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Case Study: Comparing Popular Food Delivery Services
Overview: A sample of our database was surveyed in an effort to gain insight into the customer experience when using third-party Food Delivery services.
We then had 25 individuals place orders through various third-party Food Delivery services, and record their experiences in detail (including photos).
Sample size: 1,813 participants
We wanted to know:
- “Can restaurants be certain that their customers are receiving the same quality from a third party service?”
- “Who is measuring the service standards from the time an order is picked up by a delivery service to the time it reaches the customer?”
Questions: (Click to scroll to specific question)
Individual Customer Experiences:
Food Delivery Service Usage
Word Cloud: Other
Individual Customer Experiences
Select your mealtime:
Specify your restaurant:
Name of entree:
24 hour Carnitas 24 hour Brisket General Tso’s Chicken Chipotle Salsa Chips & Queso
Did you modify the order?
What time did you place your order?
Were you able to communicate?
How did you communicate?
The app had a communicate button that you could tap and text the driver.
Did you receive a Delivery Time Estimate?
What was your delivery time estimate?
Record the Actual Delivery Time
Was your Delivery-Person friendly?
Was your Delivery-Person dressed appropriately?
Was your order correct?
Did you receive all necessary materials?
Rate the Presentation
Rate the Food’s Temperature
Rate the Overall Quality of your food
Review the app:
The app was smooth and easy to use
Has your opinion of the restaurant changed?
My opinion of this restaurant is better now.
Because I had never tried this restaurant before, but I had heard mixed reviews. My ability to order on Uber Eats and get a good meal greatly increased my opinion
Click the image for a larger view.
Massaman Lamb Tom Kha LG Yum Naur – Thai Grilled Beef Salad
How did you modify the order?
Extra sauce on the side for salad
No, I did not have a way to communicate with my delivery-person
I didn’t see any Uber logo, but it was cold outside and he was wearing a sweatshirt. The clothes were not inappropriate, there just wasn’t an Uber Eats identification anywhere.
What was missing?
I only received one set of plasticware for three orders.
My opinion of this restaurant is worse now.
All of the containers were soaked in sauce, dented, melted, or leaking. I would suggest buying thicker quality plastic containers for soup and curry, etc. Paper bags with handles would also help, so that the delivery person can handle the heavy containers easier and make sure they aren’t spilling everywhere. One of the dishes did not have enough flavor to suit me at all. (Tom Kha)
I was not provided with a receipt with my order.
Initially, I had an order delivery time of 6:52. Then the time changed to 7:04 at some point. It alerted me that the driver was picking up and dropping off another order on the way. From the consumer perspective, this is a bit frustrating.
I was not provided with a phone number or contacted. However, there was a button for help. You could address a current order or past order.
The driver had trouble finding my house. On my app, it looked like he was in front of my house. When no one ever came to the door, I walked outside. He was walking up and down my street. He parked before my house and walked past it. I’m not sure how long it would have taken if i didn’t go outside. It’s unclear as to whether this was due to the app or GPS, or if it was just not lit well enough to see on my house.
Protein Bowl Combo Pizza Slice Full order of Sweet Red Chili Wings
The restaurant performed as I expected it to.
I did not like the fact that the app made me choose a tip amount. It would not accept zero. I had already tipped in cash. According to the app help page you should receive a receipt emailed to you after it is finalized. However, I took pics of it online as I waited over two hours and never received the receipt. I did receive other emails from Postmates.
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Leadership & Customer Experience Research & Case Studies
Case studies in customer service & leadership, customer service case study #1, how customer service & relentless support increased one company’s profitability by 40%.
After the first full year of implementing a comprehensive customer service training and development initiative, this wireless retailer experienced improvement in the consistency of sales and service, and dramatic business results.
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Customer Experience Case Study #2
How one bank beat the recession by focusing on customer experience .
In 2008, the global banking industry was crippled by recession, marked by the failure of over 100 financial institutions in the US alone. This case study examines how a Credit Union used Customer Experience to not just survive, but flourish, during that time. .
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Customer Service Case Study #3
How customer service helped one shopping center stand out against the competition.
Marketing a Shopping Center is a challenge. Traffic levels are traditionally dependent on the location of a center and the selection of its retailers. It’s hard to find a way to stand out in consumer’s minds. But when new, aggressive competition is on the brink of becoming a reality, it is critical that a center find a competitive difference that will keep their consumers coming back.
This Case Study examines how one Shopping Center leveraged enhanced Customer Service retain their share of market and their customers’ loyalty.
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Customer Service Research
The science of wow, a breakthrough study on the definition of “wow” customer experiences, and what creates them .
The Science of WOW! Customer Service is a groundbreaking study on the elements that create viral customer service experiences. The research was conducted over three years in seven North American and Asian/South Pacific countries, and released in 2016.
The results help provide clear direction for organizations that are looking to create customer service experiences that people talk about.
Free access to The Science of WOW Research
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20 strategies for achieving wow customer experiences.
Science of WOW! Customer Service research points to three core directions for organizations, and three critical attributes for employees. This whitepaper examines these, and the 20 strategies for achieving WOW! customer experiences in any organization.
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How to Get Training to Stick
Stickiness: how to create change through training.
This White Paper on “Stickiness” is a look at the ten key elements that must come together to ensure that your customer service and leadership training creates real change in your organization. This is a must-have guide for people who design and deliver training for their organizations.
Top Customer Service Mistakes
The top 24 mistakes customer service people make.
What are the most common mistakes people in customer service make? The Belding Group asked members of their LinkedIn Customer Service Champions group what they thought. The tremendous response by over 200 customer service professionals fell into 24 categories.
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3 Bad Customer Service Case Studies
The trends, insights, and solutions you need to grow your business .
According to the Harvard Business Review , simple actions, such as responding to tweets quickly, can increase the amount of money people are willing to pay doing business with an organization. Quality customer service builds loyalty and increases profits. Sometimes, however, even major brands have moments when their service goals go horribly wrong, teaching lessons for everyone else. The three bad customer service incidents below have recently sent major brands scrambling to preserve their image. Here's what we all can learn from their mistakes.
An Air Transat flight sat on the tarmac for hours without service
In July 2017, passengers aboard two Air Transat flights were diverted to Ottawa. While the airline had no control over the diversion itself, they had a responsibility for the fair treatment of their passengers following landing. Yet passengers reported being stranded on the tarmac for over four hours, on one flight without any food, air conditioning, or water. This incident caused at least one passenger to call 911 in an effort to force the airline to act.
Following the incident, the airline was fined and held responsible by the Canadian Transportation Agency. During the hearing, however, customers and the press noted that the airline and airport continually came up with excuses and tried to blame each other, which led customers to say they will not fly with Air Transat again.
Lesson to learn
Air Transat didn’t just make a mistake when they failed to provide comfort and necessities to their customers during the unexpected delay on the tarmac, they failed to take responsibility for their actions or make proper amends with their customers. Mistakes and incidents can happen to any business, but how you respond to the issue and treat your customers will have a lasting impact. Refusing to accept responsibility or focusing solely on the bottom line to the detriment of the customers can cause serious harm to your brand.
T-Mobile changed a customer’s name on their account to “Idiot”
T-Mobile had a customer calling about a billing issue with his new phone. When he didn’t get the desired help, he decided to reach the phone carrier through Twitter. Although most people would agree that customer service can be a very challenging job, the T-Mobile team certainly could have handled the situation more appropriately. The rep dealing with the issue apparently changed the customer’s name to “Idiot,” which the customer saw the next time he logged into his account. He posted his account of the incident online, which reasonably led to poor press for T-Mobile .
Providing customer service can make many people frustrated enough to scream. What is not acceptable, however, is doing anything that could get back to the customer. Brands should work to provide excellent service, even behind the scenes, to create an outstanding experience for customers. It’s important to have the right team with the right training to handle customer issues with grace and diplomacy. It’s not about the customer always being right – but the customer always deserves your respect.
Apple reduced the speed of their older devices
Apple decided to slow down their older devices without telling their customers. Although they may have had an understandable reason for this action, their failure to notify customers led to outrage among users.
Apple claimed the action was taken to preserve the battery life in the older phones. While this might have been true, it was the lack of transparency that angered customers. The brand ended up apologizing to customers and offering discounted battery replacements.
Despite good intentions, if your actions negatively impact customers, you need to err on the side of transparency. If Apple had let customers know upfront that their devices would eventually slow down and why, it would have been less of a scandal. Instead, since customers discovered it on their own, it left them feeling suspicious about what else the company isn’t telling them. Trust is one of the most important qualities in your relationship with customers. Don’t give them any reason to doubt you.
Customer service remains a critical component of any successful brand. If you want to grow, you need to focus on outstanding customer care during every interaction. Bad customer service will cost you more than just the customer directly involved, so take the lessons learned from these recent disasters and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.
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Role of customers in service delivery
Service delivery for customers can be seen in a factory. The place the service is produced and is consumed interacting with the employees and other customers. E.g in a classroom or in a training situation, students (customers) are sitting in the factory interacting with the instructor and other students as they consume the educational services.
Since these customers are present during the service production, customers can contribute to or detract from the successful delivery of the service and to their own satisfaction.
Importance of customers in service delivery
Customer participation at some level is inevitable in service delivery. Services are actions or performances, typically produced and consumed simultaneously. In many situations employees, customers and even others in the service environment interact to produce the ultimate service outcome. As the customers receiving the service participates in the service delivery process. He or she can contribute to the gap through appropriate or inappropriate, effective or ineffective, productive or unproductive behaviors.
Customers who are unprepared in terms of what they want to order can soak up the customer service representative’s time as they seek advice. Similarly, shoppers who are not prepared with their credit cards can “put the representative on hold”. While they search for their credit cards or go to another room or even out of their cars to get them. Meanwhile, other customers and calls are left unattended, causing longer wait times and potential dissatisfaction.
Participation in service delivery
The level of participation – low, medium, high – varies across different services. In some cases, all that is required is the customers physical presence (low level of participation), with the employees of the firm doing all of the service production work, as in case of a Ghazal/ musical concert. The listeners must be present to receive the entertainment service. In other cases, consumer inputs are required to aid the service organization in creating the service delivery (moderate level of participation).
Inputs can include information, effort or physical possessions . All three of these are required in case of accounting services who prepares a client’s income tax return effectively. Information in the form of tax history, marital status, and number of dependents. Effort in putting the information together in a useful fashion. Physical Possessions such as receipts and past tax returns. In case of long term consulting engagements involvement of the customers high as they co create the service.
Customers as a productive process.
Service customers are referred to as “partial employees” of the organization. They are human resources who contribute to the organization’s productive capacity. In other words, if customers contribute effort, time or other resources to the service production process, they should be considered as part of the organization.
Customer inputs can affect the organization’s productivity through both quality and quantity of output. E.g. research suggest that in an IT consulting context:
- Clients who clearly articulate the solution they desire.
- Provide needed information in a timely manner.
- Communicate openly.
- Gain the commitment of key internal stakeholders.
- And raise the issues during the process before it is too late will get better service.
Customers as quality contributors to service delivery and satisfaction
Another role customers play in service delivery is that of the contributor to their own satisfaction and the ultimate quality of the services they receive. Customers may care little that they have increased the productivity of the organization through their participation. But they likely care a great deal about whether their needs are fulfilled. Effective customer participation can increase the likelihood of service delivery that their needs are met and that benefits the customer seeks are attained. Services such as health care, education, personal fitness, and weight loss, where the service outcome is highly dependent on the customers participation. In such services unless the customers perform their roles effectively, the desired service outcomes cannot be achieved.
Research has shown that in education, active participation by students – as opposed to passive listening – increases learning the desired service output significantly.
Customers as competitors
A final role played by service customers is that of a potential competitor. If self-service customers can be viewed as resources of the firm, or as “partial employees,” self-service customers in some cases. They can partially perform the service or the entire service for themselves and may not need the provider at all.
Customers thus in that sense are competitors of the companies that supply the service. Whether to produce a service for themselves ( internal exchange ). E.g. child care, home maintenance i.e. have someone else provide home services for them ( external exchange ) is a common dilemma for consumers.
Similar internal versus external exchange decisions are made by organizations. Firms frequently choose to outsource service activities such as payroll, data processing, research, accounting, maintenance, and facilities management. They find that it is advantageous to focus on their core businesses and leave these essential support services to others with greater expertise. Alternatively, a firm may decide to stop purchasing services externally and bring the service production process in-house.
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Service Delivery and Customer Satisfaction. A Case Study of Addis Ababa City Administration
Thesis (m.a.), 2020, tewodros tsega (author).
Table of Content
List of acronyms, list of figures, list of tables, data interpretation tables.
CHAPTER ONE 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 . Background of the study 1.2. Statements of the problem 1.3. Objectives of the research 1.3.1. General objective 1.3.2. Specific objective 1.4. Research questions 1.5. Scope of the study 1.6. Limitation of the Study 1.7. Significance of the study 1.8. Organization of the Thesis
CHAPTER TWO 2. REVIEW LITERATURE 2.1. Theoretical bases of the study 2.1.1. Quality of Service Delivery 22.214.171.124.Service delivery 126.96.36.199Quality of service 188.8.131.52. Measuring the quality of service 184.108.40.206. Public Services 220.127.116.11. Characteristics of Public Services 18.104.22.168.Service delivered in land development and management 22.214.171.124.Mechanisms for service improvement 2.1.2. Level of customer satisfaction in land development and management office 126.96.36.199. Customer satisfaction 188.8.131.52. Measuring Customer Satisfaction 184.108.40.206. Why should we measure satisfaction? 220.127.116.11. Level of customer satisfaction in land development and management 18.104.22.168.Improving the level of customer satisfaction 2.1.3. Relationship between quality of service and customer satisfaction 2.2. Empirical bases of the study 2.2.1. Quality of Service delivered in AALDMO 2.2.2. Level of customer satisfaction in AALDMO 2.3. Conceptual framework 2.4. Research Gap
CHAPTER THREE 3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 3.1 Research Approach 3.2 Research method 3.3 Research Technique 3.4 Sample Design 3.4.1 Population and universe 3.4.2 Sampling Frame 3.4.3. Sampling unit 3.4.4. Sampling Technique 3.4.5 Sample Size 3.5. Sources of Data 3.5.1 Primary data sources 3.5.2 Secondary data sources 3.6. Data Analysis and Interpretation 3.7. Data presentation 3.9. Validity and reliability 3.9.1. Validity 3.9.2. Reliability
CHAPTER FOUR 4. DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS 4.1. Introduction 4.2. Response Rate 4.3. Demographic Characteristics of Respondents 4.4. Findings 4.4.1. The quality of service delivered in AALDMO 22.214.171.124. Provided service quality in comparison with customer’s expectation 126.96.36.199. Measuring the service quality in AALDMO 4.4.2. The level of customer satisfaction in AALDMO 4.4.3. The relationship between quality of service and customer satisfaction in AALDMO 4.4.4. Factors that affect the level of customer satisfaction in AALDMO 188.8.131.52. Factors that affect the quality of service provided in AALDMO? 184.108.40.206. Factors that affect the level of customer satisfaction in AALDMO? 4.5. Interpretation
CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION 5.1 Introduction 5.2. Summary 5.3 Conclusion 5.4 Recommendations
First and for most I would like to thank my Almighty God who helps me to reach on this success. Next my deepest gratitude goes to my advisor Dr. Dagnachew Adimasu for his continuous advice, guidance and valuable comments in the process of undertaking this research.
I wish to express my appreciation to my family members - my mother, sister, and my son, friends, and other relatives who supported me in idea and finance even in their time in undertaking this research.
I grateful acknowledge the assistance of all my respondents and peoples who helped me to collect the data in this hard time of COVID 19 form Gullele, Kolfe Keranio, Arada, Addis Ketema, and Nifas Silik Lafto sub cities.
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Figure 1: Conceptual Framework
Table 3.1:- Number of customers in the ten sub cities
Table 3.2:- Selection of Sample Size
Table 4.1 - Background information of respondents
Table 4.2 - Descriptive Statistics- Service quality on the bases of Tangibility
Table 4.3 - Descriptive Statistics- Service quality on the bases of Reliability
Table 4.4 - Descriptive Statistics- Service quality on the bases of Responsiveness
Table 4.5 - Descriptive Statistics -Service quality on the bases of Assurance
Table 4.6- Descriptive Statistics- Service quality on the bases of Empathy
Table 4.7 - Satisfaction level of customers
This study is about “Customer Satisfaction and Service Delivery: The Case of Addis Ababa City Administration Land Development and Management Office”. The main objective of the research is to measure and address the customer satisfaction in the service delivery of Addis Ababa development and management office. It tries to see the quality of service delivery and the level of customer satisfaction in land development and management office of Addis Ababa. It tries to see the quality of service using the SERVQUAL service quality measurement model. In the study a descriptive and explanatory types of research method were employed. Then, both probability (simple random sampling) and the non probability (purposive) sampling were used. Therefore, a total of 324 respondents were selected from customers of Addis Ababa land development and management office in the selected five sub cities to respond through a questionnaire and ten respondents were selected from employee of the selected sub cities to respond to an interview. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS and the interpreted data were presented in tables, charts, graphs, and pictures. In this study, the researcher confirmed that “the service provided in Addis Ababa land development and management office is poor in quality and the level of customer satisfaction is low”. Furthermore, the different problems that affect the level of customer satisfaction were identified. The problems that affect the level of customer satisfaction includes: - Low competency of employees; the discipline problem of employees; Poor management; Structural problems in the office; Personal interest of employees (-There is conflict of interest); and the continuous change of rule and regulations. In order to solve the identified problems the following recommendations are forwarded: The trainings given to employees including training related with their technical skill, trainings on professional ethics, trainings that bring an attitude change; using modern ICT technologies; put the right person at the right position; structural change; taking correction or adjustments on the bases of feedback from customers; creating strong control mechanism on the daily activities of employees; taking administrative and Legal measures; designing of rules and regulations that can serve longer time.
