assets/www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/publications/delivery_council/word/cust_insight_primer061128.doc 14satisfaction measurement is compatible with these Key questions to be considered include: definitions. For further reading on segmentation see Customer Is my organisation currently monitoring a 8 insight in public services: A Primer or the Local customer satisfaction? Government Association How to guide to 9 segmentation for Local Authorities. Is my organisation currently reporting a b high level of customer satisfaction? 3.3 What do we know Are there specific issues with our service at already? c the moment that we currently know about? Most organisations have a range of information that can help identify the strengths and weaknesses of Where is my organisation in the journey of d the current service being provided, even if it only .impr oving customer satisfaction? provides a partial picture. Taking time to understand the information already available before undertaking customer satisfaction measurement should ensure that unnecessary research is not commissioned and that any research that is carried out is fully informed and relevant. More information on the ‘insight audit’ approach can be found in chapter 3 of the Guidance. Taking time to understand what it already knows can help an organisation with the design of any research and in understanding the results . 8 http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/upload/assets/www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/publications/delivery_council/word/cust_insight_primer061128.doc 15 9 http://www.lga.gov.uk/Documents/Customer_insight_guide_to_segmentation.pdfauthorities many surveys have been carried out in Sources of information include addition to the Best Value Performance Indicator ● Administrative data (BVPI) surveys. With improved communication and sharing of results this data could help inform other Administrative data can be a rich source of authorities or service providers of key issues for sub- information for organisations. This can include groups of their customers. For further information on ● call volumes data e.g. waiting times, ‘hang- this subject see the report for the Local Government ups’ and answered calls, Association (LGA), National Consumer Council (NCC) ● website statistics e.g. number of people and Improvement and Development Agency for local visiting website, pages viewed and return visits, government (IDeA) Customer Insight: developing customer satisfaction measures for local government ● Applications data e.g. benefit claims over a services. period of time. http://www.lga.gov.uk/Briefing. ● Customer feedback asp?lsection=59&id=SXCD6A-A78492E4&ccat=1145 Customer feedback (which might include complaints, For further discussion of some of the sources see the suggestions and compliments) can be used to 10 Primer in Customer Insight in Public Services. identify current areas for improvements as well as to inform areas to be included in customer satisfaction measurement. ● Mystery shopping data Many organisations conduct mystery shopping in order to monitor the services being provided to its customers. This can be a valuable source of information and can inform areas to be covered in customer satisfaction measurement. ● Existing survey data Taking time to find out what survey data already exists is a valuable process that is often overlooked. Different research may be carried out in different parts of the organisation. For example, within local 16 10 Customer Insight in Public Services - A Primer, October 2006: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/upload/assets/www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/ publications/delivery_council/word/cust_insight_primer061128.docmisinterpretation of findings that result from one-off 3.4 What else can I find events. For example, a particular problem in getting out? used to a new piece of software could coincide with a temporary drop in overall satisfaction levels, but not A ‘due diligence’ approach to customer satisfaction constitute a long term problem . measurement requires some preliminary qualitative research. A small investment in exploratory qualitative As part of the development work research will help define the key areas that seem Qualitative to relate to customers’ satisfaction or otherwise, so for the 2006 International Pension research that the quantitative research focuses on the right provides Service Customer Survey the questions. This exploratory work might include: a deeper ● Qualitative research with customers to help define researchers spent a day at the understanding the service and to segment customers if applicable – contact centre interviewing staff e.g. focus groups, depth interviews, observation etc. of the customer about the issues they faced and experience but ● Qualitative research with key stakeholders (heads of policy, strategy, insight and channel directors ) to cannot be used gaining a better understanding help set the policy context and key objectives – e.g. to measure interviews, meetings and consultation of the customer experience. This performance. ● Qualitative research with customer-facing visit proved vital in both the staff – e.g. interviews, consultation and even work-shadowing to enhance understanding of development of the questionnaire how the service works in practice. Staff will be and analysis of the results. able to highlight the areas that they see causing problems for customers on a regular basis. In addition, understanding the situation on the ground can provide context to the results and prevent 17How do I measure satisfaction? 4 First Time? Start here... Find out For organisations that are new to customer Sources of information include 2.1 What do we know Define what you Explore satisfaction measurement, ‘getting started’ – Administrative data already? know can seem like a daunting task in itself. Administrative data can be a rich source of As a first step, it involves understanding Once you know how to define your service and information for organisations. This can include Insight audit: Qualitatively: What/who? what customer satisfaction measurement your customers, it is worth thinking about what Admin data Internal clients Service ● call volumes data e.g. waiting times, ‘hang-ups’ and can do for your organisation, and also, else you know already to help target your customer Complaints Customers Customers answered calls, involves making sure that your key internal satisfaction measurement, and avoid ‘reinventing Previous surveys Staff Internal clients stakeholders understand this as well as the ● website statistics e.g. number of people visiting the wheel’. Most organisations have a range of Other research Measure research community. After this, there are website, pages viewed and return visits, information that can help identify the strengths and a series of (pretty straightforward) issues Take action customer weaknesses of the current service being provided, ● Applications data e.g. benefit claims over a period to consider on the road to designing, or even if it only provides a partial picture. Taking time to experience of time. commissioning, a