Channel Use and Drivers of Satisfaction

Kiwis Count measures service satisfaction and trust in government services at the macro level. Agencies are also encouraged to measure satisfaction with their services at a detailed level to help them understand how they are doing in improving areas that matter most to New Zealanders, and where to focus resources for the greatest impact.

In 2007, SSC undertook research to identify the key factors or drivers that have the greatest influence on New Zealanders’ satisfaction with, and trust in, public services. These results were published in the Drivers Survey (2007). Since 2012 Kiwis Count has asked respondents to answer questions about aspects of their satisfaction (the driver questions) based on the channel used for the most recent service interaction. These responses show:-

  • New Zealanders access public services most often via the face-to-face channel (39%). This has reduced markedly since 2012 (52%).
  • Sending or receiving an email is the second most common channel (15%). This has increased from 6% in 2012.
  • Accessing information online is the third most used way to access public services (12%) and use of this channel has increased from 2012 (4%).
  • Transacting online follows as the next most used way to access public services (12%). up from 6% in from 2012.
  • The phone is the fifth most used channel (11% in 2018, down from 15% in 2012).
  • Sending or receiving a letter is used by only 10%, down from 17% in 2012.
  • Only 2% or respondents in 2018 used social media to get information or to give feedback (e.g. Facebook or twitter).

Improving Satisfaction

One way of improving satisfaction with public services is for agencies to focus on these key drivers (Drivers Survey, 2007):

  • The service experience met your expectations
  • Staff were competent
  • Staff kept their promises, they did what they said they would do
  • You were treated fairly
  • You feel your individual circumstances were taken into account
  • It’s an example of good value for tax dollars spent

Kiwis Count has measured the drivers of satisfaction since 2007. Not all drivers are equal: ‘the service experience met your expectations” is the most important driver and accounts for nearly one third of satisfaction with public services. Results for this driver are shown in Figure 10.

How well did each service channel meet expectations?

The results for “met expectations” on transacting using the online channel is high in 2018. This is illustrated in figure 12. Notable among these results are the following:

  • 90% of respondents had their expectations met when transacting online with the public service (an increase from 84% in 2017).
  • 73% of respondents had their expectations met when looking for information online, down from a high of 87% in 2016.

The face-to-face channel – visited an office, branch or location or received a visit (and dealt with a person) has not shown much of an increase since 2012, but 2018 is still a healthy result at 84%. There is a slight increase in respondents having their expectations met on the phone channel, being 68% in 2018 up from 65% in 2017. Satisfaction on the phone channel has always been lowest for the “met expectations” driver.

Figure 12; Satisfaction and its Drivers

Other Drivers

When considering all channels, the drivers present a strongly positive picture. Two drivers “You were satisfied with the amount of time it took to do what you wanted to” (77%) and “You got what you needed” (81%) saw strong improvements in 2018 with increases of 11 percent and 12 percent respectively since 2016. “Overall you can trust them to do what is right” (80%) increased by 1% in 2018. The driver “The service is an example of good value for tax dollars spent” stayed at 74%, down from a high of 77% in 2016.

Digital experience

The digital experience for New Zealanders saw improvements in satisfaction across all four areas examined. The area of “the layout was clear” saw an increase of five percent, increasing from 77 to 82%. Overall satisfaction with accessibility as measured by the “Overall, you were satisfied with the accessibility of the site or digital service” question increased to 85% in 2018, though still down from 86% in 2016.

Ease of use as measured by “The process was straightforward and easy to understand” increased from 78% in 2017 to 82% in 2018. This is the highest score so far. Ease of finding the service or product, measured by “When you got to the site it was easy to find what you were looking for” increased following a dip in 2017 to 77%. This result is still down from the high of 83% in 2016.

Kiwis Count measures New Zealanders’ satisfaction with a basket of 43 commonly used public services . The usage of the services examined is given in Table 4.