Key words: - Customer, Customer Satisfaction, Service, Service Delivery
The Addis Ababa city land development and management office (now on ward denoted by AALDMO) have many problems in its services delivery to the customers. The problems in the services delivery create problem in the customer satisfaction of the organization. So, to attain a customer satisfaction we should have a high standard of service quality. As it is indicated by Jonathan (2018) Service quality is the result of the comparison made by customers about what they feel service firms should offer, and perceptions of the performance of firms providing the services. Therefore we can say that customers compare the service delivered with their expectation and judge or respond about the service they gain that means they judge whether the service create satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
According to Jonathan (2018) Customer satisfaction is defined as the customers’ evaluation of a product or service in terms of whether that product or service has met their needs and expectations. Customer satisfaction in broader sense defined as consumers feeling and happiness after complete meeting of one's expectations. Odunlami (2015) stated that Customer satisfaction is a construct that must be met optimally for efficient and effective achievement of stated objectives, and for smooth continuation of business. Customer satisfaction is an integral part of organizational objectives that must be fulfilled for an organization to maintain its customers.
This paper is a research on the title “customer satisfaction and service delivery: the case of Addis Ababa city administration land development and management office”. It has five chapters with many sub parts in each. Like: - backgrounds of the study, statements of the problems, research objectives, research questions, significance of the study, scope of the study, limitation of the study, and organization of the paper in chapter one; Literature review in chapter two; and methodology in chapter three; data presentation and analysis in chapter four; and summary, conclusion and recommendation in chapter five together with different annexes. The annexes also include Questionnaires to customers of AALDMO; Interview guiding Questions for leaders and officers in AALDMO; Reliability measurement; Summary of sampling, sample size and data collecting mechanisms; and Summary of objectives, Research questions and handling mechanisms.
1.1 . Background of the study
In 2002, the city government of Addis Ababa reorganized both the city government executive bodies and municipal offices in the city with proclamation number 2/2002 to foster development of the city. During that time the land development sector was organized by itself at agency level with many sub branches under and it was under the municipal offices. Even if the proclamation was there in 2002, the land development and management bureau by itself as a separate body was established in 2011. By following the administrative organizations the land development and management office was also established at sub city level. It is one of the offices in the city that provide service to the public. Some of the services that are provided in the land development and management offices includes:- render service of registration and protection regarding possession and immovable property; issue certificate of title deed for land possession; organize current cadastre system; keep and preserve information about type of land usage and possessors thereof; investigate and pass decision on questions of changing land usage by legal possessors of land in accordance with law; ascertain the proper implementation, at subcity level by the concerned body in the area, of land and houses registration and information handling of the city as well as possessorial and/or ownership right transfer is in accordance with policies and laws; take corrective measures where the implementation of land or house administration is inconsistent with the policies and law etc (Proclamation No. 35/2012: 21).
With these different services the land development and management office has many customers. The implementation of good governance principles in the service delivery in this office and its branches at the sub city level are important because of the large number of customers it has. The main activity that accomplished at the land development and management bureau at city level is that preparation of different rules, regulations, and working manuals. And, the different rules regulations and the working manuals that established and approved at the city level are implemented at the city and sub city levels. The land development and management office in each of the sub cities has the main responsibility of implementing those rules, regulation and working manuals. Due to this fact, large number of customers gets service at the sub city level of the office.
The Addis Ababa city land development and management office have many problems in its services delivery to the customers. Many of the problems are problems that are persisted for long periods of time. As it is stated by Ashenafi (2015: 8) after the city land administration was delegated under city government land development and management bureau (proclamation No. 35/2011), Addis Ababa city administration has been continue providing the land administration services with its embedded problems. Among these problems, there was a complication in the execution of enacted proclamations due to the absence of clear legislation as well as confusion about the applicability of the legislations (cited from World Bank, 2012b). In addition to this, the sector was highly criticized by its mal-governance due to many serious corrupted working situations in the land administration business (Transparency International, 2009). Furthermore, there was no transparent work process on acquisition of land and the accountability system had weakened due to none or spontaneous answerability to the public. Ibid (2015:8). The existence of these problems in the service delivery of the land development and management office decrease the level of customer satisfaction.
In this regard the federal government of Ethiopia and the city administration had taken measures to minimize the problems through different civil service reforms. The citizen charter is developed in December 2013 by the city land development and Management Bureau to strengthen the service delivery. Ashenafi (2015: 8) also indicated that the federal government of Ethiopia and the city administration of Addis Ababa attempt to minimize and avoid the problems of good governance through different civil service reforms. By citing Fortune newspaper, (2010) he also indicated that after the reform programs; many land administrative services somehow have been improved additionally, the citizen charter that comprises standards of service delivery had developed on December, 2013 by the city land development and management bureau to strengthen the service delivery. Ibid (2015: 8)
But even if some improvements are shown in the sector after the implementation of the civil service reform and the citizen charter; still there are different problems that are shown in the sector. Nigussie (2016: 4) also indicated that customers refer to various problems in land development and management office; some of the problems are lack of office schedules, lack of decision making, inconsistencies on interpreting land related legislations, un-pleasant and unwillingness service delivery from officials, etc.
1.2. Statements of the problem
The Addis Ababa Land Development and Management Office have many problems in its services delivery to the customers. As it is stated by Ashenafi (2015: 8) after the city land administration was delegated under city government land development and management bureau (proclamation No. 35/2011), Addis Ababa city administration has been continue providing the land administration services with its embedded problems. Among these problems, there was a complication in the execution of enacted proclamations due to the absence of clear legislation as well as confusion about the applicability of the legislations (cited in World Bank, 2012b). In addition to this, the sector was highly criticized by its mal-governance due to many serious corrupted working situations in the land administration business (transparency international, 2009). Furthermore, there was no transparent work process on acquisition of land and the accountability system had weakened due to none or spontaneous answerability to the public. Ibid (2015:8).
Jonathan (2018) in his article defined Service quality as the result of the comparison made by customers about what they feel service firms should offer, and perceptions of the performance of firms providing the services. Nomnga and Mhlanga (2014) in their part stated that Service quality is a complex, elusive, subjective and abstract concept. It means different things to different people. The most common definition of service quality is the comparison customers make between their expectations and their perceptions of the received service (cited from Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry1988; Grönroos, 1982). Therefore, we can say that service quality is the comparison between expectation and perception of received service by the customer.
By citing Hazlina, Rabiyah and Razap, (2011) Ahmed (2019) stated that Service quality is the fundamental tool in the measure of customer satisfaction. He also stated that to attain a high standard of customer satisfaction most studies propose that the service provider should offer a high standard of service quality as usually service quality is regarded as an antecedent of client satisfaction, Ahmed (2019: 3). Again by citing Clemes (2008) Ahmed (2019) stated that the probability of client satisfaction increases with improvement of service quality. Quality was one of the various aspects that form the basis of satisfaction and satisfaction was one of the possibilities that influence future quality views, Ahmed (2019: 3). Therefore, we can see that there is a relationship between quality of service provided and customer satisfaction. That is high quality of service delivery will result to have a high level of customer satisfaction and vice versa.
Poor service delivery in AALDMO has resulted in to have low customer satisfaction. But to be scientific research should be made to evaluate the level of customer satisfaction, to identify reason why we have low level of customer satisfaction, to identify the factors that affect the level of customer satisfaction and to put appropriate solution in solving the problem of that limit the level of customer satisfaction
The different problems that are persisted in the service delivery of AALDMO decrease the level of customer satisfaction, because customer satisfaction is affected by the quality of services provided. The writer has reviewed different research works that are made on customer satisfaction and good governance on land development and management office service provisions. In the first one research work which is made by WMCC in 2017 is about “the level of customer satisfaction in Addis Ababa city public service in service delivery and Good Governance” it was made in Addis Ababa city public service provision all offices including land development & management office. This research evaluates customer satisfaction of the 10 sub cities in all service provision offices. It doesn’t show the customer satisfaction of AALDMO separately, and it also deals about good governance and service delivery in these offices; but it didn’t evaluate the customer satisfaction in service delivery separately. The second and the recent research work reviewed by the writer is the one which is done by Aklilu Meberatu in 2019. Which is about “An Assessment of Service Delivery Problems in Land Administration: The Case of Gulele Sub-City”. And in this work Mr. Aklilu evaluate the problems of service delivery in one of the sub offices under the land development and management office of Gullele sub city. So, it did not show the service delivery and customer satisfaction in the AALDMO as a whole . Therefore, this research work is unique from the others by looking the service delivery and customer satisfaction in AALDMO. In looking it in detail the writer raised questions like: - how is the service quality in AALDMO? How is the customer satisfaction in Addis Ababa land development and management office? What is the relationship between the quality of service and customer satisfaction in AALDMO? And what are the factors that can affect the level of customer satisfaction in AALDMO?
1.3. Objectives of the research
1.3.1. general objective.
The general objective of this research is to measure and address the customer satisfaction in the service delivery of Addis Ababa land development and management office.
1.3.2. Specific objective
This research has the following specific objectives.
- To evaluate the quality of service delivered in Addis Ababa land development and management office - To evaluate the level of customer satisfaction in Addis Ababa land development and management office - To determine the relationship between quality of service delivered and customer satisfaction in Addis Ababa land development and management office
To identify factors that affect the level of customer satisfaction in Addis Ababa land development and management office
To recommend possible solutions that can solve the identified problems affecting level of customer satisfaction
1.4. Research questions
- How is the quality of service delivered in Addis Ababa land development and management office? - How is the level of customer satisfaction in Addis Ababa land development and management office? - What is the relationship between quality of service delivered and customer satisfaction in Addis Ababa land development and management office?
What are the factors that affect the level of customer satisfaction in Addis Ababa land development and management office?
What are the possible solutions that can solve the problems that affect the level of customer satisfaction?
1.5. Scope of the study
This study is only concerned about customer satisfaction in the service delivery of Addis Ababa city administration land development and management office. It will concern only in areas within the boundary of Addis Ababa city administration. In measuring the quality of service delivered in the office the researcher uses only tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy as a variable, because these are the common variables in measuring the quality of service in SERVQUAL quality measurement models. In terms of population this study will only concern with customers who get service in AALDMO at the city level and largely at the sub city level, this is because many of the services are provided to customers at the sub city level and at large the role of the land development and management office at the city level is supporting those sub cities in providing the service to customers. So, customers who get service at the city and sub city level are the focus of this study. This study could not include citizens of the city / Addis Ababa who didn’t get a service in the land development and management office at the city and sub city level, because if it contains these people since they didn’t know the process of service delivery in the office they will give wrong answers to questionnaires and the research will have wrong conclusion. So, in order to solve such problems these people will not include in this study.
1.6. Limitation of the Study
The writer was conducted this study by collecting primary data from different customers and employees of land development and management office of Addis Ababa in the selected five sub cities. In this process, the writer was faced different problems; the first and the major problem was Lack of customers to respond due to COVID 19, particularly when the writer come out for data collection many of the offices in Addis Ababa land development and management office were close and these office were not providing service to customers, in addition to this financial constraints, time constraints, and respondents delay were constraint that affect the process of conducting this research. In order to solve the first problem the writer was stayed for about 15 day until the office were open to customers and when that office was open many costumers came to the office and writer collected the data; and the researcher tried to overcome the other constraints by devoting himself to finish the research with the planned time. Because finishing on time save not only time but also money. In relation the respondent delay the researcher negotiated seriously with respondents to fill the questionnaire within the given time.
1.7. Significance of the study
This paper is about “Customer Satisfaction and Service Delivery: The Case of Addis Ababa City Administration Land Development and Management Office”. So, it can be served as a base for other researchers for further study. This study tries to see the different challenges that affect the customer satisfaction in relation with the service delivered in Addis Ababa land development and management office, it can help policy makers to develop a policy that can solve the different challenges and that can enhance the satisfaction of customers in the office. In addition to the above two, this paper is also helps the researcher as the partial fulfillment to get the Masters Degree from the Pretor Construction and Business College.
1.8. Organization of the Thesis
This research paper had been organized in five different chapters. The first chapter is the introductory part that consisted of Background of the study, Statements of the problem, Objectives of the research (-that includes General objective and Specific objective), Research questions, Scope of the study, limitation of the study, and Significance of the study.
The second chapter is about review literature. In here, important reading materials like books, internet, magazines and different documents that were related with the research ideas and with the objectives of the study were discussed.
The third chapter deals with the methodology part which tells about the research approach, research methods, sample design which includes population, sampling frame, sampling unit, sampling technique, and sample size, sources of data, data analysis and interpretation, and reliability measurement.
The fourth chapter focuses on the data analysis and interpretation. It consisted of response rate, demographic characteristics of respondents, findings, and interpretation. And, the last chapter-chapter five includes the conclusion and recommendations which were given for the different problems that identified in this research as a solution.
2. review literature, 2.1. theoretical bases of the study, 2.1.1. quality of service delivery, 220.127.116.11. service delivery.
Service is any activity that is made to satisfy the needs and wants of customers. As it is stated by WMCC, service is defined as the activity that has been done to satisfy the needs and wants of customers on the bases of knowledge, capacity and/or profession of employees (WMCC; 2016: 35). By citing (Armstrong et al, 1999), Afande stated that customer service is defined as activities and programs provided by the seller to the buyer to make the relationship a satisfying one. It is an activity or benefit that one party offers to another, which is, essentially, intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything. Its production may or may not be tied to a physical item. Variability of services is dependent on who provides them and when they are provided. Afande (2015: 50). WMCC also indicated that Service is a goal oriented process that is done to satisfy customers need; and it is a process that is delivered by deliverers to add economic value to customers (WMCC; 2016: 35). Therefore, we can say that service is an activity that is made by service providers or sellers in order to satisfy the needs and wants of customers, its goal is satisfying the needs of the customers.
Service delivery is the process providing the service to customers. By citing Ethiopian Service Delivery Policy (2001), Dereje (2017) stated as Service delivery is the systematic arrangement of activities in service giving institutions with the aim of fulfilling the needs and expectations of service users and other stakeholders with the optimum use of resources, (Dereje; 2017: 10). According to Transparency International Rwanda (2017), Service delivery is a fundamental function between service procuring entities and services seekers who have the right to request for services to satisfy their needs. Transparency International Rwanda (2017: 26). WMCC in its part indicated that, in order to provide a service , there should be a face to face contact between service providers and service receivers (customers) in the service delivery process of public service provisions (WMCC; 2016: 35). Therefore, we can conclude that service delivery is a systematic and sequential follow of a service from service provider to customers and it can be achieved by the relationship between service providers and customers.
18.104.22.168. Quality of service
According to Jonathant (2018), quality is the product or service usefulness for the price paid; it is a definition of quality that consumers often use for product or service usefulness. It is what quality is but when we see the quality of the service it is about the judgment on the comparison between the expectation and perception of consumers about the service provided. As it is stated by Nomnga and Mhlanga (2014) Service quality is a complex, elusive, subjective and abstract concept. It means different things to different people. The most common definition of service quality is the comparison customers make between their expectations and their perceptions of the received service. Similarly, by citing Grönroos, C. (2007), Khadka & Maharjan (2017) in their part indicated as service quality refers to the result of the comparison that the customer makes their expectation about the service and their perception of the way the service has been performed, Khadka & Maharjan (2017: 13). Jonathan (2018) in his article again defined Service quality as the result of the comparison made by customers about what they feel service firms should offer, and perceptions of the performance of firms providing the services. Therefore, we can conclude that service quality is a comparison and a judgment between expectation and perception that is made by customers.
The quality of service can use as a base for customer satisfaction. As it is stated by Odunlami (2015), in the service industry, strong emphasize is placed on the significant importance of service quality perceptions and association between service quality and consumer satisfaction. It is therefore presumed that some researchers concluded that service quality is an important indicator of customer satisfaction. So, in order to use the quality of service as a base for customer satisfaction we should measure the quality of service using different criteria. Transparency International Rwanda (2017), indicated as there are a number of attributes or dimensions that determine service quality include the accessibility, reliability (to provide the service on time and accurately), the promptness of service and its affordability among others. Transparency International Rwanda (2017: 26). Shimels (2016: 15) indicated that Customers, judge service quality as the extent to which perceived service quality matches with the initial expectation. By citing Palmer (1995; 155), Shimels also stated that customers judge the service quality in three ways. These are :- The first one is the desired level of service, which reflects what the customer wants. The second one is adequate level of service, that is, the standard customers are willing to accept. The third one is the predicted service level, which means expectation that customers believe to actually occur most likely. Shimels (2016: 15). Therefore, we can conclude that quality of service is one determinant that affects the level of customer satisfaction. In doing this for such a purpose we should measure the quality of service using criteria include accessibility, reliability, the promptness of service and its affordability.
