Chapter 11: Customer Satisfaction
165. Customer satisfaction is a measure of how an organisation meets customer expectations. For contact centres this can be measured through the following:
- accuracy of data captured
- first time resolution
- call monitoring
- recording calls
- good 'inclusivity' practice to ensure accessibility for all including people with disabilities and ethnic minorities
- achievement of service level agreements eg time to answer, abandoned calls
- customer satisfaction surveys
166. Most of the above have already been captured in this report so for the purposes of this Chapter we will concentrate on customer satisfaction.
167. The Varney28 review identified 7 characteristics of excellent contact:
- Each contact is easy
- Each contact fulfils a need
- Each contact is valuable
- Contact delivers policy
- Government is a trusted point of contact
- Government knows its customers
- Government is a world leader in delivering public service contact
168. Conversely, COI29 describe poor communication as:
- Having to repeat or request information more than once
- Long delays before a contact is answered or dealt with
- Long delays to answer after a transfer has been made
- Having to pay for a call while waiting in a queuing system
- Unfriendly and unhelpful agents
- Being put through or signposted to the wrong place
- Delays in finding citizens' details
- Agents who do not give their names
- Short opening hours
- Poor or complex automated or interactive voice response
- Uninformative queuing system messages
- And outward contact (eg call back) that is promised but does not materialise
- Rushed contact
- Fulfilment materials not received or received late, or incorrect materials supplied
- Agents unable to access accurate, up to date information
- No email confirmation when contact has been made
- Slow or no response to email queries
- Inability to determine the status of the query
169. The Enquiry Point carries out its own customer satisfaction survey each year by asking a question at the end of the call. As indicated earlier their survey is not broken down by type of caller and is merely an exercise to rate satisfaction.
170. The results from 2012 survey show the following:
|Enquiry Point Customer Satisfaction Survey 2012|
171. The above survey shows 93% satisfaction. This compares with 97% satisfaction in 2011. Of those that were dissatisfied in 2012 the following reasons were noted:
- Background noise
- Call queue time
- Hunt Group ringing out
- Professionalism in the Department
- Relevant information
172. By far the main reason for dissatisfaction was 'Hunt Group Ringing Out' followed by 'Call Queue Time'.
173. We also performed our own satisfaction surveys, one for COPFS staff relating to calls transferred to them which we discuss in this chapter and another to outside agencies the results of which are noted in Chapter 10 - 'Partners'.
174. Feedback from COPFS staff showed the following:
- 91% felt that it was appropriate to transfer the call
- 83% felt that the services provided by the Enquiry Point allows them to be more effective in the work (eg reduced time spent on telephone calls)
- 81% responded positively to the professionalism of Enquiry Point operators
- 83% responded positively to the quality of information passed to them.
175. Further comments, some of which have been mentioned throughout the report, include:
- Calls transferred to the wrong team/person
- Calls transferred without any introduction
- Vague and incorrect information
- Some calls could have been dealt with by Enquiry Point operators
- Some operators 'better than others' probably 'due to training needs'
- 'Polite, friendly, pleasant, courteous and helpful' staff
- Impressed with the work done by Enquiry Point who do a 'fantastic' job
- 'Major benefit' and a 'valued' and 'quality' service to the COPFS which has had a 'positive impact'
- 'Prompt and efficient' service
- Appreciation of challenging role with varied work
- Understanding that Federation changes cause confusion
- Background noise too loud
- Give out too many direct dial numbers
- Complaints from Solicitors that it can take 15 minutes to get through
176. By far the most frequent comment related to calls being transferred to the wrong person/team. We have mentioned this particular issue in Chapter 4 - 'Process'. Similarly some issues described above such as training, time waiting to get through and praise such as polite and friendly staff, have also been covered elsewhere in the report while others, for example, background noise, handing out too many direct dial numbers, transferring calls without any introduction should be addressed. Reference should also be made to dissatisfaction with specific issues noted in Chapter 10.
It is recommended that Enquiry Point Managers address issues highlighted in feedback and not covered elsewhere in this report such as background noise, handing out direct dial numbers, transferring calls with no introduction and lack of consistency in what can and cannot be intimated.
177. There is no doubt that staffing issues such as high turnover and absence along with system crashes, maintenance etc.will affect the level of customer service. However, when looking at customer satisfaction it has to be noted that overall satisfaction is very high relating to calls transferred to COPFS staff with a lower satisfaction from outside agencies as shown in Chapter 10.
178. The use of customer feedback is an important tool which will support in the endeavour to improve services and should continue to be used by the Enquiry Point perhaps with a further breakdown to identify specific issues affecting specific groups. Use should also be made of feedback from registered complaints as described in Chapter 9 at 'Complaints Procedure'.