Whom are public services for?

At times we should all pause at work and ask ourselves for whom are we doing this. Although our customer might concretely be close to our everyday work, it’s still easy to forget for whom we come to work each day. Listening to our customers is very important just for continuing current operations. But it becomes absolutely necessary if we want to develop, not to mention grow, our business.

Especially privately held companies and organizations have woken up to the significance of customer satisfaction and customer experience measuring is already an essential part of everyday functions. Critical feedback is now received with optimism because it can be used to improve services and to base strategic decision-making on.

However, the public sector doesn’t necessarily fall too far behind the private one: many municipalities have customer satisfaction at heart. Yet, there are still operators – especially in health care – that either don’t understand the significance of customer experience measuring or don’t have the guts to know the truth about the quality of their services. However, the good news is that unlike the conversation had in the media would suggest, the health care customers in the public sector are very satisfied with the service provided.

Citizens pay the services

The pressure to ensure customer satisfaction should be as high in the public sector than in the private one. Not only because customers can vote with their feet but simply because citizens pay for the services with their taxes. Citizens are the customers for whom the services are produced and their voice should not drown under budget or internal or external pressures. Their feedback should be in a central role in the planning, development and evaluation of public services.

A good bad example are public hospitals that have even included in their strategy that patient experience must be measured, monitored and reported. In reality, however, any action to further the matter haven’t been taken or feedback is randomly collected through paper or online forms, the results of which are manually recorded to Excel sheets by nurses. Don’t you think it’s time to automate customer experience measuring and free the nurses to do their much more valuable job?

Commiting citizens to the development of public services is not only smart but rewards especially by motivating staff and by growing customer loyalty. Therefore, it is important to regularly ask yourself and your work community, whom are we working for and whether the customer really is in the center of all activity. Better yet, ask directly from your customer how you’re doing and bring that information as a permanent and continuous part of your work.