Using Client Experience Surveys to improve service delivery in Canada
The Client Experience Measurement Survey Model was developed by Employment and Social Development Canada to gather and analyse client feedback to improve service delivery to its clients. Canadians have been able to express their views on government programs and services, which have informed the way programs and services are designed and delivered. The survey allows the tracking of service satisfaction, ease of access, effectiveness of service delivery, and the experience of particular programs and client groups in depth. It provides accurate and reliable data on satisfaction drivers, service improvements, and client groups facing barriers.
The Client Experience (CX) Measurement Survey Model was developed to support management decision-making about the delivery of programs and services delivered to Canadians. The department was missing information on whether client needs were being effectively met in the context of its Service Transformation Plan. The objective of this innovation was to create an approach that, thanks to sound methodologies, would provide ongoing high-quality client data on program and services to support evidence-based business decisions. The survey provided accurate and reliable data on satisfaction drivers, service improvements, and client groups (such as e-vulnerable, Indigenous, people with restrictions, remote and rural clients) facing barriers. With the results of its surveys, the department provided evidence of the client perspective and uses the data for: 1) reporting on corporate, and program and service performance reporting; 2) informing service design at the operational, program, and policy level; and 3) providing evidence regarding the evolution of the service experience as service improvement initiatives are implemented.
The CX Measurement Survey Model will inform another type of survey, the CX Service Channel Surveys, which would provide real-time client data with a view to monitor regularly service delivery performance and gather service insights for the Phone, Web, and In-person service channels. This other type of survey was piloted last year and, considering the positive results received, we are in the process of fully implementing this initiative. The whole department and Canadian citizens benefit from this innovative approach. The Government of Canada is exploring the possibility of implementing this approach or a similar one at a broader scale in the Government of Canada.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
The CX Measurement Model uses an “outside-in” approach, which has attracted numerous requests from other federal departments and provincial governments to be used, and even from one governmental organizations from France. Our research on the work of other organizations, public and private, has revealed that our departmental customized CX approach is rather unique. One reason for this is that our department delivers a full range of socio-economic programs and manages the most extensive governmental service delivery network in terms of scope and complexity.
What is the current status of your innovation?
Our CX approach/strategy has been successfully implemented since 2017. We are working on our third annual CX Measurement Survey while the CX Channel surveys will be completed in 2019-20. We also have plans to implement surveys focusing on specific issues or business questions during the same period. Thanks to workshops and intense and regular consultations with internal and external stakeholders, we have been sharing strategic information used to improve a number of service delivery initiatives.
Collaborations & Partnerships
We hired a private company that conducted interviews. We consulted with officials internally and externally, involved citizens in focus groups, and made survey results available to the public. We will also provide a venue for clients to express their views in real-time (CX channel surveys).
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
Government officials have been able to measure and track the impact of their program and service improvement initiatives from the client perspective. Canadians have been able to express their views on government programs and services, which have informed the way programs and services are designed and delivered. Having solid evidence on client (including employers) needs allows governments to better determine investment priorities, which would support a better alignment with citizens’ needs.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The major results obtained to date for the department was that overall 86% of Canadians using our programs and services are satisfied: the more our services are automated (simplified), the more clients were satisfied; and the more complex the program, the lower the satisfaction. Our surveys also indicated that some client groups are at risk (such as persons with disabilities). Future research will focus on the online channel and client groups facing barriers.
Challenges and Failures
It was challenging to design a measurement approach that is broad enough to reliably represent the clientele, while also providing a level of detail that identifies pain points and successes within multiple services that vary in their level of digitization. This was achieved through developing both the annual Client Experience Survey (implemented) to track the results of all changes to the multi-channel end-to-end client experience, and the complementary web, phone and in-person service channel surveys (implementation underway) to provide frequent, detailed client experience data regarding specific interactions within the client experience for ongoing course correction.
Conditions for Success
Leadership; seek actively support from senior management; qualified and dedicated team players; financial resources; personal values and engagement.
To our knowledge, the innovation has not been replicated yet; however, we have received many requests from various federal and provincial departments, and one governmental organizations from France. We are exploring with other federal departments the possibility that the innovation be replicated across other interested federal departments.
Build, experiment, provide reliable results early on, listen to stakeholders’ needs to provide value and get support along the way, and ensure alignment with governmental priorities.