Table 4: Service usage

Service used 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Licensed or registered a vehicle 71% 69% 69% 71% 71% 74% 72%
Used a local council provided community facility (e.g. a swimming pool, community hall or local park) - - - - - 67% 66%
Visited a public library 55% 53% 54% 54% 54% 53% 55%
Visited a public museum or art gallery - - - - - 51% 53%
Been through the arrival process at a New Zealand international airport (when arriving from outside NZ) 36% 36% 36% 39% 40% 51% 50%
Requested information about personal tax and/or filed a personal tax return (includes filing via an agent) - - - - - 49% 46%
Visited a national park 37% 38% 37% 40% 42% 45% 43%
Received outpatient services from a public hospital (includes Accident and Emergency) 34% 34% 34% 35% 39% 37% 37%
Purchased a road user charge (e.g. diesel mileage or paying a road toll) - - - - - 32% 34%
Taken a child in your care to see a doctor/GP - - - - - 30% 31%
Applied for and/or received Accident Compensation (ACC) for injuries 18% 18% 19% 19% 21% 26% 25%
Used or contacted a state or state integrated (public) school that a child in your care attends or may attend in the future 21% 22% 22% 23% 23% 24% 25%
Obtained, renewed, changed or replaced a driver licence 23% 23% 24% 23% 28% 25% 24%
Applied for or renewed a NZ passport 22% 23% 22% 24% 23% 25% 24%
Had contact with the Police (excluding calling 111) 21% 21% 21% 21% 23% 23% 22%
Requested information or made an application, payment or claim for child support, student loan repayments, KiwiSaver, or tax credits (e.g. Working for Families) - - - - - 22% 22%
Attended or contacted a university, polytechnic or wānanga about a course you are attending or may attend in the future 21% 20% 20% 20% 21% 19% 18%
Used emergency services by calling 111 13% 12% 12% 13% 12% 15% 18%
Had contact with your local council regarding collection of your household rubbish/recycling 18% 20% 20% 20% 25% 16% 17%
Paid or got information about fines or reparations 19% 20% 20% 19% 19% 16% 17%
Used a Gold Card - - - - - 16% 16%
Stayed in a public hospital 15% 16% 16% 15% 16% 15% 16%
Had contact with your local council regarding property rates 17% 17% 15% 17% 18% 15% 16%
Applied for and/or received NZ Superannuation 16% 16% 16% 17% 17% 15% 16%
Applied for and/or used a Community Services card 20% 18% 16% 17% 13% 15% 15%
Used or contacted a kindergarten, day-care, crèche, preschool, home-based service, playcentre, Kōhanga Reo, Aoga Amata, Puna Reo or playgroup etc. that a child in your care attends or may attend in the future 8% 10% 13% 13% 13% 15% 13%
Visited sorted.org.nz (for information to help manage your personal finances or planning for retirement) 9% 8% 8% 9% 10% 13% 10%
Used an 0800 number for health information 13% 13% 13% 12% 13% 11% 10%
Used public services for employment or retraining opportunities 14% 16% 14% 14% 15% 9% 10%
Applied for and/or received a benefit (e.g. Jobseeker Support or Sole Parent Support) 11% 11% 10% 9% 9% 8% 10%
Applied for or received a student loan or allowance 11% 11% 11% 12% 11% 11% 9%
Applied for, used or asked for information about a building permit 7% 7% 7% 7% 9% 10% 9%
Applied for and/or received a housing subsidy or accommodation supplement - - - - - 9% 9%
Received help for mental health or substance abuse problems from a doctor or nurse at your local medical centre - - - - - 7% 8%
Registered a birth, death, marriage or civil union 8% 9% 8% 8% 8% 7% 8%
Applied for a rental property bond lodgement, refund or transfer 10% 11% 10% 8% 9% 8% 7%
Made a noise complaint - - - - - 8% 6%
Used ERO (Education Review Office) school or early childhood reports for a child in your care 7% 8% 7% 8% 7% 7% 6%
Applied for or had contact about a hunting or fishing license 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 6% 6%
Had a child in your care that has received special education services - - - - - 5% 6%
Contacted Statistics New Zealand for information or about taking part in a survey 8% 11% 8% 8% 8% 3% 5%
Applied for a resource consent or made a submission on a notified resource consent application - - - - - 6% 4%
Applied for, or lived in a publically subsidised house (e.g. a house owned by Housing NZ or a community housing provider or a local council) 4% 5% 4% 3% 3% 2% 2%

4 The full report on the 2007 Drivers Survey can be found at http://www.ssc.govt.nz/drivers-report and the summary report can be found at http://www.ssc.govt.nz/understanding-drivers-report

5 See the Technical Report for a description of the Kiwis Count methodology

Kiwis Count measures New Zealanders’ satisfaction with a basket of 43 commonly used public services . In doing so, the survey also offers opportunity to make other comments regarding the services identified. Few people take the opportunity to make such a comment. Those that do often comment on the following areas (numbers from 2018):

Figure 5: Areas of commentary

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