Customer satisfaction for Government Agency

The client was a governmental agency tasked with supporting SMMEs from a non-financial point of view.

The agency was established in 1994 and had at no point tracked customer satisfaction. The agency thus needed a baseline customer satisfaction score for future tracking purposes as well as a measure of their performance overall.

The Research Approach

The agency offers non-financial interventions (such as business plans, marketing strategies, legal or HR documentation and advice) to SMMEs, which they also support financially by paying for the intervention on an 80:20 basis.
The agency has its own business relationship managers who oversee the entire process of evaluating, granting and implementing the non-financial intervention for an SMME. Within that process controlled by the BRM, the agency then outsources the actual implementation of the intervention to one of their accredited sub-contractors - whom they refer to as their "service providers".

BMI-T was required to measure the entire customer satisfaction process from overall satisfaction, quality of the service, quality of the interventions, the image of the company, the pricing matrix as well every customer contact point within the SMME process, in particular how the agency's business relationship managers were perceived in the market as compared to their service providers.

Implementing our customer satisfaction methodology customised for the agency, we outsourced out fieldwork to a well-established, specialist fieldwork house that could interview the SMMEs in their home language. We achieved a hit rate of more than 100% - over the targeted 1000 SMME interviews - within 8 weeks of field work. Following standard quality controls, we captured and analysed the data and presented the results to the agency.

The Outcome of the Research

The agency was extremely pleased with the results of the survey as it exceeded all their expectations, not only from an overall customer satisfaction point of view, but also from its benchmarking aspect. The agency was able to measure the performance of their business relationship managers and their service providers, the effectiveness of their interventions and funding matrix, how the SMMEs viewed their entire registering, information, implementation process as well as quantify the value of their services to SMMEs. The additional questions included in the survey allowed the SMMEs to make suggestions to the agency on what other services could be provided and how the processes could be streamlined, these comments proved to be very valuable.

A concurrent process measured the perceptions of internal agency staff with regard to their perception of the service the agency provided for SMMEs. The results provided for an interesting comparison of perceptions and expectations.
The report for the agency thus contained quantitative results supplemented by qualitative comments from the SMMEs, as well as identifying key drivers of customer satisfaction through a regression and correlation analysis, a loyalty matrix, an internal staff assessment and analysis of open-ended questions.

BMI-T presented the agency with a detailed and interpretive management report, including strategic initiatives on how to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. A PowerPoint presentation was given in a number of feedback sessions, which included a presentation to the Board on behalf of the CEO. The agency has now commissioned BMI-T to conduct customer satisfaction research for its remaining two business units, training and financial interventions respectively.