Service should be given in best quality in order to satisfy customers because there is a relationship between the quality of service delivered and customer satisfaction that means if the quality of service is poor it will create dissatisfaction and if the service quality is good it will create customer satisfaction. As it is stated by Odunlami (2015), service quality is an important indicator of customer satisfaction. To make customer satisfied on the service delivery service providers should know the service quality level that is needed to satisfy customers. As it is stated by Shimels, the quality level that is needed by customers to be satisfied has to do with every aspect of services providers starting from the time customers arrive at the gate of the organizations. One of the required qualities knows the conditions under which customers are, once they are in; the customers may be in queue, they may be in certain office waiting for concerned official, or still others may be annoyed for one or the other reasons... These efforts could identify customers„ problems and give solutions to them. Shimels (2016: 15). Service quality can be achieved and measured on the bases of the service providers (employees) discipline (behavior) and their ability, capacity and it should be compatible with the need and wants of customers (WMCC; 2016: 35). Even if service quality is affected and determined by different factor, if the service has a best quality it will satisfy customers but if the service is in poor quality it will affect the satisfaction level of customers. By citing Rust and Zahorik, (1993) Odunlami, indicated that this relation between quality of service and customer’s satisfaction in that Poor services can also lead to dissatisfaction. Poor services or unsatisfactory level of services, which cannot meet customers’ expectation, may be that is one of the causes of dissatisfaction in customers, (Odunlami: 2015). Therefore we can conclude that customer satisfaction is highly dependent of the quality of service provided to customers.
22.214.171.124. Measuring the quality of service
There is a variation in the service delivered to customers in different service providing firms and organizations. And there are also different factors that affect the service provided to customers. As it is stated by WMCC, the service delivered for different customers, have shown difference on the bases of the experiences of service providers (employees), knowledge of employees, discipline of employees, and perception and behavior of customers and again other internal and external factors (causes). In order to overcome these dynamic behaviors, service providing organizations setting the service delivery standard and by providing continues capacity building activities for employees they should try to provide similar and satisfying service to customers (WMCC; 2016: 35). From this we can understand that due to different factors there is a variation in the service delivered to customers and service quality standard is a mechanism set to a avoid the variation.
In order to create customer satisfaction, service quality should be equivalent with the demand or the expectation of customers and again the service should be provided in a proper way. In reaching on customer satisfaction, service must be in a good quality and it should be delivered in a proper way and we have to check whether the service is delivered properly and also we have to measure the quality of service delivered to see its level and to take corrective actions where there is a problem in its quality. As it is stated by WMCC to understand whether the service is provided properly or not, there should be customers and that customer receive a service and in the process, the perception of customers should be known and understood. And again in order to measure whether the service is provided properly or not, there should be a setting of standard for service delivery (WMCC; 2016: 35). Therefore, we can conclude that in order to have a customer satisfaction we have to set a service delivery standard and measure the service quality and improve the service based on the finding of the measurement of the service quality.
The service provided by different organization and firms should be in a best quality because as it is presented by different authors and scholars quality of service affects the satisfaction of customers and again if customers are not satisfied it will affect the performance and the continuity of the organization or firms. So organizations or firms should give emphasis for quality of services that is provided to customers. There are different models presented to measure the quality of service. One of the best models is SERVQUAL which is developed by Parasuraman et al. (1985, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1994; Zeithaml et al., 1990).
According to Shahin (2006) clearly, from a best value perspective the measurement of service quality in the service sector should take into account customer expectations of service as well as perceptions of service. However, by citing Robinson (1999) Shahin (2006) indicated as Robinson concludes that: "It is apparent that there is little consensus of opinion and much disagreement about how to measure service quality". One service quality measurement model that has been extensively applied is the SERVQUAL model developed by Parasuraman et al. (1985, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1994; Zeithaml et al., 1990). By citing Gronroos, 1982; Lewis and Booms, 1983; Parasuraman et al., 1985; Shahin (2006) again indicated that SERVQUAL as the most often used approach for measuring service quality has been to compare customers' expectations before a service encounter and their perceptions of the actual service delivered. The SERVQUAL instrument has been the predominant method used to measure consumer’s perceptions of service quality. It has five generic dimensions or factors and is stated as follows A. Shahin (2006):-
- Tangibles: - Physical facilities, equipment and appearance of personnel. - Reliability: - Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately. - Responsiveness: - Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service. - Assurance: - (including competence, courtesy, credibility and security). It is the Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence. - Empathy: - (including access, communication, understanding the customer). It is the caring and individualized attention that the firm provides to its customers.
By citing Gabbie and O'neill, (1996) Shahin (2006) stated that in the SERVQUAL instrument, 22 statements measure the performance across these five dimensions, using a seven point Likert scale measuring both customer expectations and perceptions. It is important to note that without adequate information on both the quality of services expected and perceptions of services received then feedback from customer surveys can be highly misleading from both a policy and an operational perspective.
126.96.36.199. Public Services
Public services are those services that are provided by government institutions to citizen in order to satisfy the social needs. By citing Ethiopian Service Delivery Policy (2002), Dereje, indicated that Public services are any activities undertaken to meet social needs. Public service particularly refers to those activities of government institutions aimed at satisfying the needs and ensure the wellbeing of society as well as enforcing laws, regulations and directives of government (Dereje; 2017: 10). By citing Yeman (undated: 5), Dereje also defines public service as “any act or performance that public institutions provide to fulfill social needs”. This entails a dynamic interaction between service providers and recipients that operate in a changing environment that may shape the outcome of the implementation of Service Delivery Reforms. (Dereje; 2017: 10). Therefore, we can say that public service is a service provided by government in order to fulfill the needs and wants of the people to fulfill the social needs of citizens’.
188.8.131.52. Characteristics of Public Services
Services provided by governments have different characteristics than the services that are provided by the private organizations. As it is stated by WMCC, one of the characteristics is that it is provided by the financial support that is collected from citizens. Because of this, service receivers (customers) indirectly pay for the service they gain due to this fact it is difficult to control its service quality. (WMCC; 2016: 35-36). Unlike the services that are provided by private organizations; the service provided by the government are provided by the budget (financial budget) that is set once at the beginning of a year. Due to this fact, it is difficult to use additional finance when there is an increase in the number and wants of customers. So, government organizations must estimate the needs and wants of customers and should prepare and give the service properly. (Ibid; 2016: 36). Therefore, we can conclude that public service is provided to citizen by the government and the cost of the service is covered by citizen.
The second characteristic is that the government has responsibility and accountability to deliver the service. The financial source for service provided by the government is taxes that are collected from the people. In addition to this, since government is established by the votes of the people through democratic election, government has a responsibility and accountability to provide the service to the people. Due to this leaders and officers at the different tiers of government by recognizing what service delivery is? , what is the importance of service delivery? And the characteristics of services that are provided by the government they must work hard to solve the knowledge and attitude related problems in the service delivery. In addition to this leaders and officers at the different tiers of by participating the people or customers, they must solve the problems of service delivery performance in standard achievement (WMCC; 2016: 36). Conceptual Framework Task Force (2011) also indicated that governments are elected through a democratic process to have certain (Constitutional or devolved) rights, powers and responsibilities that require broad accountability to the public and their elected representatives. The governing bodies of many government organizations are appointed; however, these organizations are part of government. They use public resources and may have been given delegated powers and responsibilities that also demand broad accountability to the public and their elected representatives. The complexity of the government financial reporting entity and the varied relationships between the government and its organizations adds to the need for broad public accountability. Therefore, we can conclude that Government has a responsibility and accountability to provide public service.
The other characteristic of services provided by the government is that, these are services that are not presented in the market for profit purpose; because of this government is the only provider of these services. There is no competitor. This character limits the customer’s choice because they can’t find the service in any time and at any condition, from any organizations. Most of the time, the problem in the quality of service provision, and problems of good governance in the service provided by the government come due to this character of the service (WMCC; 2016: 36). And, again as it is stated by International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (2010) an important characteristic that distinguishes the public sector from the private sector is that the main objective of public sector entities is to deliver goods and services rather than to generate profits. This means that there is a high incidence of non-exchange transactions of great financial significance in the public sector. Therefore, we can conclude that public services are services that are provided by the government and that is not for profit purpose.
By citing (MoCB 8, 2010) Tilahun (2014) stated that the public sector in Ethiopia was characterized by weak structures, inefficient services provision, corruptions, poor capacity and the routine neglect of the due process of law in matters of public issue. The government has developed the future vision of the public service and is devoted to turn around the challenges of hindering weak institutional arrangement, outdated working process and system, low capacity, unethical behaviors, and fraud, Tilahun (2014: 21). Therefore, from this we can understand that the public service in Ethiopia is full of problems that include weak structures, inefficient services provision, corruptions, and poor capacity.
184.108.40.206. Service delivered in land development and management
As it is stated by Chaka, Lepheana, and Tlali (2017), Land administration services are part of day to day activity for public services. These are usually services provided by government offices and it is a common concern in developing countries that public service delivery is sluggish and sometimes contaminated by acts of corruption. Because of these facts there is a need to improve the service delivery in land development and management of the different countries particularly on developing countries. In supporting this fact Transparency International Rwanda (2017) stated that the need to improve services in the land sector is vital to ensure effective and efficient land-related service delivery.
The land development and management is a one of the public service that is provided to citizens by the government bodies. By citing UN-ECE, (1996 and 2005), Mwangi & Nyika (2010)
indicated that Land management is implemented through land use planning and the processes through which the tools of land management are implemented are called land administration. Land administration is used to refer to those public sector activities required to aid the process of alienation, survey, valuation, registration, transfer, development and use of land. In most countries, these processes are administered by the public sector through the land administration structures. Shimels (2016) in his part indicated that Public Sector Services may be provided in a non-competitive environment because alternative service providers often do not exist. Hence, service recipients, unlike consumers in the private sector, may have little or no option to use a different service provider or to withhold payment. Therefore, we can say that since the service is given in a non competitive environment, the service should be given in a best quality that satisfied customers.
Service quality is the comparison between the expectation of customers from the service and what the reality is. Jonathan (2018) in his article defined Service quality as the result of the comparison made by customers about what they feel service firms should offer, and perceptions of the performance of firms providing the services. By citing Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1988); and Grönroos (1982) Nomnga and Mhlanga (2014) in their side stated that Service quality is a complex, elusive, subjective and abstract concept. It means different things to different people. The most common definition of service quality is the comparison customers make between their expectations and their perceptions of the received service.
Service quality is one factor that can determine the satisfaction of customers. By citing Bergman B et al. (2003) Vega and Garcia (2008) indicated that customer satisfaction is one of the topics very related with the Quality; the ultimate measurement of quality is customer service. Odunlami (2015) also stated as researchers concluded that service quality is an important indicator of customer satisfaction. In relation to this by citing Rust and Zahorik, (1993) Odunlami (2015) also indicated that Poor services can lead to dissatisfaction. Poor services or unsatisfactory level of services, which cannot meet customers’ expectation, may be one of the causes of dissatisfaction in customers. Therefore, we can conclude that service quality determines the customer satisfaction in that if the service is in good quality it will create satisfaction of customers but if it is in poor quality it will create dissatisfaction.
The service quality in land development and management needs improvement. Unless some improvement measures are undertaken it will create dissatisfaction. Transparency International Rwanda (2017) stated that the need to improve services in the land sector is vital to ensure effective and efficient land related service delivery. In order to improve the service delivered in land development and management first we have to understand what the customer needs. As it is stated by Vega and Garcia (2008) the main question about quality service is what the customer expects to get from the service. Knowing the customer- their needs, expectations, price and wants helps the company succeed. It is the customer who judges the quality of goods and service.
220.127.116.11. Mechanisms for service improvement
There are different measures taken to improve the quality of service provided to customers. Some of these measures include: - service standard, counter offices, client survey, hotline, public access to land information website, and people participation in adjudication and demarcation. The details of these measures are presented as follow:-
1. Service Standards
Setting service standard is about setting the needed time and cost for the service delivered. A service provided should not take additional time and cost over the setted standards, it is important to control the quality of the service. As it is stated by Shimels, service standards are needed to guarantee the implication of governance principles. These standards define the time and cost of completing transactions to minimize corruption and to satisfy customers. By citing (Zakout, Wehrmann, Törhönen; 2006), Shimels also indicated that the service standards include: - Clearly defined steps for the land registration procedure, Transparent and fixed fees for registration, notaries, surveying etc., Use of standard forms, and Public notice of the procedure (in offices, on the web, through leaflets etc.) and another example is a fixed maximum time with in which the service of registering transactions has to be completed. The successful application of service standards needs regular monitoring. Shimels (2016: 32). Therefore, we can conclude that the service standard is about time and cost fixed for the provision of a service.
2. Counter Offices
Customers should get the service according to their order of coming to the office. Counter offices is creating favorable condition in providing the service to customers by their order. According to Shimels, Counter offices improve orderly interface with the client and reduce bribery. Well organized front offices, in combination with clear and short procedures, can therefore contribute significantly to the reduction of corruption and to an increase the efficiency in registering transactions, and thus to customer satisfaction.
3. Client Survey
Client survey is conducting the survey of customers to get insights about :- The level of awareness and knowledge of the customers regarding service standards; Performance of offices in delivering their services; The degree of client satisfaction with the operation of the system; and A stakeholder view of shortcomings in the system„s functioning. By citing the World Bank and FAO (2006), Shimels, indicated as the survey questions generally focus on:- Waiting and turn-around time: the number of visits to the various agencies, and total time spent for solving one issue.; Official and non-official costs involved: measuring/ surveying fees; registration fees; ... and non-official payments etc.; and Clients satisfaction with the services provided and recommended for investment: in some cases, attention is also given to transactions happening „out- side „the system, which are not registered. Shimels (2016: 32).
Hotline is the establishment of communication ways that helps in receiving complaints. As it is stated by Shimels, the objective of a hotline is to provide the access to the public to launch formal complaints to the authority in cases of corruption or misconduct. Complaints can be made by phone, mail or email on such matters as non-compliance with service standards and corruption of staff. The information on how to access the hotline needs to be communicated widely through different mechanisms. It is important that agencies that have hotlines establish clear procedures to follow up on the complaints and communicate back to the public. This will improve the credibility of the agency and its commitment to dealing with corruption and misconduct. Shimels (2016: 33).
5. Public Access to Land Information Website
Making the land information is important in improving the quality of service delivered to customers. So in improving the quality of service land information should be available to customers. As it is stated by Shimels, Publicly available digital cadastral data and ownership information through the internet can serve several objectives including: - Reduce time for clients through easy and fast access to cadastral data and land registry information from home or internet cafes; Lower costs for clients in the form of fees and informal payments to receive data from cadastral offices and land registries; and Greater transparency and fewer opportunities for bribery. Shimels (2016: 33). By citing (Zakout, Wehrmann, Törhönen; 2006) Shimels also indicated that decreased workload for the cadastral and land registry office staff, which allows them to focus on transaction registration and blocking reduction (on those cases where land registration and /or cadastre are not up to date). The updated and verified cadastral and land
registration information can then contribute to greater transparency, clarity and efficiency of the land administration. Shimels (2016: 33).
6. People Participation in Adjudication and Demarcation
People participation is one principle of good governance and its application helps the improvement of the service quality in offices that provide public services. By citing the World Bank and FAO, /2006/ Shimels indicated that good governance includes people„s participation. A crucial step within the land administration in which the affected residents should be involved is the identification of parcels and their owners and determination of boundaries. Situations where landownership is registered or boundaries are established are: systematic registration, post-conflict situation, privatization of land and post-disaster situations or after from unexpected catastrophes. Shimels (2016: 34).
2.1.2. Level of customer satisfaction in land development and management office
18.104.22.168. customer satisfaction.
Satisfaction is a comparison or the difference between what customers expect and what they gain from the service or the product they are receiving. By citing Hansemark (2004); Kotler( 2000): Hoyer, and Maclnnis, (2001) Odunlami defines Satisfaction as an overall customer attitude or behavior towards the difference between what customers expect and what they receive, regarding the fulfillment of some desire, need or goal, (Odunlami: 2015). Kotler and Armstrong (2012) in their part indicated that satisfaction is brought about by the evaluation of products and services after purchase while considering the expectations. It is a scale by which organizations evaluate the feeling of customers about the service the gain from that organization. By citing Faizan et al (2011) Odunlami (2015) indicated that, were of the opinion that satisfaction is a critical scale of how well a customer’s needs and demands are met while customer loyalty is a measure of how likely a customer is to repeat the purchase and engage in relationship activities. They were of the opinion that customer satisfaction has a positive significant relationship with customer loyally. Therefore, we can conclude that satisfaction is the difference between the expectations of customer and what they receive and it shows how good the service is.
Customer satisfaction is the evaluation and judgment made by customers in relation with the service or product they receive from the organization of a firm. According to Jonathan (2018) Customer satisfaction is defined as the customers’ evaluation of a product or service in terms of whether that product or service has met their needs and expectations. Customer satisfaction in broader sense defined as consumers feeling and happiness after complete meeting of one's expectations. By citing Anderson et al., (1997) Odunlami (2015) defined Customer satisfaction as it is an overall evaluation of a firm’s products (or services). Ako-Nai (2011) also defined that Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation.
