What is important at this time?
- Empathy – feeling understood & heard
- Information & Communication – knowing and understanding what is available / what is needed
- Access – How easy is the service to find and attend – what mechanisms are in place – online, phone, location etc.
- Respect - general courtesy and feelings of value along with person centred approaches
What tools might be suitable?
These can be based on questions generated by the above determiners (e.g. welcome, respect, helpfulness, ability to communicate and/or give information, show sensitivity, listen, give constructive and realistic information / resources, share future plans and arrange when and where to meet again). A questionnaire may be most appropriate where work has been undertaken over a period of time. Including open-ended questions (‘have you any other comments you want to make?’) so customers can add issues that they think are important is always useful. If a questionnaire or feedback form is used, the worker should think carefully about how and when to use it, ensuring that the design is appropriate to the situation (including the communication needs) of the customer. When thinking about timing, it can be useful to ask the customer themselves about when they would prefer to be asked to comment. For example, would they prefer to think about what has happened and respond the following week rather than right away.
Links to what others are doing
CSQ-8 provides a standard set of eight questions originally developed to use in mental health programs but is now applied in a variety of social service areas, however it focuses satisfaction being a by-product of outcomes or goals being met.
When an observation is planned, wherever possible the customer should be asked if they are willing to be part of the process. If they agree, it is the responsibility of the observer and the worker to ensure that the customer is given the opportunity to comment on the worker and / or service. Not all customers will be able or want to be involved in the whole process; others will be willing to contribute and to be part of the observation process. Giving choices – including the option of not being involved at all – is a key part of the process. The observer and the worker will need to plan how this is managed, using their knowledge of and relationship with the customer to ensure that this is comfortable for all the parties involved. Examples of things to consider when observing:
- Did the customer understand what to expect?
- What went well during the observation?
- What could have gone better?
- Were the customer’s needs in line with what the service has to offer?
- What systems require further review to better meet the needs of the customer?