Major Findings

Major findings are:

  • Size of the customer service workforce – Almost half (45%) of the total employees in the NSW public sector were working directly or indirectly in customer service functions. The proportion varied between small, medium and large departments. Customer service employees make up one-quarter (25%) of employees in small departments, one-third (32%) of employees in medium departments, and nearly half (46%) of employees in large departments.
  • Service improvement inputs – Some $534m or slightly more than 1% of the total budget expenditure of all respondents was spent in 2006-07 to improve services for customers. A total of 3,106 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees were involved in improving customer service, some 1.2% of the workforce of responding departments.
  • Leading agencies – Five departments reported they funded and carried out initiatives in 2006-07 consistent with each of the four customer service improvement principles. They were the Australian Museum, Board of Studies, Newcastle Ports, NSW Police Force and SOPA.
  • Differences between small, medium and large departments – There were significant differences between small, medium and large departments. For example, in 2006-07, small departments spent an average of $530,000 to improve customer service, medium departments spent on average $3.24 million and large departments spent an average of $21.1 million.
  • Leadership – Almost all (95%) of large departments reported having an Executive-level officer with identified responsibility for customer or client initiatives, whilst 80% of medium departments and less than two-thirds of small departments had senior executive level leadership to drive customer service improvements.
  • Business Planning – Two-thirds of large and medium departments report having had customer satisfaction indicators listed in their Results and Services Plan in 2006-07, whilst 44% of small departments had customer service indicators in their RSP.
  • Publishing customer satisfaction levels – Almost two-thirds of large departments report they published their customer satisfaction levels with their services, whilst 40% of medium departments and 49% of small departments reported making these measures publicly available.
  • Measurable standards of customer service – Three-quarters of large departments report having measurable service standards that customers can expect, whilst slightly more than half of small and medium departments report having quantifiable service standards.
  • The S8 Index – Data in this study have been used to develop an index to summarise the overall state of customer service improvement initiatives in NSW. The S8 Index is a weighted average of the number of NSW public sector departments that completed funded initiatives for each of the four S8 customer satisfaction principles. If all departments were to complete funded initiatives for each of the four customer service improvement principles then the S8 Index would measure 100%. The baseline S8 Index for 2006-07 was 23%. The S8 Index score will increase beyond the 2006-07 baseline as the State Plan is implemented.
  • Use of the baseline information – The data in this Baseline Report makes it possible to measure future changes in customer service improvement initiatives by departments and across the NSW public sector, and for departments to compare their progress with other like-departments.