Customer satisfaction is about the perception of customers on the service or the product they gain and is determine by their expectation. By citing Yi (1991) Odunlami (2015) stated that consumer satisfaction is a collective outcome of perception, evaluation and psychological reactions to the consumption experience with a product or service. Consumer satisfaction is regarded as how consumers can get more benefits than their cost. By citing Kotler (1989; 203), Shimels indicated that Customers’ satisfaction depends on the extent to which customers’ expectations about the product or services are fulfilled. Customer„s satisfactions are not static but keep changing. Therefore, organizations need to monitor customer„s expectations on a continuous basis and to be innovative in order to respond meaningfully to changes about customers’ expectation. Shimels (2016: 15). Therefore, we can conclude that customer satisfaction is perception and evaluation of customers on the service they gain and it is determined by their expectation that means the satisfaction of customers based on their expectation about the quality of the service.
Customer satisfaction is highly related with quality of service. Because customer satisfaction is the perception and evaluation and the reaction of customers about the service they gain and it is also determined by the expectation of customers about the service. Most of the time, customers want high quality service to satisfy. By citing (Bergman B et al.2003), Vega and Garcia (2008) indicated that customer satisfaction is one of the topics very related with the Quality; the ultimate measurement of quality is customer service. Afande indicated that any negative remarks from customers’, related to quality of services is a direct pointer that; the levels of customer satisfaction of the organization is wanting and, it requires immediate addressing, Afande (2015: 50). Vega and Garcia (2008) again indicated that the customer wants his needs fulfilled. The main question about quality service is what the customer expects to get from the service. Knowing the customer- their needs, expectations, price and wants- helps the company succeed. It is the customer who judges the quality of goods and service. Therefore, we can say that customer satisfaction is based on the quality of service provided by the service providers.
Customer satisfaction is a factor for the success of the organization or firms. For business organizations customer satisfaction is a factor that determines the success and the continuity of the organization. Birhanu (2017) stated as the customer satisfaction is a critical success factor in service organizations. Customer satisfaction is a key to building lasting relationships with consumers. Odunlami (2015) also stated that Customer satisfaction is a construct that must be met optimally for efficient and effective achievement of stated objectives, and for smooth continuation of business. Customer satisfaction is an integral part of organizational objectives that must be fulfilled for an organization to maintain its customers. And again by citing Fornell, Johnson, Anderson, Cha & Bryant (1996), Khadka & Maharjan (2017) in their part indicated that Customer satisfaction has been one of the top tools for a successful business. Customer satisfaction is defined as an overall evaluation based on the total purchase and consumption experience with the good or service over time, Khadka & Maharjan (2017: 10). So, we can conclude that customer satisfaction is a factor that determines the success of organizations and in cases of organizations that provide public service it is a factor that determines the achievement of the objectives of the organization.
22.214.171.124. Measuring Customer Satisfaction
By citing Gerpott et al, (2001), Odunlami stated that Satisfaction can be obtained based on the expectation of the receiver. If the supply of a firm were according to expectations of customers, they would be satisfied. The amount of high or low satisfaction depends upon the level of supply that meets the level of expectation or fall below the level of expectation, Odunlami (2015). So the evaluation and judgment made between customer expectation and the existing service provided is what is called customer satisfaction. This customer satisfaction can change from time to time based on the quality of service provided. Afande (2015) also stated that customer satisfaction is a dynamic concept as it changes at a very fast rate; Afande (2015: 50). So since customer satisfaction is dynamic and that change from time to time we have to make sure that it is at the level of satisfying customers. And in order to know it is at the level of satisfying customers we have to measure the level of customer satisfaction.
In addition to the above points different literatures state that, in relation to the customer satisfaction emphasis is given to the level of customer satisfaction. As it is also stated by WMCC, in a competition between trading companies, emphasis is given not only to the customer satisfaction rather it is also given to the level of customer satisfaction and its continuity (WMCC; 2016: 36). Measuring customer satisfaction has different advantages for the company that made the measurement.
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Brege, staffan, ebadzadeh semnani, sedigheh sarah, abstract [en].
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to explore the role of customer involvement in service production and its possible effects on the quality of service delivery as well as customer satisfaction.
Design/methodology/approach – Since the nature of the study is exploratory, the case study approach was adopted. The paper focusses on customer involvement in the context of service production and delivery system in service organization rather than in the context of customer organization. The authors looked at supplier involvement as well, due to the fact that a lack of sufficient information from a supplier or lack of proper training may inhibit customers' successful involvement. A detailed case study was carried out on a sample of four service providers: a general contractor, a chemical process engineer, a software developer and a language institute as well as a service buyer case – a Petrochemical Holding Company. In total the paper includes five cases.
Findings – The study reveals that even though co-production of the customers with the service provider is a must, however, it has different effects on the quality of service produced depending on the situation and the nature of services offered. In the cases of the complex engineering services – general contractor and chemical engineering – that service requirements and technical specifications were provided by the customers, and service providers were chosen by open bidding process, there were instances where the co-production could lead to malfunction of the service. This was evident in the cases when the inappropriate technical specifications and requirements were provided by the customer hindering the service provider to deliver services smoothly. On the other hand, in the cases of new software development process and language institute, it had been evident that the involvement of customers – with a sound customer involvement management – has tremendous positive effects and lead to greater productivity and customer satisfaction. In the case of the petrochemical company and international service providers, educating the suppliers/service providers by the buyer, to a large extent, could solve the service quality problems in terms of on time delivery, costs and technical conformity as stressed by buyers.
Originality/value – The study provides empirical evidence regarding customer involvement in the service production and its possible effects on the quality of service delivery as well as customer satisfaction and sheds light on the situations that customer involvement is a success or a threat. The research also contributes to the understanding of how the nature of services, the level and scope of customer involvement as well as building relationship and trust amongst the customer and the service provider affect the outcome of customer-service provider co-production.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keywords [en], national category, identifiers.
The purpose of this thesis is to expand the understanding about the concepts of trust and social capital, and to explore their role in achieving desired organizational outcomes. The research followed a multiple case study approach, focusing on Iranian service providers. The reason for this focus is the insufficient scholarly contribution about social capital in developing countries. Moreover, considering the significant role of trust in social capital generation according to many scholars, this study seeks to understand how the issue of lack of trust in developing countries can influence social capital generation in these nations. In order to address the criticisms in the literature, this research first attempts to study the concepts of trust and social capital in different types of organizational relationships separately. There are, therefore, different levels of analysis in this study. The three types of organizational relationships which are the focus of this research are intra-organizational, organization-customer and business cluster.
An intensive literature review was carried out on trust and social capital to build an overall theoretical picture of the problem at hand. The next step was to analyse the findings of this study by engaging both empirical and theoretical findings simultaneously. This was carried out with the aim of achieving answers to the research questions through theory matching and elaboration.
The result of this study, in general, supports both the positive role of trust and social capital in achieving desired organizational outcomes. The empirical data and literature, therefore, seem to be in line with one another to a large extent. However, in several cases of this study the issue of lack of trust at the Iranian companies did in fact hinder the achievement of their desired outcomes. Moreover, the findings from the organization-customer and business cluster relationships showed that several of these Iranian companies are indeed already benefiting from social capital. However, they mostly benefit from the type of social capital arising from information flows. What they are missing, and are in fact in great need of, is the type of social capital associated with the benefits of trust. In other words, they were unsuccessful in bringing forward the benefits of the relational dimension of social capital. The study has also contributed towards refining the literature by showing that there are differences in the connotation of both “trust” and “social capital” when they are studied under different types of organizational relationships. Simply using these terms without specifying the type of relationship, or level of analysis, does not bring forward a clear understanding. Furthermore, the findings had pointed out the important difference between a contributing factor to a phenomenon and the phenomenon itself, which in this case were trust and social capital, respectively.
Last but not least, the results of the cross-case analysis identified certain patterns and differences in the role of trust and social capital in different relationship types. These findings were summarized in the form of a proposed model and a matrix. The proposed model started with the development of trust in organizational interpersonal relationships, and ended with the creation of two different types of social capital that can benefit both the organization and its customers. The matrix, on the other hand, emphasizes the importance of keeping a balance between different types of social capital, depending on the organizational requirement, in order to achieve the best desired outcomes.
Hadjikhani, amjad, supervisors, open access in diva, other links, search in diva, by author/editor, by organisation, in the same journal, on the subject, search outside of diva, altmetric score.
Nov 1, 2019
Employee’s Roles in Service Delivery
Employees are key drivers of sustained business success in companies as diverse as Charles Schwab, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, USAA Insurance and Chick-fil-A. Consider the case of Singapore Airlines, a restless toddler repeatedly dropped him pacifier. Every time the child would cry, and someone would retrieve the pacifier. Finally, one of the attendants picked up the pacifier and attached it to a ribbon and sewed it to the child’s shirt. The child and the mother were happy and passengers seated nearby gave the attendant a standing ovation.
The front-line service is enormously important in any business. They are responsible for understanding customer needs and for interpreting customer requirements in real time. By focusing on the critical role of service employees and by developing strategies that lead to effective customer-oriented service, organizations can begin to close the service performance gap.
Table Of Content
- Service Culture
- The Service Triangle
- Boundary-spanning roles
- Strategies for delivering service quality through people
- Customer-Oriented Service Delivery
1. Service Culture
A culture of service is an organizational culture that prioritizes customer service in all goals, decisions, actions, and everyday operations. When an organization has a heart for service, each employee is connected emotionally to a world-class service outcome.
Better yet, a service culture is thriving when it becomes the foundation of everything that happens in your organization; when decisions, behaviors, strategies, meetings, interactions, signage, forms, messages, etc. are all designed and executed to support and sustain service delivery-to both internal and external customers.
Exhibiting Service Leadership
A strong service culture being with leaders in the organization who demonstrate a passion for service excellence. Leadership does not consist of bestowing a set of commands from a thick rule book but, rather the regular and consistent demonstration of one’s value.
Developing a service culture
A service culture cannot be developed overnight, and there is no easy way to sustain a service culture. The human resource and internal marketing practices can develop a service culture over time.
Transporting a service culture
Transporting a service culture through international business expansions is also very challenging. Attempting to “export” a corporate culture to another country creates additional issues. Although tremendous opportunities exist in the global marketplace, the many legal, cultural, and language barrier become particular evident for services that depend on human interaction.
2. The Service Triangle
The service marketing triangle or the Service triangle as it is commonly called, underlines the relationships between the various providers of services, and the customers who consume these services.
Relationships are most important in the services sector. The service triangle outlines all the relationships that exist between the company, the employees and the customers. Furthermore, it also outlines the importance of systems in a services industry and how these systems help achieve customer satisfaction .
As the name suggests, the service marketing triangle can also be used to market the service to consumers. The marketing completely depends on the interaction going on between the customer and the service provider. We will look at each of these interactions in detail, and also read on how to market to your customer based on the interaction.
3. Boundary-spanning roles
If you have a small business and don’t have as many technological resources as a large company, utilizing boundary spanning roles can allow your small business to flourish. As an extra bonus, it can also help large companies become even more competitive.
Boundary spanning roles interact with individuals and groups outside the organization to obtain valuable information to help the innovation process. Boundary spanning roles allow a company to gain more innovation information from other businesses. It’s useful to gain insight from other organizations that you may not be aware of. Not just management is involved in boundary spanning; all employees can get information from one or more companies and bring information back to their business to help improve innovation.
4. Strategies for delivering service quality through people
A complex combination if strategies is needed to ensure that service employee are willing and able to deliver quality services and that they stay motivated to perform in customer-oriented, service-minded ways. Within each of these basic strategies are a number of specific sub-strategies for accomplishing the goal
- Hire the right people: Hiring the right people is crucial for the success of your business and that’s why entrepreneurs should have a formal hiring process in place when looking for new staff. By putting time and work into finding the right people, you will improve your chances of hiring the best performers and avoiding costly and painful mistakes.
- Develop people to deliver service quality : To provide quality service, employees need ongoing training in the necessary technical skills and knowledge and in process or interactive skills. Examples of technical skills and knowledge are working with accounting systems in hotels, cash machine procedures in a retail store, underwriting procedures in an insurance company, and any operational rules the company has for running its business. Most service organizations are quite conscious of and relatively effective at training employees in technical skills.
- Provide needed support system: To be efficient and effective in their jobs, service workers require internal support system that are aligned with their need to be customer focused
- Retain the best people: Employee retention matters. Failing to retain a key employee is costly to the bottom line and creates organizational issues such as insecure coworkers, excess job duties that coworkers must absorb, time invested in recruiting, hiring, and training a new employee. Various estimates suggest that losing a middle manager costs an organization up to 100 percent of their salary. The loss of a senior executive is even more costly. This is not only because of the lost revenues but also due to the fact that hiring and training a replacement is costly to your organization.
5. Customer-Oriented Service Delivery
A customer orientation approach means that the company gives a lot of importance to the customer and is a customer oriented company. Such companies make all their marketing strategies with customers at the apex of the pyramid.
The key to having customer orientation is to add as much value as possible to your products. The customers love the company which provides them value. Hence, overall, customer orientation involves four steps of value addition so that the customers are satisfied and happy with the company.
Because many service are delivered by people in real time, closing the service performance gap is heavily dependent on human resource strategies. The successful execution of such strategies begins with the development and nurturing of a true service culture throughout the organization.
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Highlights significance of designing service delivery system, explains the integral role of customer in service production process, stresses the importance of customer-organisation interface, lists important ingredients of service package to be considered while designing customer interface, enumerates various dimensions of customer interface which can be positively made use of in design of service production and delivery system, discusses various ways and means of inducing and enhancing customer participation in service production and delivery system, emphasises the primacy of customer satisfaction in the evaluation of service organisation and finally concludes by pointing out the lopsided emphasis of librarianship on people-equipment dimension of customer-interface that too in terms of application software only.
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Norman, Richard. Service management: Strategy and leadership in service business. Ed. 2 New York: Wiley, 1991.
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User participation in collection building in a special library: a case study. IASLIC’ Bulletin. Vol. 28 (3); September 1983; p117-22.
Book procurement delay: a demotivator to user participation in collection development. In. Building Library Collections and National Policy for Library and Information Services: Seminar Papers presented in XXX All India Library Conference, Rajasthan University, Jaipur, 28-31 January 1985. Ed. by P.B. Mangla. Delhi: ILA, 1985. p329-34.
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Customer-characteristics as criteria for market-segmentation in libraries. In: Marketing of library and information services in India: Papers presented at the 13th National Seminar of IASLIC, Calcutta, December 20-23, 1988, ed. by S.K. Kapoor and Amitabh Chatterjee. IASLIC Special Publication No. 28. Calcutta: IASLIC, 1988, p43-53.
Non-users and non-use of libraries. Library Science with a slant to Documentation and Information Studies. Vol. 31 (3); September 1994; p115-28.
Beware of electronic libraries / media. An invited paper for 15th Annual Convention and Conference of Society for Information Science on ‘Digital Libraries’, 18-20 January 1996, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. (Malwad, N M et. al., Ed. Digital libraries: dynamic storehouse of digital information. New Delhi, New Age International Ltd., 1996, p234- 240).
Toffler, Alvin. Third Wave. New York: Bantam Books Inc., 1984.
Zeleny, Lawrence. The bluebird: How you can help its fight for survival. Indiana, USA: Indiana University Press, 1978.
Lovelock, C.H. and Young, R.F. Look to customers increase productivity. Harvard Business Review. Vol. 57; 1979; p168-78.
