With one in eight Queenslanders experiencing poverty (QCOSS Indicators of Poverty and Disadvantage Report, 2013), having a clear understanding of the way in which service provision affects the lives of people using their services is critical. To be effective, service provision needs to meet the needs of its users. Social services have a need to connect with people in a way that promotes satisfaction and provides mechanisms for capturing their experience along their journey with services.
There is a plethora of information and research about “customer satisfaction” in the private and business sectors, however there is little in the social services sector, especially in Australia. With rising prices, privatisation of services and increased competition in an open market place, there is a significant need to look at satisfaction of the people using services. If raised, questions about satisfaction are often asked indirectly in relation to client feedback as part of a Quality Framework; outcomes relating to funding allocations; advocacy outcomes; or self-management or planning outcomes.
Service user satisfaction is much more than service outcomes, and seldom is the journey through service access from a point of entry or crisis to a point of exit or stability discussed. It is this journey that, when considered, provides a basis for indicating quality of life impacts and measures.
Specifically, the information in these pages focuses on the way in which services delivered impact peoples life, and their experience throughout their journey with services. Within this we have sought to gain a greater understanding of what is important in relation to the satisfaction of people who use services, and the different levels of satisfaction experienced.