This page has been archived.
Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.
A critical component of quality service is client satisfaction measurement. The following proposes strategic principles and ongoing processes for measuring client satisfaction.
The client's perception that the service provider's performance meets or exceeds his or her expectations.
The assessment of client expectations and of the actual and perceived quality of service.
The goal of client satisfaction measurement is to determine the level of client satisfaction with government services and the delivery of those services.
Measuring client satisfaction involves creating the proper environment for:
Important client satisfaction measurement elements include:
A key component of a quality service culture is client satisfaction measurement. Gaps that may exist between performance and client needs and expectations can be identified by:
- getting feedback from clients
- informing clients of the department's commitment to provide a certain level of service
- providing feedback to staff;
Successful client satisfaction measurement incorporates the following principles:
You should understand which services being delivered are important to the clients and to the government.
Strategic support at the senior executive level as well as at all levels of the organization is necessary.
Make sure that the element measured relates to specific information needs, that it is measurable and that the information is meaningful.
Complex approaches are expensive and need a high level of expertise. Simple approaches can elicit practical and useful information.
By using different measurement instruments, you can offset the limitations of each approach. This strategy also produces multiple lines of evidence, thus supporting more solid conclusions.
Only essential information should be gathered. Efficiency and economy should be key criteria when deciding how to gather information. Sampling techniques and readily available data should be used to the greatest extent possible.
The measurement instruments should be credible, accurate, valid, sensitive to change in clients' attitudes and consistent over time.
It is essential to measure client satisfaction on an ongoing basis. Such regularity enables organizations to keep up to date with the environmental changes taking place and to assess the impact of changes implemented to improve client satisfaction.
You should develop improvement strategies based on measurement results.
Note: Low complaint rates may not necessarily mean client satisfaction. Some dissatisfied clients may not complain. They may not know how, where or to whom to complain, or their location may make it difficult for them to complain. Some clients may exact "revenge" for poor service by spreading negative word of mouth instead of providing feedback to help organizations improve.
At one end of the spectrum, there are indicators to measure the client satisfaction process itself, while at the other end, there are indicators to measure actual client satisfaction.
Many different indicators can be used to measure client satisfaction. The choice of indicators will vary with the service being provided. The following are some common performance indicators.
Various departments have already done much client satisfaction measurement work. The federal Public Service as a whole is not beginning a new journey to measure client satisfaction.
The success of client satisfaction measurement depends upon the direct and active support of senior management, the training and engagement of staff, and the continual link between client satisfaction measurement and program delivery.
Strategic considerations should include the following:
The following seven steps offer a practical approach to measuring client satisfaction:
Step 1: Determine who the clients are.
Step 2: Determine the objectives for measuring client satisfaction and define the related information needs.
Step 3: Develop a measurement strategy.
Step 4: Gather, analyse and report information.
Step 5: Use and communicate client satisfaction information.
Step 6: Review the measurement practices.
Step 7: Repeat the process.
A handy checklist at the end of this guide will help you with this process.
Measuring and monitoring client satisfaction is not an end in itself. It is a means to improve service to the public and program performance in general. Client satisfaction measurement provides invaluable information for responsive and effective client consultation.
A comprehensive approach to measuring client satisfaction and using
satisfaction assessments can bring considerable benefits to the organization if
such an approach is seen, as it should be, as a management tool and not as a way
to judge individuals' performance. If properly used, it can help you develop a
client orientation throughout your organization.