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Customer Satisfaction and Public Service Delivery: The Case of Dire Dawa Administration
Journal of Culture, Society and Development, An International Peer-Reviewed Journal
The issue of service delivery is becoming a global concern that demands continuous reform to fit the turbulent environment and changing customer needs. Efficient and effective services delivery is now a prominent agenda of most countries including Ethiopia. The demand for effective and efficient delivery of services requires fundamental change involving both institutional and cultural changes. Hence, measuring the level of satisfaction provides an indication of how successful organizations are at providing services, and is taken as effective outcome measure. Several researches have been conducted on the subject matter; however, most of them were focusing on private sectors such as insurance, hotel, bank and the like. Few are studied on public service organizations. Moreover, so far no study has been conducted that critically analyzes the state of customer satisfaction on service delivery of public service organizations in Dire Dawa Administration. The purpose of this study is therefore to assess customer satisfaction on service delivery of public service organizations in Dire Dawa Administration. To this effect, four research questions were employed to guide the study. These were: 1) what are the levels of customer satisfaction of public service organizations in Dire Dawa Administration? 2) What are the extents of the service delivery process in public service organizations (in terms of Assurance, Reliability, Tangibility, Empathy, and Responsiveness)? 3) What are the relationships between service delivery dimensions and customer satisfaction? 4) What are the major problems that exist in the service delivery process of public service organizations in Dire Dawa Administration? In addition, two data gathering techniques: systematic random sampling and purposive sampling were used to obtain relevant data required for the study. In the primary data gathering technique, questionnaire that were designed and distributed to customers and employees were used. For further elaboration, key informant interviews were conducted with selected officials from the sample organizations. Secondary data from different sources were employed. The data gathered from both primary and secondary sources were analyzed and presented using descriptive and statistical methods such as means, frequencies, percentages, tables and charts. The results of the study indicated that the five service delivery dimensions and customer satisfaction were positively correlated; the general level of customer satisfaction and the service delivery dimensions were moderate. The major challenges in service delivery such as lack of skilled and experienced leadership, inability to lead and make decisions strategically, inconsistent follow up and monitoring, absence of regular consultation with customers and stakeholders, prevalence of corruption and rent seeking activities and behavior, lack of motivation and service mentality, ineffective automation, absence of timely revision of rules and regulations; lack of cooperation and integration among stakeholders, inefficient and inappropriate grievance handling systems, mismatch between demand and supply in water, health and electric services, and absence of conducting customer satisfaction surveys scientifically were thoroughly identified. Finally, based on the analysis and conclusions, possible recommendations were suggested for alleviating the major challenges of service delivery processes in the study area.
joshua O essiam
Abstract The primary purpose of this research is assessing the Role of Service Quality on Customer Satisfaction in Ethio Telecom at South Region: Case Hawassa Cit. To achieve this objective both primarily and secondary data were collected. The questionnaires were distributed to 380 fixed line telephone customers in Hawassa city. As a way of trying to measure service quality, researcher was developed a methodology known as SERVQUAL a perceived service quality questionnaire survey methodology. SERVQUAL examines five dimensions of service quality: Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance, Empathy, and Tangibility. The collected data were analyzed and interpreted by Statistical Package for the Social Sciences in version 20. From the results obtained, the consumers perceive service quality as poor in all dimensions, indicating their expectations was higher than their perceptions for fixed line telephone service at ethio telecom. In this regard, consumers were not satisfied with any dimension of service quality. All dimensions were showing a negative gap score. Ethio telecom need to make improvements in all dimensions in order to close gap and that could lead to increased customer satisfaction. Thus the paper, enlighten the Company to get insight about its services quality and level of customers’ satisfaction. Ethio teleocm need to improve its service quality provisions and helps customers to get quality fixed line services from ethio it by amending the problem which was recommended in this thesis. Keywords-: Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction, SERVQUAL, fixed line telephone, Ethio telecom
The purpose of this quantitative descriptive research study was to assess the level of service quality and to identify the most important service quality dimensions that influence overall customer satisfaction. Five dimensions of the SERVPERF scale namely; tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy were used to measure the perceptions of customers of Ethio Telecom. The research was conducted using data collected through a survey of enterprise customers in Addis Ababa. 220 questionnaires were sent to the sample of the study and 170 usable questionnaires were obtained with a response rate of 77%. The findings revealed that three of the service quality dimensions: reliability (t-value= 4.06 p <.001) empathy (t-value= 3 p<.005) and tangibles (t-value= 2.129 p<.005) influence the dependant variable overall customer satisfaction. The findings also indicated that overall service quality was found to be influenced by four of the five service quality dimensions namely, reliability (tvalue= 4.684 p <.001), empathy (t-value= 3.05 p<.005), responsiveness (t-value= 2.187 p<.005) and tangibles (t-value= 2.0 p<.005). Reliability, empathy and tangibles were found to be predictors across both overall service quality and customer satisfaction. The study recommends Ethio Telecom to concentrate on these dimensions to achieve.
RA Chanaka Ushantha
ABSTRACT Abstract Amid intense competition and the dynamic business environment, surviving in the market has become a key challenge for many service organizations. Service quality has become one the key tools for surviving and gaining competitive advantage in banking industry, since its offering comprised mainly with intangible elements. Thus service quality has taken considerable interest in marketing literature. This study endeavored to apply 22 item SERVPERF Scale to measure consumers’ perceived service quality in state banks and its impact on customer satisfaction in Sri Lanka. Multi-stage sampling procedure was used to obtain 150 respondents from three state sector banks in Ratnapura district. The primary data were collected through an interviewer administered questionnaire. The results revealed that consumers have higher level of positive perception of SERVPERF dimensions. All dimensions contributed significantly -i.e. ‘reliability’, ‘assurance’, ‘empathy’, ‘tangibles’ and ‘responsiveness’- towards the service quality in state banks in Sri Lanka. Further it revealed that there is a strong positive linear relationship between overall service quality and customer satisfaction in state banks in Sri Lanka. The study confirmed that the scale SERVPERF is applicable for measuring the service quality of the banking sector in Sri Lanka.
Consumers all over the world have become more quality conscious; hence there has been an increased customer demand for higher quality services. The objective of this study is to assess the effect of service quality on customer satisfaction in the Ghanaian banking industry using Ghana Commercial Bank as a study area. The study focused on three branches of GCB with (120) customers constituting the sample size. Purposive sampling technique was employed in the study with Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) used for the analysis. The expectations and perceptions of GCB customers were assessed under five dimensions of SERVQUAL. The researchers found out that, all the five dimensions contributed to quality of service delivery in GCB. Rating the dimensions based on expectations and perceptions of service delivery that need to be improved, it revealed that, GCB should work towards enhancing on reliability, responsiveness, empathy, assurance, and tangibility dimensions respectively. The customer is the reason for the business and hence excellent service should be rendered at all time.
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Sharmin Sultana , TASNIM ISLAM
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FREDRICK AHENKORA BOAMAH
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Belayneh Bogale , Eskedar Gizat
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THE ROLE OF CUSTOMER SERVICE IN THE SERVICE DELIVERY OF MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC ABA)
The business organization operates in an environment and through is the essence of business. The business organization is expected to continually to satisfy it customer hence this work gets to investigate the role of customer service in the operation of multinational fir with particular reference to Unilever Plc Aba. The method applied in this study is a combination of content analysis and survey research, the data were sourced through both primary and secondary sources and the instrument used availed the researcher the opportunity to have a first hand information. The unit of analysis Unilever of Nigeria Plc Aba branch social artifacts, and the data collected from the units are presented in tables and analyzed using chi-square (x 2 ) method. Among the major finding of this research work, including that the dissatisfaction experience by customers is due to the inefficiency of the multinational company staff, there is a relationship between improved service delivery and multinational company efficiency and multinational company profitability. But owing to the limitations encountered, further studies should be carried out to service between two multinational company operating within the country.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Services outcome, we all know the necessary prerequisites for any meaningful economic development of any nation. This is so because the entire world economy today revolves round finance. Therefore, the significance is the overall development of our economy. It is on this premise that we appreciate the important role played by service delivery most especially the commercial multinational companies whose major functions is to organize, mobilize and making funds available for investment purposes by way of granting credit facilities to individual companies and government.
According to Ronald (2000), multinational companies can be defined as giants private business companies with global organizational characteristics flowing from parent countries to subsidiaries in host countries.
This multinational company marketing has been defined by a Media (1983) as the creation and delivery of service that will satisfy the need of customers at a profit to the multinational companies. From this point definition, it is seen that the customers who is the ultimate target of multinational company marketing must be satisfied.
Multinational companies must learn what satisfaction their customers seek. The work creation and delivery recognizes that marketing is an active creation process involving all the multinational companies staff.
Today, the emergence of commercial multinational firms as well as the role they play has been instrument to the rapid growth and progressive development of the economy. Multinational company as a service delivery industry, must adopt to the changing environment and requirement of the economy and it can be done t hrough effective marketing of its services.
The multinational companying image in the country is considered bad because of the deterioration in the multinational companying service over t he years and the very poor bend in multinational customer relationship which is largely due to poor marketing. The major problem is that existing services are not being provided efficiently. There is a commonly held believe that service rendered to customer is a bestorial of favour and privileges.
Garliand Gilbert (1976) still maintains that the public impression of multinational companies and struggle for the customers to get served. It can take an hour or more to reach the counter and sometimes get the impression that the counter staff is proud of the long lines of people queuing their favours.
Gadzania M. W. (1989) in his chairman’s statement of allied multinational company annual report statted that customers are treated with lack of seriousness by the multi national company staffs. They believe it is right to deliberately delay customers as a result of their non-challant attitude to work. It is always a daily occurrence to hear abuses flowing from customers to multinational companies st aff over the protected delay in competing multinational company’s transactions.
Today, with Nigerians attitude towards the idea of putting their money in the multinational companies as opposed to keeping them at home, multinational company institutes faces:
- Poor quality
- Poor quality of goods
- Poor response to customers complaint
- Unusual marketing challenges. The level of competition between multinational companies needs the demand for multinational company service experienced an explosion that posed a challenge t o the resources of the multinational companying community.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This research work is aimed at addressing the problems associated with multinational companies which include:
- To find out if staff training and motivation affect the ratio of services by the staff.
- To ascertain whether customer dissatisfaction is a function of the inefficiency of the multinational company staff.
- To determine if there is any relationship between improvement in service delivery of the multinational company and the efficiency of the multinational company and its profitability.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The purposes of the study among other things are stated below:
- To determine the extent of staff and customer relationship.
- To determine the extent of customer complaint of non-satisfactory service.
- To determine the adequacy of available resources both human and material in the multinational company.
- To ascertain the material in the multinational company.
- To ascertain the staff customer ratio.
- To ascertain the courses of long queues on multinational companies.
- To identify the effect of inefficient service on the multinational companies image and profitability.
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Public service delivery: case studies
Open data can help public service design. Read our case studies to get insights into the different methodologies and outcomes that can be used
Case studies: how open data can revitalise public services
There are many examples of successful use of open data in public service design. Read our case studies to get insights into the different methodologies and outcomes used.
These are categorised into: case studies of projects funded by the ODI stimulus fund; and case studies taken from our report: Using open data to deliver public services , which outline open data examples in relation to increasing access to public services , improving delivery chains and planning , and policy development.
Scaling data innovation: case studies
Case studies of shared and open data being used to create or improve public services – demonstrating the value of data in public service delivery, and benchmarking what is required to make them.
Addiction Recovery Companion: supporting those in addiction recovery
Drug addiction is a prevalent issue across Scotland. In 2017, there were 934 drug-related deaths in Scotland, which was the largest number of drug-related deaths in Europe in that year.
The Addiction Recovery Companion (ARC) app supports those in addiction recovery by helping them to track progress, boost motivation and access the recovery network in Edinburgh.
The ARC app
The free app offers a number of tools to support addiction recovery:
- a map of recovery meetings and services in an area
- calendar to track meetings and appointments
- a private journal to record feelings
- an optional ‘counter’ to track how many days they have been in recovery.
- An emergency button to call or text an emergency contact
The app is connected to a web application which contains information about addiction recovery meetings in Edinburgh. The Drug and Alcohol services data was initially sourced from the Edinburgh Open Data Portal but needed to be scraped and cleaned. This data is now held in a repository maintained by ARC and updated when the team is made aware of any changes.
It is important to note that the ARC app only collects data about its users for data analytics to track progress and inform future developments. This is key to its philosophy and one of the reasons the team was able to build trust with users who were initially sceptical.
The team secured a small amount of investment after winning the 2014 EdinburghApps award. This funding was used to convene focus groups and hire a software developer.
The ARC team has been successful in engaging with the community that they aim to support. Since 2016, the app has been launched 26.5K times, with between 150 and 200 regular monthly users (at its peak).
User research and engagement has played an integral role in shaping the design of the app. This is key, especially when working in such a sensitive area like addiction recovery. The ARC team visited the support groups on numerous occasions to build trust in the app and listen to their concerns. Once this faith was built, the end-users were happy to share information about the app more widely.
The ARC team’s engagement with the Edinburgh Alcohol and Drug Partnership allowed them to develop links with Serenity Cafe in Edinburgh – a support cafe for those in recovery – and to ensure the right people were involved in the beginning. Edinburgh Council then provided marketing support to help spread awareness of the ARC app.
Working alongside these organisations gave the project more credibility as they were already engaging with the community, which meant that trust could be built from the start. The app works well in tandem with this community, allowing partners to support the provision of this service, in turn supporting the recovery of those using the app.
The code for the app is open source and is available on GitHub . Publishing source code under an open licence is valuable as it gives other people the option to use that code to help them create their own services. It also allows service users the opportunity to contribute to and suggest improvements to the service.
More recently, ongoing costs have become a significant problem for the ARC team, with the cost of hosting, domain, and business account expenses prohibiting long-term sustainability. A licensing issue has meant that the Android version of the app has been removed from the Google Play Store and lack of funds has halted implementation of required updates for the iOS version.
To date, the project has only been able to continue so far due to the commitment of the small team, who have dedicated their time to the project on a voluntary basis, fitting it in alongside their other work and family commitments.
ARC is exploring the possibility of expanding into Dundee, where there is interest from local support groups. Funding constraints across the UK are a barrier, but an app such as ARC could scale out to other areas of the UK. This is an explicit aim for the ARC team if they manage to get additional funding.
ARC performs an important and potentially life-saving service which could work more effectively in Edinburgh and beyond. The core code and idea is one that could work in other geographical areas and can even be applied to other service areas such as support for new mothers.
Scaling barriers identified
- Sustainable funding – A lack of funding can significantly affect the sustainability of a project and cause subsequent barriers. Finding funding for projects such as this is hard.
- Documentation– Smaller budgets affect the ability to create good project documentation and to keep the community informed about the project. This makes it difficult to communicate value and impact, or help others to create similar projects.
- Data Availability – Other areas may not collect data on the location of support services. Manually collecting this data is time-consuming and affects the ability of it to scale.
Glasgow City Council: a city-wide approach to innovating with data
Continued cuts to local budgets, amid other challenges, have “stoked the fire” for innovation within Glasgow City Council, according to a senior member of the council’s Data Centre of Excellence team. With less funding provided by central government, but important public services still to deliver, the council has had to innovate using data to inform evidence-based decision making within a reducing budget – a challenging balance to strike.
With this challenge providing impetus, the council is using data, design and technology to deliver more effective and innovative public services to meet the needs of its citizens in the digital age.
Glasgow City Council’s story
Glasgow City Council is working on a variety of innovative projects through its Data Centre of Excellence. One strand is focusing on unlocking the value of collected – but currently underutilised – data which can improve the efficiency of services. The council is attempting to do this through multiple data-matching projects, such as ‘Benefits Auto-Entitlement’ and ‘Landlord Registration’.
Innovation is as much about the culture as it is about the projects. Culture change is notoriously difficult, but the council has been able to build a multi-disciplinary team with the necessary skills and determination to deliver effective services – by realigning existing resources supported by training in new growth skills. The council has found that this culture is generating momentum and enthusiasm within senior teams – improving the likelihood of further success.
Glasgow City Council has secured additional funding for several of its data-driven projects. The project funding was obtained through garnering internal support and buy-in from senior leadership, and from external sources such as EU structural funds. This support and funding has been transformational.
The Data Centre of Excellence team within Glasgow City Council values innovative citizen engagement and collaboration as key principles to its innovation work. A people-focused approach can ensure resources are used efficiently for in-demand services. This engagement also helps to build trust and encourages a shared approach to problem solving. It is creating an innovation hub and ‘living lab’ which will also invite citizen groups and other city stakeholders to develop new ideas and encourage co-design of services. Data and digital solutions will be a focus for the hub. External partners are already lined up to participate in this exciting initiative.
The council is also using a ‘ design thinking ’ approach to problem solving. This approach challenges assumptions and introduces new ways of thinking to tackle a range of issues – including service redesign – and ensures that the data is used to solve the ‘right’ problem. These approaches and methodologies have been adapted to create a more tailored ‘Glasgow version’. External industry experts are continuing to work with the team to validate the work and share learnings.
Storytelling is an effective way to share success stories. Successful projects may not be replicated in other regions or sectors simply because others may not be aware of them. Documenting and signposting projects is useful but the team quickly realised the importance of storytelling, which can add a rich layer beyond merely sharing details about a project. The council invested in a dedicated resource with storytelling skills to raise awareness of the outcomes in an engaging and visual manner.
Storytelling shares the narrative of a project, explains why it is important and reveals what others can learn from it. This is valuable for engaging potential funders, obtaining internal support and building trust with the public. Recognising the importance of this function, the council’s Data Centre of Excellence has now extended storytelling training across the wider team.
Councils also need staff with the right skills. A key benefit for Glasgow City Council is that it has assembled a dedicated Data Centre of Excellence (a virtual team whose role is to help solve complex city challenges through data, design and innovation). This means that people can specialise in specific technical skills and provide expert knowledge.
While this is good for running individual innovation projects, the team notes that – as data becomes integral to more services – the same skills need to be developed across the organisation. As one team member aptly concluded: councils should “integrate the datasets and integrate the skillsets”.
The Data Centre of Excellence team at Glasgow City Council recognises that, without senior-level buy in, projects are unlikely to succeed or be used on a wider basis. The team notes that the relationship between the project team and senior council officers should be two-way:
- the project team must be able to make a good business case for its project which is aligned with the organisation’s strategic goals
- senior officers need to encourage innovation and give them the flexibility to explore interesting ideas, champion their successes and defend their failures.
Glasgow City Council has an extensive programme of innovative projects delivered through its Data Centre of Excellence and these are starting to deliver tangible benefits across the organisation and beyond. A number of these are detailed below. Those funded as part of the Data Centre for Excellence are detailed below. The council is also part of a number of externally-funded data-driven projects, including:
- the ERDF Scotland’s 8th City – ‘the Smart City’ programme
- the EU Interreg BE-GOOD (Building an Eco-system generating opportunities from open data) project
- the EU RUGGEDISED smart streets project
- a CivTech City challenge “ How do we better connect people and place through public transport to address social isolation ”
- an ITRON Smart Cities Challenge – “How do we improve travel choices and experience during events in the City while promoting the overall city centre offer”
- Skills and resources – Glasgow City Council has a dedicated multi-disciplinary Data Centre for Excellence team who have been upskilled. This will have taken time and resource. This might be harder for smaller teams.
- Funding – the team has multiple sources of funding for a variety of projects. Different projects will have to find similar funding.
- Technical – at present, the software used is not open source. This means that a new team would have to develop the software themselves.
