Monday, April 04, 2011

The LGO: Are their customer satisfaction levels getting worse? I think so

Anyone who has followed the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) for as long as I have will know that both their 1995 and 1999 customer satisfaction surveys were quantitative in nature involving 1000 complainants. However, following the extremely poor customer satisfaction levels highlighted in both the 1995 and 1999 surveys, the introduction of LGO Watch in 2003 and the 2005 select committee investigation into their role and effectiveness the LGO switched to a qualitative customer satisfaction survey involving just a handful of selected and filtered complainants. I will let readers to make up their own mind why they did this. For full details about the difference between qualitative and quantitative surveys click here.

They switched back to a quantitative survey in 2007 but were exposed for removing an even larger percentage of potential dissatisfied complaints from this survey than they had done in 1999 [1 below]. Unfortunately for them even after the removal of a significant proportion of potentially dissatisfied customers they still received an extremely poor customer satisfaction level. Essentially, if you strip away the obvious attempts at manipulating the outcome in their favour they had not improved the atrocious customer satisfaction levels highlighted in the 1995 and 1999 surveys. Although they promised to heed the results of the 1995 and 1999 customer satisfaction surveys and improve they had demonstrably failed to do so by 2007.

For their 2010 customer satisfaction survey (curiously at the same time they were again under the government spotlight) they once again decided to switch back to a qualitative survey involving just a handful of specially selected and filtered complainants. Again I will let readers to make up their own mind why they did this.

However, if you ignore the positive spin they put on the outcome you will observe that the picture is very bleak for the Local Government Ombudsman as far as customer satisfaction levels are concerned. I would even go as far as suggesting that if they were to conduct a quantitative customer satisfaction survey without specially selecting and filtering participants the level of customer satisfaction would be a lot lot worse than it was in the 90s.

You can download some of the survey results here.

[1] During the 1999 survey I was asked by the customer satisfaction survey team to take part. I agreed but also told them that I was a dissatisfied customer. I heard no more from the customer satisfaction survey team and concluded that I was just one of those filtered out by the LGO.

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