Insight into customer’s perceptions of Public Services

Insight into customer’s perceptions of Public Services
July 31 2014

The Public Chairs’ Forum held a seminar on Customer Perceptions of Public Services. The keynote speaker was Ben Page, Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI. Ipsos MORI is a leading market research organisation that has worked extensively for the UK Government, looking at public attitudes to key public services to inform social policy. Ben presented the results of several decades of public sector research, covering subjects such as public perceptions of the NHS, the European Union and Immigration policies in the UK. His presentation was followed by a round-table discussion with Chairs.

Ben Page, Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI

The government has made impressive reductions in spending, based on a July 2013 report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Surveys by Ipsos MORI have identified a number of trends in public perceptions, these have included:

  -  The public is still broadly happy with the current level of service provided by the NHS, although they are very concerned about the future. They do however believe that the compassion with which patients are treated by the NHS has increased in the last year – a response to changes after the Francis Report?

  -  In terms of spending, overseas aid and benefits remain the most popular areas for cuts. However, the bulk of the public think that benefits are wasted and only one in three think government will improve public services despite satisfaction with public services remaining relatively stable since 2010.

  -  Different generations view key social issues that have defined British society in very different ways. For example, 30% of Generation Y respondents expected their lives to be worse than their parents; this was greater than for any other generation. This raises important questions about future consensus on a wide range of political and social policy issues. Please see the programme of work by Ipsos MORI, available for download from their website here.

  -  There has been a major shift in the way information is communicated due to recent technological developments.

The main messages from Ben’s presentation
  -  The public sector has dealt much better with austerity than many may have expected –so far
  -  The public is fearful about the future of public services, and more so, their financial future.
  -  There is a huge opportunity to utilise technology to better understand behaviours and interact with the public.
  -  There is more pressure to lead, rather than manage – tell the story and take people with you.

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