MyEd: Find a place to learn from ‘cradle to career’
Finding information about education options can be time consuming and frustrating, making it difficult for parents, students and carers to make informed decisions. The UK has over 24,000 schools catering for around 8.5 million pupils across 418 local authorities.
While the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) provides information about results and inspections, finding information about admissions criteria and open days can be more challenging. This information can often only be found on institutions’ websites or buried in local authority PDFs, leading to long-winded searching which may or may not lead to the required information.
MyEd , a commercial technology company, uses a combination of public- and user-generated data to provide advice and information about educational institutions, courses and other related services. Its mission is ‘to empower every parent and student to make informed educational decisions to meet their particular needs and aspirations – from cradle to career.’
The MyEd Story
MyEd collates data about more than 30,000 institutions and thousands of individual courses. This includes key profile and performance information, statistics, tuition fees, official information, photo and video galleries, reviews and discussions. The company provides all of this on a single platform, so that people who need information about education opportunities can access it without having to search in lots of locations.
The data used by MyEd comes from a variety of sources , much of which is publicly available.
- For schools and nurseries, data from the Department for Education’s performance tables is combined with Ofsted reports , Food Standards Authority Hygiene Ratings and data from the police .
- University information and data comes from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service , the Higher Education Statistics Agency, UniStats , the QS World University Rankings and similar services.
There is more information about the data sources on the MyEd website .
MyEd offers institutions the opportunity to ‘claim’ their listing at no cost so that they can update information, respond to reviews, manage enquiries and engage with parents and students.
MyEd has been supported by the Open Data Institute, Birmingham City Council, Big Data Corridor, and its partners for development include Silver Touch Technologies and EnableID. This support entails access to technical advice, guidance on securing funding and access to a network of potential partners.
The MyEd team ’s combined experience in the education sector is supplemented by technical experience from its development partners Silver Touch Technologies and EnableID.
While MyEd, at present, is primarily a site to search for information on nurseries, schools, universities, colleges and courses, the team is working on prototypes with Birmingham City Council to use APIs to personalise the search for educational institutions. This would allow users to tailor their search based on individual requirements and preferences such as special educational needs or religious preferences, and entry criteria such as home-to-school proximity, whether their siblings attend and if they are a child in care.
MyEd is also working on dashboards for the schools and councils to manage the public data in an improved and standardised way. MyEd will be launching MyEd SchoolPlaces and MyEd UniPlaces in 2019.
Scaling barriers and opportunities
- Engagement and collaboration. The support of Birmingham City Council and Big Data Corridor has been key for the development of MyEd. Similar ‘championing networks’ can really benefit other projects which highlights the importance of making the time to foster these networks.
- Evidence of success. Sharing the evidence of the impact can help other projects make a business case to do similar things.
Smartline: smart wellbeing inspired by the community
Improving health and wellbeing has been considered a priority in Cornwall in recent years. In 2013, Cornwall Council established a Health and Wellbeing Board . Since then, a number of organisations in Cornwall have been working on initiatives that aim to improve the health and wellbeing of the local community.
Smartline is a three-year research and innovation project looking at how technology can be used to help residents in Cornwall live healthier and happier lives. The project is collecting and publishing anonymised data that can be used by researchers, local enterprises and community groups to create value for residents in Cornwall.
The project is led by the University of Exeter in partnership with Coastline Housing, Cornwall Council and Volunteer Cornwall, and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the South West Academic Health Science Network.
The Smartline story
As part of the Smartline project, 300 participants’ homes in the Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth areas have been fitted with ‘environmental sensors’. The residents all live in social housing that is managed and maintained by Coastline Housing, one of the project partners. All of the participants consented to the installation of sensors on an opt-in basis and they have been provided updates, advice, benefits and compensation throughout the process.
The sensors capture quantitative data about:
- air temperature
- air humidity
- air quality
- water consumption
- gas consumption
- electricity consumption
Following an initial face-to-face study, participants are asked to complete monthly surveys using tablets provided to each participating household. These surveys are used to collect both quantitative data and qualitative information across a broad range of topics; such as personal characteristics, education and employment, general and respiratory health, wellbeing, connections with the community, involvement in physical activity and the current state of the house.
Smartline collects, cleans and anonymises the sensor and survey data, before publishing it on a data sharing platform called USMART . Anyone can request access to that data by submitting a form through the Smartline website . The data on the platform is published openly under an Open Government Licence, allowing users to access, use and share for any purpose.
Smartline has been designed to support local innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The project runs various schemes that support local small and medium-sized enterprises to engage with the data and the academic research, with the objective to help them create better products and services for the community, such as the DadPad app , which provides practical guidance for fathers to newborn children.
Idea-generation grants are offered to local businesses to explore and develop new products and services that could use the project data.
Businesses can then join the ‘in-residence scheme’, where they have the opportunity to work collaboratively with Smartline researchers to improve product and service ideas. Those that take part in the schemes are required to publish their research to help provide insights for other businesses and researchers. The initiative then offers follow-on research or larger cash grants on a case-by-case basis to support further innovation. Smartline is aiming to engage more local enterprises in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly that could potentially use the data to create new products and services.
The collected data is also used by academic researchers. The majority of research to date has been conducted by the University of Exeter and has focused on indoor air quality and the impact on health, with targeted research questions exploring issues like the relationship between mould and asthma in older adults. Smartline will continue to support health and wellbeing research through the life of the project.
Volunteer Cornwall, a local community group, is also working with the Smartline residents to help them articulate their specific needs and capabilities, using a discussion technique known as a ‘ Guided Conversation ’. Information gathered through the Guided Conversations will be used to build support networks to address these needs within the public, private and voluntary sectors for this community.
Visit the Smartline website for more information
- Data availability – Smartline is able to support the scaling of products and services because the data that has been collected is representative of a specific community in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It would be difficult to replicate this support in other areas without a similar availability of data.
- Funding – Sensors can be an expensive way to collect data, so a lack of initial and sustained funding can affect the ability to use sensors for data collection.
- Skills and resources – As the existing project partners did not have all of the necessary skills, Smartline commissioned a range of services to support the project, particularly around the collection, maintenance and hosting of the data.
- Different users – The Smartline team was able to access its specific user group – people in social housing – due to the user group’s existing relationship with Coastline Housing, who provide and maintain the accommodation. It would be more difficult to engage with different end users, such as people in private, rented accommodation, who rent from a range of landlords.
Legal and ethical issues – Installing sensors in people’s homes could be invasive. Some of the data that is being collected through the project is personal and sensitive. It is vital – but can be difficult – to ensure that participants continue to give informed consent throughout the project.
Trafford Data Lab: revealing patterns in worklessness data through visualisations
Every day, decision-makers in organisations are making choices that impact the people in their communities.
Organisations are stewarding large amounts of data that could influence these decisions, but they might not have the right skills to effectively analyse the data – meaning its value remains untapped.
The Trafford Data Lab , a Trafford Council-funded initiative, creates simple visualisations that reveal patterns in data to help local people and organisations make better decisions. The initiative has been developed to help organisations make sound, evidence-based decisions.
The Trafford Data Lab story
The Trafford Data Lab team works on a number of open data and data visualisation projects, which aim to help local people and organisations inspect and tackle specific challenges.
Often, these challenges are common issues that most local areas face, such as the visibility of crime statistics . To help other organisations tackle the same problems, the team publishes open data and creates open source tools that anyone can access, use in their own projects and share with others. Trafford Data Lab publishes guidance documents and videos alongside the tools that it creates. By making its work as open as possible, Trafford Data Lab is sharing workable and reliable solutions to help others overcome barriers in a cost-effective way.
One of Trafford Data Lab’s more recent pilots focused on the topic of worklessness, which is defined by Public Health England as ‘a state where an individual or no one in a household aged 16 and over are in employment, either through unemployment or economic inactivity’. The pilot was funded by the OpenGovIntelligence project, an EU Horizon 2020 initiative which supports governments across Europe to explore how linked open statistical data can be applied to public services in innovative ways. Alongside technical partner Swirrl , Trafford Data Lab has worked with JobCentre Plus and the Trafford Council worklessness team to co-create tools which can help to identify areas of need and inform service delivery around worklessness in Trafford and across Greater Manchester.
The team created three visualisation tools for the project. Each tool addresses a different need around worklessness and all of the tools are supported by detailed documentation which describes:
- what the application is useful for
- what datasets are used to enable the application
- where the datasets are sourced
- which tools were used to develop the app
- where you can find the source code, which is openly available for each tool
Summarise is dashboard which presents a summary of the available information on unemployment claimant rates. This tool allows decision makers, such as service commissioners and policymakers, to compare unemployment rates in Greater Manchester across electoral wards or local authority remits to allow for benchmarking exercises.
Scan is a tool which allows analysts to examine the spatial distribution of worklessness in Greater Manchester, by identifying and comparing specific areas of worklessness.
Signpost is a tool that aims to help community link workers find nearby services, such as JobCentres, GPs and food banks. The link workers can use this to help vulnerable clients access services, which in turn contributes to helping them to find work.
The pilot used open data sources that are stored in the GM Data Store , an open data platform that services Greater Manchester. The team used open source tools ( table2qb and cubiql ) to convert the data into a usable format. The source code for these tools is openly available on GitHub.
A significant proportion of the datasets used in Trafford Lab’s projects are from government sources, such as the Department for Work and Pensions or the Office for National Statistics – therefore comparable datasets will exist for most local areas.
As part of the funding agreement for the worklessness pilot, the project team was required to dedicate time to communicate its workings and findings, so that other council teams and care workers across Greater Manchester could start using the tools created. Many of the tools that Trafford Data Lab produces are designed to be replicated and used with relative ease, but to create an impact on a larger scale, it is important that a wider UK audience is aware of these tools.
Although the OpenGovIntelligence project ended in January 2019, Trafford Data Lab will continue to expand the number of datasets that enables the Signpost application.
- Skills and resources – Many of the tools that Trafford Data Lab produces are simple to use, but those who are looking to replicate the tools might require a background in programming languages and software development to implement in another area.
Awareness and communication – Much of the data and code are open source, therefore usable by others – but awareness remains an issue.
Video: Local governments using open geospatial data to make a difference
View our videos showing how four UK councils supported local open-geospatial-data projects
Initiatives funded by the ODI stimulus fund
As part of our R&D project, New service delivery models , we awarded funds to teams from different parts of the UK, to support them in redesigning specific public services with open data.
Doncaster Council and UsCreates
What was the challenge.
In Doncaster, careers advice and guidance is fragmented for students who are exploring options after completing their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) qualifications. Young people largely rely on in-school support from a careers advisor. By talking to young people, Doncaster Council found that in-school careers advice often comes too late for many students, and that employers are not always effectively involved. This means advice on employment and training opportunities for young people aged 16 to 18 is often inadequate.
Although Doncaster Council isn’t responsible for providing careers advice to young people – as with other local authorities in the UK – it is accountable for the outcomes, specifically, for the borough-wide figures of young people not in education, employment, or training ( NEET ).
This project aimed to democratise careers information, advice and guidance in Doncaster for young people – making information about post-16 career options more freely available and accessible. Grounded in what young people said they would find most useful, the team at Doncaster Council and UsCreates had the chance to create something that could meet students’ needs and potentially reduce the number of young people (aged 16–18) in the NEET category.
How is the team addressing the problem?
The Doncaster team is tackling the problem using a service design approach (an approach for designing customer-centred services) – adapting it to include an ‘open data scan’ – a landscape view of relevant available datasets. Team members began by carrying out user research to identify the careers advice needs of students aged 11 through to 18. They also assessed the availability of careers data from a range of sources, including the Department for Education, local schools and colleges, and from the statutory information provided by the local authority, available via ConnectU2 .
The insights from the research led to the creation of six ‘challenge briefs’, which linked together the user research, open data sets and the organisational needs, to gain a clearer sense of the problem. An example of one of these challenges is: ‘How can we use open data to make more learners aware of and engaged in work-based provision and work experience?’.
At a co-design workshop, learners themselves, alongside partners from schools, training providers, The Careers and Enterprise Company , explored ideas to address the challenges. Two solutions were taken forward and developed into prototypes. The first prototype focused on addressing information gaps that may affect decisions for students. The second focused on the experiences of parents and careers advisors when giving advice.
Prototype 1: In this prototype, the dataset of careers information, advice and guidance was combined with data on education and training institutions and available apprenticeships to show students the range of options available. Using this prototype, students could also see the distance and time involved in travelling to a place of work or learning. An additional feature would be to allow students to filter local courses and apprenticeships based on their interests and strengths. In the future, it is hoped this service would support young people to make more informed choices about their education, employment or training pathway.
Prototype 2: The team used data showing school and college scores for young people in the NEET category, tracking it over time to identify changes showing where education, employment or training destinations had not been maintained and therefore had possibly not been the right choice for the learner. The team also developed a new open dataset detailing the careers information, advice and guidance offered in each school or college. In the future it is hoped that publishing this data and making the analysis available will help parents decide on a school for their child, encouraging competition between institutions and incentivising them to improve their careers information, advice and guidance service.
- Exercise your role as an ecosystem convener The project enabled Doncaster Council to convene partners and to create impact in an area beyond its core service provision. It has mobilised partners around the challenge and given focus and momentum to future work. User research and co-design activities enabled agencies to work together on service delivery.
- Learn from your peers The multidisciplinary team of service designers, local government innovators, policy experts and data scientists brought different perspectives and ways of working. The team learned new skills from each other, building capacity for further open data projects across the council.
- Build data literacy skills across the wider team The biggest challenge was supporting the council and partners to understand the benefits of publishing and using data. Useful data shared within the team was not open, but could have been. This created time pressures on the team who had to manually convert information from a PDF that could be fed into the prototypes. The team challenged these perceptions throughout the project, by championing open data publishing, but recognise there is more to do in promoting the benefits of open data.
The longer term ambition is to share the findings with the Doncaster Opportunity Area partnership board . If approved, the team will build the business case for future development. The provision of careers information, advice and guidance was highlighted as a particular challenge for Doncaster.
Exploring how open data can support service redesign provides an opportunity to demonstrate why data should be published and how it can impact on young people’s choices and aspirations.
Kent County Council: reducing fuel poverty
Across Kent and Medway there are 64,596 households where residents are living in fuel poverty – meaning their income is below the poverty line (taking into account energy costs); and their energy costs are higher than is typical for their household type. Living in a cold home can have both short and long term detrimental effects on wellbeing and physical and mental health.
Working with Kent County Council, the Kent Energy Efficiency Partnership (KEEP) aimed to reduce the number of people at risk. Alongside other activities, it explored better data and information sharing to support this. With an estimated 24,300 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2015-16 , the team was keen to look at how data could better inform its interventions by predicting which areas in Kent were at risk of fuel poverty.
The discovery work focused on three areas:
- effective targeting of vulnerable households
- learning from past interventions, and
- developing ways to estimate the impact of further investment tackling the issue
The team conducted discovery calls with Kent County Council to map available datasets: closed, shared and open. Team members evaluated each dataset to establish if the data could help address the problem. The potential to improve the service would only be achieved by combining datasets from across the spectrum of closed, shared and open data .
In the chosen prototype, the team used the Kent Integrated Dataset (KID), a closed pseudonymised dataset curated by Kent County Council which combines data from 250 health and care organisations across Kent and Medway; and the Wellbeing Acorn dataset, a geodemographic segmentation of the UK’s population – detailing characterics of people and places. Analysis of the Wellbeing Acorn and KID datasets was conducted by the Kent Public Health Observatory team who have permission to access these datasets.
The team looked at segments of the population, along with health and care needs by postcode. A systems modelling approach allowed the team to predict areas where there is increased likelihood of fuel poverty.
Combining closed, shared and open data allowed the team to identify areas at risk at postcode level with an average of 20 residential properties per postcode. This is a significant improvement to the previous analysis which showed geographical areas with approximately 1,600 residents. It has the potential to create a significant improvement to the intervention planning.
- Keep your redesign or intervention focused The fuel poverty intervention is provided by a network of partners with different skills, availability, geographic locations and goals. Developing a refined brief for the project helped to create a shared understanding and to define roles and focus.
- Understand the motivations of those who design and deliver the service Regular meetings to understand goals and challenges provided the project team with a clearer set of objectives from funders, strategists, policy officers and frontline workers.
- Run data discovery sessions A landscape review of data (closed, shared and open) through interviews with councils and local authorities helped to form a picture of the available data. The people responsible for data processing and data analysis were particularly helpful as well as stewards of datasets that are linked to fuel poverty identifiers, for example data on types of housing.
- Keep the user in mind Much of the project focused on strategy and systems which can feel conceptual and disconnected from the end service user. To keep their needs in mind, personas were used throughout the project.
- Understand data access and governance Datasets that contain information about people, such as the Kent Integrated Dataset cannot be released openly but are important in helping to better understand fuel poverty. To use this data effectively, systems and governance should be established to allow access to named individuals, enabling effective analysis alongside other datasets.
Plan for the future
The ‘at-risk’ postcodes (from the ACORN tool) will be used by the KEEP group to improve and target fuel poverty intervention work. In the future, Kent County Council hopes to combine further datasets, such as data about gas supplies to develop ‘fuel poverty flags’. These can help service planners to identify residents who are likely to fall into fuel poverty and to commission services that can support better delivery of interventions.
