Conclusion

Going forward, the results identify three key areas for further action by agencies to improve customer satisfaction: employee capability, service delivery processes and effective handling of complaints. Agencies should also focus on making information easier to access, and on developing a stronger customer culture where employees are empowered to respond to customers and encouraged to see things from a customer's perspective.

Priorities for the Customer Service Commissioner are outlined below.

Strengthening the customer-centric public service culture in 2014–15

Message from Mike Pratt, Customer Service Commissioner

Customers’ expectations are increasing in line with changes in our society. The service economy is growing and customers are surrounded by organisations competing for their business. Customer expectations are fluid, influenced by complex social, technological, economic and environmental changes. These factors influence customer expectations, providing opportunities and challenges for organisations right around the globe. This includes the NSW Government.

More than ever, the citizens of NSW expect and deserve the NSW public sector to deliver high-quality, efficient and costeffective services that meet their needs. Delivering on this is at the core of the NSW Government's agenda outlined in NSW 2021: A plan to make NSW number one.

While we can debate whether citizens are 'customers' of the government or not, the main point is to highlight that the NSW public sector is committed to doing things differently in order to better meet customer needs and expectations.

As the Customer Service Commissioner, it is my job to advocate for NSW customers. Whether the customer is an individual consumer or a business, I encourage and support NSW departments and agencies to deliver more customer-centric and efficient services, for which the government is accountable.

This will be achieved by putting the customer at the centre of policy decisions right through the value chain to delivery. The Customer NOW Program has also been developed to focus on the way the NSW Government interacts with its customers. Making it better to live, work and play in NSW, through easier, better and faster access to services, providing government information at customers' convenience, and improving customers' participation in policy and service design.

At the centre of the Customer NOW Program is the citizen – our customer. Improving customer service takes a deep understanding of what customers need and expect, regardless of whether they are an individual or a business. A dedicated whole-of-government Customer Satisfaction Measurement Instrument (CSMI) has been designed to ensure the NSW public sector can track service delivery improvements over time. The survey will run each year and will also benchmark NSW service delivery against other states and some overseas jurisdictions.

Customers have told us that while they believe our people deliver good service, processes need improving. Bad processes will almost always beat good people. With continuous customer feedback on service delivery, we will identify, review, redesign, simplify and integrate processes that better meet the needs of customers. This means we will deliver more transactions through digital channels, opening up the NSW public sector and collaborating with customers on policy design, taking feedback on our performance and acting on it. We will also need new customer-centric skills within the NSW public sector.

Over the next five years, specific whole-of-government customer reform initiatives will be delivered to accelerate change. We are looking forward to embedding these changes to improve our ability to deliver distinctive customer service.

The Public Service Commission acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the land on which our office stands.