In the Agency survey, agencies rated their implementation
of customer service strategies positively. The most
developed customer strategies relate to documented policies,
collecting customer feedback, selecting staff with a customer
focus, and employee and manager performance indicators.
Between 85% and 100% of agencies reported having
implemented these practices, with 24% to 37% advising
they are at a highly developed level. More basic levels of
implementation were reported for employee recognition,
employee training for high-level service, benchmarking
against other organisations and seeking employee views
Dealing with changing business needs due to varying
client needs was ranked among the top workforce risks
for 26% of agencies.
The People Matter, Agency and Customer surveys show
some positive results about customer service, but customer
perceptions are not as positive as those for employees and
agencies. Surprisingly, there was no clear relationship
between agencies implementing practices that specifically
target customer service (such as training or key performance
indicators for customer service) and customer service as
rated by employees. There were, however, some small
positive associations for other practices in the Agency
survey, relating to employee ratings of customer service,
including agencies that managed change well and had
effective internal communication practices.
The lower scores about specific factors from the Customer
survey also corresponded with weaker results from the
Agency and People Matter surveys. In particular, customers
and employees both reported that processes often slowed
responsiveness and flexibility.
The greatest mismatch between the Customer and People
Matter surveys was in the perception of prioritising
customer service. Both consumers and business customers
gave lower scores for staff being proactive and focusing
on customer needs, whereas 88% of employees believed
their organisation strived to meet customer needs. Agency
survey results were more aligned with customer views, as
few agencies rated themselves as 'highly developed' in their
customer service practices.
Overall, the People Matter survey results supported the
conclusion from the Customer survey that while service
levels were good, processes had a negative impact on the
speed and quality of the services provided.