North Lanarkshire Council: reducing Freedom of Information requests
North Lanarkshire Council receives high volumes of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, and calls and emails to its customer service team about non-domestic business rates . These are taxes charged on buildings being used for non-residential purposes, such as shops, offices, warehouses and factories. The council manually answers these queries, getting the required information from large internal datasets. The council publishes a cut-down version of the dataset monthly to illustrate new ratepayers and outstanding balances. It is a time-consuming and costly process and often the same information is requested multiple times.
With the belief that ‘every FOI request is a service failure’, North Lanarkshire Council’s goal was to publish non-personal, non-domestic business rate data so that customers could access the information quickly and easily, with the ultimate goals of reducing the number of requests to the customer service centre, increasing transparency and providing residents with information about their local area.
North Lanarkshire Council is on a digital and cultural transformation journey with a specific aim ‘ to improve economic opportunities and outcomes – for all ’. Realising the value of data and establishing routine processes and procedures to reuse data is central to enabling this aim.
The team (North Lanarkshire Council working with Snook and Urban Tide) aimed to publish the full non-domestic rates dataset, with personal data removed, for example sole trader data. The existing service does not publish this dataset due to the time and complexity in removing personal data. This will lead to the publication of over 6,500 data entries, allowing for a comprehensive picture of rates being made available as open data. Further de-identification techniques have been tested that could lead to the publication of the full dataset.
The team used the USMART platform to process and create the large open dataset. Using data in a sandbox environment meant that data could be manipulated quickly and de-identification of data could be tested. Putting in place the appropriate data sharing and licence conditions to enable data analysis between organisations was essential, but was a challenging process. The council proactively engaged with the legal departments to create agreements.
The redesigned service will improve the accuracy of the whole non-domestic rates dataset by automatically processing existing open data sources including datasets from: Companies House; the Food Standards Agency Hygiene rating scheme; the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR); the Charities Regulator for England and Wales; and Google Business API. Early findings indicate that these datasets can be used to understand businesses not currently paying non-domestic rates.
- Understanding data access Requesting access to data and creating data sharing agreements takes time and should be built into your project at the start.
- Find creative ways to get user feedback There was a limited response from service users who were asked to take part in research which was designed to understand the challenges faced. The team used detailed FOI requests to build a picture of needs.
- Use existing service design toolkits Team members used service design templates and techniques that they were familiar with and existing open data resources such as the Scottish Government Open Data Resource Pack . The toolkit developed by the team is designed to be read alongside this resource. They found lots of service design resources and techniques were transferable to open data projects and that reusing materials reduced the number of new tools required.
- Build data literacy across the team UrbanTide had trained North Lanarkshire Council on open data practices before the project, which meant the team was more comfortable with the topic and championed data-enabled services across the council.
The service aimed to reduce the burden of publishing datasets and also provide significant additional information to businesses about the rates landscape across North Lanarkshire.
Significant expansion is also proposed to improve the accuracy of detection of missing non-domestic rates payers and to use machine-learning algorithms to detect payments that are higher or lower than they should be. More accurate collection of rates will help inform policy redevelopment and more efficient service delivery chains that can increase the level of non-domestic rates collected, enabling reinvestment into public service delivery.
London Borough of Waltham Forest: increasing cultural opportunities with open data
Waltham Forest Council has a strong tradition of creativity – it believes that fostering culture is central to improving quality of life in the borough. Inspired by the creative and cultural heritage of the area, the council recognises the social and economic benefits that culture can bring to its 275,800 residents. It believes that it has a key role in increasing cultural opportunities and participation.
In February 2018, Waltham Forest Council was named as London’s first Borough of Culture . The council used this project as an opportunity to explore how data and technology can help to widen and increase participation and improve its service to the community.
Waltham Forest Council explored culture as a service – looking beyond traditional service delivery models to understand the role the council plays through community assets (land and buildings which benefit the community) and its approach to delivering cultural opportunities across the borough.
The project had three main aims:
- Gain a richer understanding of engagement with the arts, culture and heritage in Waltham Forest
- Develop ideas and approaches to increasing and widening engagement with the arts, culture and heritage
- Gain a better understanding of the practical implications and challenges and of designing data-enabled interventions
To achieve these aims, the project had two strands which explored the questions: ‘Who is engaging with the arts, culture and heritage in Waltham Forest?’; and ‘How can engagement be increased in the borough?’.
Strand one (borough wide)
The first strand looked at how Waltham Forest Council could increase and widen engagement in culture by looking at some of the barriers preventing access to culture across Waltham Forest.
To understand current engagement, Waltham Forest Council worked with the Audience Agency to analyse existing open, shared and closed data sources. This included data under an Open Government license (OGL ), such as demographic information from the UK census , and shared data, such as modelled consumer behaviours data from Experian, alongside previous Audience Agency studies.
The team developed cultural profiles and plotted the data onto maps of the borough so that engagement could be seen by location. This allowed the team to spot new engagement insights and patterns. Interviews with residents explored some of the barriers to engagement with culture in depth. It also showed that Vestry House Museum – a prized historic building situated in the heart of Walthamstow Village which holds collections and displays of local history and domestic life – is located between areas of both low and relatively high levels of engagement, and this was seen as a potential venue to be used to help expand the culture programme in the borough.
Strand two (community assets)
This strand explored the collection of data through wifi access point technology within Vestry House Museum. The museum celebrates Waltham Forest’s heritage through a range of exhibitions and events. The building has an events space and large garden; it also enjoys a central location in Walthamstow Village, a few streets away from the main high street. However, compared to the William Morris Gallery – a very successful cultural venue in the borough – Vestry House Museum is currently not realising its full potential.
To explore how Vestry House Museum could be expanded and better used, wifi access points were installed in the museum to capture data on visitor journeys, alongside a new wifi landing page. Users of the wifi service were informed how the data would be used and asked to respond to a number of questions; this included questions on their age and the reason for their visit. This information enabled the project team to identify common cultural motivations for this specific venue. It also allowed them to gauge visitor numbers and patterns, and to map out dwell times and visitor journeys, to inform how Waltham Forest Council could create better customer journeys for people who use the space.
With an abundance of data and new information, Waltham Forest Council used ‘ideation’ techniques, specifically one they called ‘smashing light bulbs’. Ideation is a creative process to rapidly generate and develop ideas allowing the team to look at how to improve the service. The council applied this technique to around 30 ideas to widen participation in the borough, and at Vestry House Museum specifically.
What was the impact?
The initial insights drawn from the data collected at Vestry House Museum show that there is a relatively high footfall of passers-by, as it is located in a busy residential location, close to a popular London tube station. The developed prototype ideas used this information to focus on how the borough could increase the conversion rate of people walking past and unique venue visitor numbers. This includes developing new signage on-site and at every stage within common visitor journeys to encourage people to visit.
The discovery work will continue to inform the new Borough of Culture Programme outputs and objectives, which include the redevelopment of Vestry House Museum as a physical space and as an alternative events space. It will also help develop new initiatives across the borough over the next few months, including a scheme enabling young people to volunteer at cultural events, as well as a new cultural cycle and walking map of the borough.
Waltham Forest Council found that the workshop on the Open Data Institute’s (ODI’s) Data Ethics Canvas had significant benefits for the project and plans to use it within the discovery stage of future projects. Crucially, the council believes the project has helped to develop a council-wide approach to implementing ethical and data-enabled service design and delivery.
- Using existing frameworks Using existing design or transformation frameworks supports the agile and open approach needed to innovate with data for service delivery. The team learned how to expand its use of data within the existing Waltham Forest design practice, building up knowledge for future projects. Working in a consortium brought different skills, expertise and perspectives to the project.
- Draw it out The project inspired others in the council, and raised the stakes for service innovation and what is technically possible. To articulate the use of data to other stakeholders inside and outside of the council, Waltham Forest Council developed a data journey map.
- Consider the ethics of your data use There were significant ethical and legal considerations around the use of data collected from individuals. Waltham Forest worked with their legal teams on the wifi terms and conditions and with the ODI on the ethical use of data. The team used the ODI’s Data Ethics Canvas to guide discussions and make decisions around its approach to collecting, analysing and publishing data.
- Build data literacy across the organisation For many staff, open data is unfamiliar. Explaining open data was key to engaging people to talk about the ethics involved in data collection and publishing. Throughout the project, the team worked with colleagues from across very different departments: legal, insight and intelligence, business intelligence, culture, digital and ICT. The breadth of interest stems from the realisation that data really can improve Waltham Forest Council’s services.
Shortly after the project closed, Waltham Forest was chosen to be London’s first Borough of Culture. As part of this programme, Waltham Forest Council aimed to implement the use of open data within the discovery stage of cultural projects and to use these projects as an example of how open data can inform successful service design or delivery of other service areas in the future.
Alongside this, the project team aimed to work with other services and teams across the council to implement the ODI Data Ethics Canvas into their practice.
ODI Podcast: using open data to redesign public services
In this podcast, Izy Champion speaks to the four local council teams about the successes and challenges they faced when redesigning their services.
Case studies: open data for increasing access to public services
Transport for london: open transport data for citizens and innovators, transport for london – in a nutshell.
Transport for London (TfL) is a local government body responsible for the transport system in Greater London. TfL has the responsibility for London’s network of principal road routes, for various rail networks including the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway and TfL Rail, for London’s trams, buses and taxis, for cycling provision, and for river services.
How open data supports the delivery of Transport for London’s services: benefits to the public sector
TfL is one of the UK’s leading open data publishers. With over 31 million journeys made in London every day, it has long recognised the need to make travel information readily available to passengers. Publishing open data is a central part of TfL’s customer information strategy of providing real-time information that helps people to use their services – it enables them to provide information about service locations, routes and delays to passengers far beyond their own online and offline channels.
Transport for London’s story
Towards the end of the 2000s, TfL found that developers were scraping information about its services from its website. In an attempt to enable others to more easily display this information on their own websites and desktops, TfL launched embeddable widgets – including maps of its network and live travel news – in 2007. While TfL still makes a set of widgets available, the launch represented the beginning of a process in which the organisation would publish increasing amounts of data for others to access, use and share.
Between 2007 and 2011, TfL introduced an area for developers on its website and openly published real-time transit data via a range of feeds and downloads. This helped to satisfy a growing demand for its data among developers, who used it to develop user-facing journey planners and other applications. The anticipated influx of visitors to London during the 2012 Olympic Games was a stimulus for the introduction of live bus arrivals data, which led to a number of successful bus-only transport applications. Shortly after this came the launch of a new unified Application Programming Interface (API) for TfL’s website.
The development of TfL’s unified API in 2014 and the decision to open it up to external users was an important step in the organisation’s open data journey. Historically, the data it had published on different transport modes was made available in a variety of formats and structures, which made it difficult for developers to stitch together and develop multimodal applications (such as those that enable users to plan a journey using both buses and the London Underground). The unified API presented the data in common formats (XML and JSON) and, for the first time, consistent structures.
TfL’s open data now covers timetables, routes and lines, embarkation points and facilities, transit status, disruptions and works, and fares. According to recent research by Deloitte, in total there are over 80 TfL data feeds (75% of which are available via the unified API) and over 13,000 registered developers. Data users range from multinational technology companies to individual developers. The research has shown that TfL’s approach to open data is improving journeys, saving people time, supporting innovation and creating jobs.
According to the Deloitte research, TfL open data is now used in over 600 apps (including journey planners, mapping tools, booking and scheduling tools, and analytics engines). 42% of Londoners use an app powered by TfL data and passengers benefit from between £70m and £90m per year in time saved from using open data-powered applications to plan journeys more accurately. Up to £20m additional revenue is generated from increased journeys per year, driven by access to travel information, and £1m is saved per year by enabling external development of new customer-facing apps, rather than producing campaigns, systems and apps in-house. TfL save £2m annually by moving away from SMS passenger alerts and TfL open data currently supports 730 jobs, including those in new companies made viable through its availability.
Clearly describing the benefits of open data in relation to TfL’s wider organisational objectives has established a strong, ongoing case for its publication. Providing accurate and timely information to passengers is central to TfL’s ability to deliver its physical services – open data enables developers and other organisations to develop customer-facing tools that do this on a scale that TfL could not do alone. Efforts to establish the value of the benefits of TfL’s open data approach include the Shakespeare Review, which documented the approach in a case study in 2013, and the Deloitte research commissioned by TfL that has estimated the total value of open data to the organisation, customers and others to be in the order of £130m per year.
Leeds bins: open data app to streamline bin collections
Leeds bins app – in nutshell.
The Leeds Bins app is a mobile application that tells people who live in Leeds when their green, brown and black bins are due to be collected, and adds reminders to their calendars. The diagram above is an example of a work-in-progress version of an ecosystem map, displaying the actors involved in the service delivery.
How open data can support the delivery of waste management services: benefits to the public sector
Open data on bin collection routes and times is used to inform people living in Leeds when their bins are collected. The application adds bin collection dates to people’s calendars, reminds them the night before to put out their bin, and includes links to what to put in which bin and where to take items that cannot be put into bins. The reminders make rubbish collection more convenient for citizens, and publishing open data – instead of sending out letters – saves the council approximately £100,000 per year based on estimations by imactivate.
Leeds Bins app’s story
Leeds has long seen open data as a means of supporting local economic growth while dealing with substantial reductions in local government spending power. In 2014, Leeds Council decided to invest significantly in making open data work for the city. Leeds has a lot of digital talent and city leadership saw potential to showcase the city’s strengths to potential investors.
In setting out the open data initiative, the council asked city departments what challenges they faced to consider how open data could help. The council assigned funding to encourage the release and use of open data to solve city challenges. The Urban Sustainable Development Lab was one the programmes funded. An innovation lab was set up to generate ideas and pilot them. Some of the funding for this came from the UK’s national “Release of data” fund with extra local funding boosting this.
Leeds’ open data platform Data Mill North hosted an event at ODI Leeds , an ODI Node, with developers working with council departments – including office staff, frontline workers, and sometimes elected members – to consider how open data could be used for better service delivery.
People working in waste management shared the problems they faced in their work, one being that people did not know when their bins were collected and were unhappy with the service as a result, and that the council had to mail out bin collection timetables either annually or twice-yearly, an expense that they increasingly could not afford.
Data was made available for the event and developers built prototypes to address the identified problems. imactivate , a small software company in Leeds and partner organisations of ODI Leeds, developed a Leeds Bins prototype, initially as a website. This idea and three others from the other teams of developers were presented to the waste management department. A winner was selected and the Leeds Bins team got the funding to develop what later became a mobile application, due to the difficulty and cost of updating Leeds City Council’s website.
Bartec Auto ID managse the bin routes in Leeds and have software that manages their bin routes and sends and receives live updates. Data Mill North worked with Bartec Auto ID to release household bin collection data openly, and the council included the open release of the bin collection schedule in its contract with Bartec Auto ID. DCLG (now MHCLG) had previously developed a standard for publishing bin collection routing data with Bartec Auto ID, and other stakeholders, in their Local Waste Service Standards Project That standard was used for this project. Imactivate developed the Leeds Bins mobile application using the open bin route data. Uptake of the application has been fast and widespread, data on which is published openly.
The council uses open data on app usage to identify areas of low uptake, and has launched targeted initiatives to increase awareness of the application and/or promote other ways of informing people when their bins are collected, to reduce the risk of people without smartphones not receiving information about collection times. These targeted initiatives are more cost-effective than regular mail-outs. The open data on uptake allowed Leeds City Council to choose which channels to prioritise. This decision is difficult because it involves weighing up needs and costs. Data can inform these decisions but the council ultimately needs to make them democratically.
Starting with the problem, in this case people not knowing when to put out which bin, and working closely with the local authority on solving it with open data, has proven helpful in delivering a better public service. The ongoing cost to Leeds City Council for this solution is about £1,500 per year, significantly lower than mail-out costs. imactivate and Bartech Auto ID are now selling the app to other councils, powered by open data where possible and by direct data-sharing between imactivate and Bartech Auto ID where open data is not preferred by the local government, or where opening the data adds unacceptable costs (eg PAF licensing).
Famiio: improving access to childcare and family service information
Famiio – in a nutshell.
Famiio is currently in development, and its aim is to provide an accessible online resource for parents/carers to find reliable information for their childcare and family service needs. Information on the platform will be available to the public, professionals and local and central government. Parents will be able to search and discover more than 500,000 services and activities across local authority borders in England; service providers will be able to promote their service offer effectively in one place; local authorities and commissioners will have access to better data more easily and cost-effectively, which in turn will help them to manage the childcare market and deliver “smart commissioning” of services.
How open data can support childcare and family services: benefits to the public sector
The UK Department for Education found that information about available services plays an important role in uptake of childcare by parents. The variety of services available and the number of different service providers can make it difficult for parents to understand what services they can use. Once launched, Famiio will improve access to the right services for families that need them. Local authorities will be better able to direct citizens to the right service by providing help better and earlier through Family Information Services and by targeting services.
In addition to providing information on available services to parents, the platform will also publish this information openly, to be reused by commissioners for gap analyses, to assist grant awards, and to be used by third parties. Famiio has the potential to help local authorities save costs in their internal information systems as information will be more readily available and it may become easier to match families’ needs with the existing services.
For parents not able to or interested in using the Famiio interface, Family Information Services will be able to use the application and continue to provide more traditional support to parents. (This highlights the need for infomediaries that produce non-digital information.)
Most local authorities have a Family Information Service that provides information to parents about childcare and family services, the provision of which is a statutory responsibility of local authorities under the Childcare Bill 2016. In 2008, the government initiated a project to aggregate information on all services available to families, including services not commissioned by local authorities.
