When it comes to obtaining feedback on their performance, many public service providers primarily turn to those citizens who have consumed their service via customer satisfaction surveys for example. It seems to make sense – after all, who best to comment on the service than those who have experienced it directly? However that approach ignores the differences between outputs (the end results of a service provider’s processes as experienced by consumers) and outcomes (the end result of a service provider’s operations to all citizens). An example of the output of the immigration service is the number of illegal immigrants identified and removed, whilst the outcome is the ensuing population growth as a result of migration being properly managed.
Going back to the issue of performance measurement, the feedback obtained from an output perspective (.i.e. from consumers of the service) may very well differ from that obtained from an outcome perspective (.i.e. aggregate feedback from all citizens). Following on from the example of the the immigration services, the answer illegal immigrants will give to the question ‘immi-a-grate guy’? (from an agency official) is likely to be a resounding ‘No!’, whilst the general population may give an overwhelming “thumbs-up”. The same is true of similar services such as the police, correctional facilities, tax agencies, etc. So in summary, while it is important to obtain feedback from consumers of the service, the same should be sought from the general population served by the service provider.
As a public service provider, do you do so? If so, how? Do you find differences between both sets of feedback? How do you reconcile this?
Looking forward to reading from you….