research programme. understand the information currently available before Uncover your Communicate ●Customer feedback undertaking customer satisfaction measurement will This section provides a check list of questions to insights and plan at best avoid commissioning unnecessary research and Customer feedback, (this can include complaints, answer before you start. All organisations, whether ensure that any research carried out is fully informed suggestions and compliments) can be used to they are already carrying out customer satisfaction and relevant. identify current areas for improvements as well as to Engage and measurement or relatively new to it, should consider Analyse and build: inform areas to be included in customer satisfaction discuss with: these points at each cycle of research to ensure that Segmentation Key questions to be considered include: measurement. Internal clients Key drivers they are spending taxpayers’ money wisely a. Is my organisation currently monitoring customer Staff (all levels) Further qual work – Mystery shopping data Broadly speaking there are four questions to address, satisfaction? Customers Build other info in and we will go through each of these in turn in more b. Is my organisation currently achieving a high level Many organisations conduct mystery shopping detail: of customer satisfaction? in order to monitor the services being provided ● What do we know already? c. Are there specific issues with our service at the to its customers. This can be a valuable source of moment that we currently know about? information and can inform areas to be covered in ● How do I define my service? d. Where is my organisation in the journey of customer satisfaction measurement. ● Who are my customers? improving customer satisfaction? ● What else can we find out? 18How do I measure satisfaction? 4 11 Once you have completed the preliminary What types of question should be included? & Understanding Customer Satisfaction provides a discussion of different approaches and includes stages described in Section 3, you can start There are four broad types of question that make example questionnaires based on these approaches. to think about how satisfaction should be up the majority of most customer satisfaction measured for your organisation. Overall rating questions in public sector research questionnaires. typically use satisfaction or performance scales, such There are three major decisions to be made: ● Overall rating measures as those shown below. ● What should I ask? ● Service-specific questions ● Who should I interview? ● Customer priorities ● How should I collect the information? ● Customer characteristics Q. How satisfied Q. How would are you with….? you rate…? ● Very satisfied ● Excellent Overall rating measures ● Fairly satisfied ● Very good 4.1 What should I ask? ● Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied ● Fairly good Overall rating measures are questions where ● Fairly dissatisfied ● Poor The steps that you will already have taken to define customers are asked to rate various aspects of the ● Very dissatisfied your service and work out what you already know service (e.g. telephone call handling, the application should have begun to shape your questionnaire. process etc) and their experience of the service as a The next step is to think more in detail about the whole. questions you should ask. These questions generally use a rating scale of one type or other to summarise the customer’s perceptions or feelings about a service or aspects The quality of the research findings will of it. While there has been much debate within the depend on the quality of the questions research community about which scales work best that are asked. You need to invest up in customer satisfaction measurement, there is no front to spend wisely later on. universally ‘accepted wisdom’ in this area. The report for the Office of Public Services Reform Measuring 11 http://www.number-10.gov.uk/files/pdf/MeasuringCustomerSatisfaction.PDF 19In the private sector, where choice and competition ‘grab the headlines’, what we have called service- Customer priorities are more common, a ‘likelihood to recommend’ scale specific measures are needed to fill in the gaps Customer priorities can be identified in a number is often used, as shown below, and has been found to and ultimately will be more valuable in providing the of ways as part of a survey. These include asking discriminate between customers more effectively than insights that can lead to service transformation. customers to rate the importance of service elements, satisfaction or performance scales. These questions focus on the details of the customer’s to rank them in order of importance or to ‘trade them experiences such as how many calls were needed off’ against each other. However, while each of these Q. How likely would you be to recommend… before an enquiry was resolved; were they seen approaches can be used in customer satisfaction ● Definitely would promptly; did they understand what to do; how easy measurement, they all have shortcomings. ● Probably would were the forms to complete; and so on. The actual Using an importance scale for public services is measures that an individual service should focus ● Probably wouldn’t problematic because people have a tendency to rate on will vary but can be identified in the exploratory ● Definitely wouldn’t almost all service elements as being important. This stage of the research process. These service-specific means that the survey results may not differentiate questions can then be used as diagnostic measures This measure would be appropriate for public sector between ‘hygiene factors’ that are expected as a to identify which elements of the service are services where the customer has a degree of choice basic standard (providing accurate information, being responsible for problems from the customer’s point of in whether or not to use the service, for example, polite, responding in a timely fashion etc) and factors view. in relation to advice services, schools, educational that genuinely drive satisfaction. courses, dentists, etc. Variations on this theme could Ranking the importance of service elements (e.g. be used for other services, for example, “would you putting them in order from most to least important) tell other people that this service was easy or difficult is problematic because people can find it difficult to to use?” Ensuring that the key service elements make meaningful comparisons between more than are included is a critical part of the four or five service elements. Furthermore a simple Service-specific measures questionnaire development. The early ranking exercise assumes that the distance between Overall rating measures provide a snapshot of how steps taken to define the service should each pair of ranked items is equal, whereas in fact customers perceive the service as a whole and specific ensure that you have correctly identified one or two service elements might be almost equally components of it, but do not explain why customers what these are. important and others cluster around the bottom of feel the way they do. While these measures might 20