This information was shared publicly, but not as open data. In 2012, this system was closed down under austerity measures.
Famiio was conceived to help parents access services across borders between local authorities and to protect family information from the uncertainty of government funding.
Statutory guidance for local authorities from the Department of Education specifies how local authorities should share information on childcare and family services, and suggests that as far as is reasonably practicable, data should be published in a reusable and machine-readable format based on open standards.
Local authorities will be able to use the Famiio platform to meet this guidance and, once the data is aggregated into the platform, parents will be able to access it free of charge, while local authorities and service providers will pay a subscription fee.
Funding is an essential part of an open data project. The potential of Famiio for better childcare and family services can only be realised once the organisation receives funding. Access to funding may be particularly difficult for organisations outside of government.
Open data for more efficient delivery chains and planning
Local authority publication of spend data, spend network – in a nutshell.
Spend Network pulls together spending, contract and tender data published by local authorities and other organisations in the UK. The organisation then provides insight and consultancy services to potential service providers to public sector organisations, and provides similar services back to government.
How open data supports the delivery of local public services: benefits to the public sector
Open data published by government organisations is analysed and repurposed by Spend Network to provide analysis, which will help make delivery chains and relationships between suppliers and buyers more efficient. The same (closed) data is used to save public money and improve the quality of services delivered to citizens.
Spend Network’s story
Inspired by Windsor and Maidenhead Council – which had started to release details of their spending in 2008 – the UK government, as part of the transparency drive in the previous coalition government, set out expectations of the spend and transparency data it needed UK local authorities to publish. For instance, this set out that all UK Local Authorities had to publish all spending transactions over £500 and all Government Procurement Card spending and contracts valued over £5,000. The policy motivation for these commitments was to ensure that taxpayers could have insight into how public authorities were spending money.
Supported by guidance produced by the Local Government Association, some local governments began to publish this data in open formats. In addition to spending data, data on let contracts was also made available.
The councils were required to publish the data on their websites. Spend Network began to pick up the data and aggregate it across many different UK local authorities. Spend Network was launched in November 2013 using open data to create the first comprehensive and publicly available repository for government transaction data, a market worth in excess of £130b per annum. Spend Network has published over 100m transactions, worth in excess of £3t. The company has grown out of Ticon, a small consultancy focused on government procurement and payments, founded by Ian Makgill.
Spend Network provides services such as procurement intelligence to both small and large businesses who are providers of services to local government. It is also involved in a data reseller market to large consulting firms who then offer services back to the public sector.
Spend Network data is standardised and linked and can be used to compare between bodies, regions or sectors. The ability to compare can help with spotting patterns and anomalies, which can then be addressed to improve the delivery process. The data can also be used to compare between suppliers; for example, comparing prices can inform spending decisions and lead to more effective allocation of resources.
Spend Network also provides a service to government by re-publishing the open data made available according to the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS). OCDS was created by the Open Contracting Partnership and is used in many countries around the world. This makes it easier to scale. The team behind Spend Network are now using the standard and their experience gained in the UK to expand their tender-finding services worldwide using the brand name OpenOpps . FTSE 100 companies and the government use the site.
Despite the guidance from central government on the publication of data by local authorities, Spend Network spends a lot of time and effort identifying, cleaning and analysing data. In this ecosystem, as an aggregator, they curate data, push for its publication when it isn’t available, query quality issues and suggest improvements. They also lobby for data with copyrights to be published openly.
However, despite the large amount of activity on both the part of Spend Network and public sector organisations, and despite the opportunities mentioned, we are yet to identify specific examples of where the data has been used to improve procurement in a public sector organisation.
NHS publication of open data
Nhs open data – in a nutshell.
The NHS spends over £110bn per year delivering health services in England and has a complex arrangement for providing these services at a local level. There are many organisations who variously support and oversee the design and provision of services. Many of these organisations collect and analyse data, which is used to analyse performance and improve quality and access to health services for citizens. The ODI undertook a workshop with members of NHS England and NHS Digital to begin to map out some of the key open data uses in the NHS. The NHS is a vast network of organisations and understanding the full position of use of open data would take considerable further research and expert knowledge.
How open data can support the delivery of health services: benefits to the public sector
The majority of data use within the NHS is individual-level data. This data is used for the delivery of direct care or, in pseudonymised or anonymised form, for research and planning. The data is made available to NHS organisations through the NHS Digital Secondary Uses Service and to outside organisations through other means with appropriate controls in place. Some healthcare trusts have data-sharing arrangements with private, voluntary or academic sector organisations who also provide analytical insight and services to organisations at various levels within the NHS. Performance improvement organisations in the NHS such as clinical audits and the Commissioning Support Units (CSUs) also use data and analysis in their work with health care trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups.
NHS open data story
In our very cursory consideration of this area we identified some examples of open data use. The ODI has highlighted in this blog post a number of key open data sets which have been – and are being – published. A relatively well-known example of the potential of open data in the NHS is the use of open prescribing data. Practice-level prescribing data is published by NHS Digital every month. This is a list of all medicines, dressings and appliances prescribed by all practices in England, including GP practices. In 2012, Mastodon C and the Open Data Institute used this data to demonstrate the type of analysis that open data could provide. They issued a report highlighting the savings the NHS could make if they shifted from branded drugs to generic ones using the open prescribing dataset. Latterly, an organisation called Open Prescribing has been using the data to provide ongoing analysis to the health service.
There are also examples of open publication of data within the NHS that have been associated with clinical impacts. For instance, when MRSA instances were published as open data there was an 85% reduction in the number of cases, though it is difficult to disaggregate the impact that publication has from things like media activity and quality and safety improvement work.
Although data is used routinely throughout the NHS, it seems from our initial research that the potential of open data is not fully realised. The few examples of open data publication are yet to show impacts in terms of changes to services, despite the promise that they show (eg prescribing data). The NHS open data agenda could perhaps learn from the tactics and approaches used in ecosystems that we have explored elsewhere, where connections have been made between the potential uses of open data and its publication, and feedback loops established. We recognise that this is a more complicated undertaking given that the NHS is a complex system and its data is also complicated. There may be an opportunity to use a “problem-focused” approach at trust level and on data which is more able to be published due to its non-personal nature (eg around service provision).
Urban Intelligence publishing local planning information
Urban intelligence – in a nutshell.
Urban Intelligence is a PlanTech startup developing a central repository of open information on UK planning policies. A tool called Howard provides a map that links planning policy information to its relevant locations, making it easier and quicker to navigate the complex planning policy landscape. Howard offers a mapping interface that allows property professionals to click on a site and get all relevant planning policy information for that site. It is the first centralised repository of planning policy information in the UK and allows planners to assess planning risks and opportunities associated with a specific location.
How open data can support the delivery of urban planning services: benefits to the public sector
Spatial planning and planning approvals are public services. The process is simpler if the relevant policies for each location and project are easier to find. Local authorities can use the platform free of charge to inform planning decisions, and with planning information available online, it is quicker and easier to provide this information to developers.
Urban Intelligence’s story
Urban Intelligence aggregates and organises information and data on planning policy from local councils, including policy documents and geospatial data. A number of local authorities have published their geographic data openly on data.gov.uk via Ordnance Survey’s “Presumption to Publish” process.
Not all local authorities currently publish geographic data openly, which means the platform can’t currently cover these areas. Urban Intelligence works closely with local authorities to encourage them towards an open data approach. As a member of Ordnance Survey’s Geovation Hub and as Ordnance Survey’s partner organisation, Urban Intelligence has been developing their map feature using Ordnance Survey MasterMap . OS MasterMap is a source of highly detailed geographic data about Great Britain, offering topographic, imagery and networks layers. OS MasterMap data is not open, but the Autumn Budget included a commitment that could lead to OS MasterMap data being made available as open data . Open OS MasterMap data would encourage more services like Howard to emerge.
The product is used by private sector organisations (planning consultancies, architecture practices, property developers, etc), who are often interested in understanding policy frameworks within and across different councils. Equally, local authority planning officers are provided with access to the platform for free to aid their work and service provision.
Local authorities differ in the types and amount of data they publish openly. Actively working with them to support the release of open data to achieve benefits for the public sector appears to work well. There may be potential for peer-to-peer networks of local authorities at different stages of their open data progress. The development of new tools and approaches is made easier when geospatial data is made as open as possible. This should form part of any strategy to build stronger data infrastructure at local or national level.
The Department for Work and Pensions development of Churchill
Churchill – in a nutshell.
How open data can support the delivery of DWP services: benefits to the public sector
Churchill helps policy and delivery officials in DWP to develop more evidence-driven policy and services with data visualisations pulled from open data across government.
DWP Churchill’s story
The DWP has a history of making its statistical data available to the public through statistical publications and more recently through the online portal Stats-Xplore . There was a renewed expectation that the department would become more digitally driven , which has included data. This resulted in some organisational restructuring to bring data teams and digital teams together. The new Director General, Mayank Prakash, also made a commitment to “driving hard for visualised analytics to be the norm not the exception” .
One of the data science teams based in Newcastle began exploring the user needs of policy colleagues in the DWP who use data to inform policy and service design. They undertook extensive user research with policy colleagues, and then developed a persona and elaborated the user needs for a new data-driven product. This work captured the level of data literacy as well as the current workflows and packages being used.
They also considered other products and services that could be used by policy professionals and analysts in the DWP, such as LGInform developed by the Local Government Association , which pulls together data from DWP as well as data published by local authorities. The eventual approach to the product was inspired by the world of data journalism, including that used by ONS on their ONS.visual site , which creates a number of statistical visualisations based on user research.
There were a number of reasons for using open data to power the service. First, in some instances, it is easier to access open data than it is to access shared data. Second, some of the interviewees saw open data as trusted data as it has gone through a process of quality assurance prior to publication. The product was launched internally to demonstrate the possibilities to colleagues. Subsequently, Churchill has attracted interest from other government departments and has been profiled externally as well as having had interest from the Canadian and Australian governments.
The main potential impact of this use of open data and the development of Churchill is likely to be the reduced amount of time that policy colleagues and analysts in the DWP will need to spend accessing, cleaning and analysing data. This may also support more iterative and agile policy development as issues can be investigated more quickly. Potentially, the tool could help release the resource of an analyst.
Quicker data access and analysis can free up resources to better focus on policy and strategy decision-making. In addition, better data quality and better data visualisation can support more informed policy and strategy decisions. Availability of data visualisations of related services means it is easier to spot dependencies and relationships that need to be considered in service design and the direction of policy decisions. An example of this could be more effective job-seeker allowance policy. This is in line with government aspirations set out in the recent Government Transformation Strategy to make better use of data by making it available for internal uses through APIs.
If the tool was shared across government there would also be a strong value-for-money benefit in the reduction of each department procuring individual solutions, as well as the productivity impacts. In the longer run, it could support greater standardisation of geographical data across government as civil servants will be more able to spot the datasets that need standardisation by attempting to use them through the tool. Use will also likely highlight anomalies or inconsistencies, which will help to improve the quality of government open data as there is a greater link between those who collect the data and those who are using it.
The release of open data has brought innovation within government. The DWP team was only able to develop Churchill with the provision of open data.
Digital transformation tools and approaches have supported the development of a data product. One of the key drivers of Churchill’s development was that it was incorporated within a broader digital transformation agenda within the DWP, which gave energy and process to the development.
Cabinet Office release of government grants data
Government grants information system – in a nutshell.
The Government Grants Information System (GGIS) provides information on grants worth £100 billion (2016–2017) from 16 government departments. Grants range from government funding for schools, to UK Sport grants, to funding for bus service operators.
How open data can support the delivery of grant-funded public services: benefits to the public sector
Access to grants data provides government and external organisations with opportunities to assess resource allocation on a national as well as on a more granular level. This contributes to transparency, efficiency and effectiveness in government.
Government Grants Information System’s story
The grants team within the Cabinet Office receive data from 16 central government departments (including HM Treasury, who make payments to departments to award grants but who also issue grants directly) on the grants they pay out to about 35 organisations – for example, schools, UK Sport organisations, or bus service operators. The total annual amount of grants in GGIS is about £100 billion.
The 16 departments use their individual legacy systems to manage data. To arrive at a common format, the departments transfer the data into a template spreadsheet, which they send to the grants team in the Cabinet Office, where all data gets aggregated in GGIS. Grants are structured in schemes, which are broken down into individual awards. The majority of grants data is broken down into awards but some of it is on a scheme level. The system generates unique identifiers on an award and scheme level to allow detailed analysis. This data is openly available to download in csv format.
The Cabinet Office use the data internally to inform policies and spot opportunities for efficiency gains across government. GGIS data also feeds into the government grants register , where it can be downloaded in csv format. The data also feeds into 360Giving , who support funders to publish their grants data openly and in a comparable way on the open data platform GRANTNAV , under the 360Giving Standard .
GGIS offers transparency in the grants system, which makes up a substantial share of the UK budget, and allows anyone to use this data to analyse grant flows in the UK. Central government benefits from having a single source of data in a common format to get a broad view across departments and to design an intelligent grants system.
Individual departments benefit from understanding their own grant flows better and identifying overlaps or synergies with other departments. As services become more integrated, departments need to break down silos and understand their role as part of a larger ecosystem; having sight of grants can help with that. Open grants data also enables an assessment of particular programmes that are run across departments.
360 Giving have launched a Challenge Fund to identify what questions need answering and how open grants data can help. Participants submitted questions about the geographical distribution of grants and the types of organisations that receive grants. This initiative suggests that open grants data is used to answer important questions about access to funding for the delivery of public services.
Outside of government, the media, civil society and individual citizens can use data to analyse grant flows or find out how much funding a local organisation receives. Grant recipients can compare their own grants with those of similar organisations and prepare targeted applications.
If open grants data is linked with Open Contracting data from the Crown Commercial Service, it would be possible to identify the total amount of funding received by an organisation in grants and project funding.
Open grants data refers to grants awarded. Ideally, in future this could be compared with actual spending to get a full picture.
Sourcing data from different departments with their own legacy data management systems and publishing it on different databases highlights the importance of common data standards and formats that make it possible to aggregate and compare datasets.
Great British Public Toilet Map: open geospatial toilet data
When we’re out and about and nature calls, there is often a real struggle to find a toilet we can use. We may not be able to find a public toilet, we may try and use one in a cafe but they might require us to purchase something or we have to walk all around a shopping centre trying to find the right floor.
For some this need is much more immediate – for example those with accessibility issues, digestion illnesses (such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or parents who need baby-changing facilities.
Across the UK, more than one in every three public toilets have been closed over the last two decades. Some councils are already without a single free-to-use public convenience. A 2007 study by Help the Aged (now Age UK), found that a market decline in the provision of public toilet is a central concern to older people, preventing them from leaving their homes.
Others found that UK toilet provision is sporadic. Some areas operate facilities that can be easily found and accessed – and kept to a higher hygiene levels. Whilst others have limited provision, or none at all (Knight and Bichard, 2011).
Greed (2003) found that the provision of toilets was ‘fragmented’ between different providers, including those public or those provided for by private organisations such as in train stations or shopping centres.
A Researcher in community-led design, Gail Ramster, tried to address this issue.
There were already two national datasets that include toilet locations: Ordnance Survey, which shows public convenience (PC) on its maps, and OpenStreetMap, which show the location of over 4,000 toilets. But, because these are broader mapping projects, they only show public toilet locations or buildings, and not all the other publicly accessible toilets in supermarkets, town halls and cafes, for example.
Gail decided to make her own Great British Public Toilet Map . But to make a map, you need data, and data on toilets is hard to come by. Gail began her search at data.gov.uk , where government data on all sorts of public services is published. But she didn’t find the national public toilet database she was looking for, and alerted officials to the fact that there wasn’t one.
Gail looked for councils that might have open data on toilets, by virtue of scoring well on Openly Local’s UK Councils open data scoreboard , a project aimed at making local government data more accessible. But, as local governments get more keen to be open, most of the data they publish is about financial spending, not locations. Gail focused on the 33 boroughs within Greater London – to try and demonstrate the usefulness of open data and find flaws and barriers with the collection and publishing of the data.
The London version of the map went live in 2011. Before the project started, only one of the 33 boroughs published public toilet open data. The researchers managed to persuade four other councils to publish, whilst three more published since the launch.
When Gail approached the councils’ mapping departments, their geographic information system (GIS) managers said that they knew where the toilets were but could not say. This is because, at the time, Ordnance Survey had restrictions on the re-use of data they had already mapped.
However, things started to look up. Ordnance Survey decided to allow councils to reuse their intellectual property on toilet data. They also said that if others were to ask them for the data, they would be likely to grant them access on the same terms.
The researchers identified barriers to prevent further publication:
- Lack of understanding of open data by the person responsible for public toilets
- A lack of capability to provide online open data
- Each council using different dataset formats and needing different coding
- Restrictions on publishing OS data due to licensing
- Lack of understanding of the benefits of collated Open Data rather than publishing simply on own website.
The project is supported by the Local Government Association , which has now included public toilets in its local open data incentive scheme .
The website now operates as a public participation portal, where members of the public can add, edit or remove toilet data .
Other tools from the Data and Public Services Toolkit
- Business Case Canvas
- Data Ethics Canvas
- Checklist: How to design to scale
- Ecosystem Mapping
- All data and public services tools
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