Drivers of Customer Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction

Independent studies of customers of government services in NSW show that the drivers of customer satisfaction with a service are different from the drivers of customer dissatisfaction. Intuitively this makes sense: for example, customers are very satisfied when professional service providers give customers easy to understand information about which train to catch and when; but will be extremely dissatisfied if the train is cancelled and they have to wait a long time before the next train arrives.

In general terms, and based on independent surveys of a range of Government services in 2008, on average about 1% of customers were strongly dissatisfied with particular government services, about 59% were strongly satisfied with particular government services, and the remaining 40% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. These figures varied with individual services: for example, 7% of CityRail customers were very dissatisfied with train services and 31% were very satisfied.

Customers also identified the major aspects of a service that made them very dissatisfied or very satisfied. There were 5 elements of a service that contributed to customer dissatisfaction and 9 factors that contributed to customer satisfaction:

Figure 1: All respondents - key drivers of satisfaction & dissatisfaction

Figure 1 - All respondents - key drivers of satisfaction and dissatisfaction

Source: Ipsos-Eureka Social Research Institute, December 2008

A practical implication of the distinction between the drivers of satisfaction and dissatisfaction is that departments have a choice in how to best spend limited funds: they can act to remove the barriers that cause dissatisfaction, expand the practices that increase customer satisfaction, or both.