Taking Care of Business 3

Updated October 22, 2013

Institute for Citizen-Centred Service| 2011

Please click here to download the full report (PDF) of Taking Care of Business 3

Summary

Taking Care of Business 3 (TCOB3) is the third pan-Canadian survey of business clients that the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service (ICCS) has conducted. Similar to previous TCOB research, as well as the companion Citizens First studies, TCOB3 was commissioned by a group of provincial and municipal governments for the purpose of gathering information to help measure governments’ performance in the delivery of public service. Canadian governments at all levels have a vested interest in continually improving service to the public and providing services in the most cost-effective manner. Through this research, governments are able to monitor their performance over time and develop new methods of delivery that meet the changing needs and desires of the Canadian public.

TCOB3 reflected greater emphasis on municipal service delivery and changes in the research scope. In part, these changes reflect the expanding role of municipal governments in public service delivery, as well as a need to better understand the impact of channel technology on client satisfaction. New communication technologies and shifting preferences away from traditional methods of service delivery are emerging themes of TCOB 3.

TCOB3 adopted a somewhat different analytical framework for examining business interaction with government. In large part, these changes were designed to understand more fully the views of businesses both before and after the service experience. At the time of the survey, businesses, and particularly smaller operations, were still feeling the impacts of the economic downturn and uncertainty about future economic prospects. As service expectations are influenced by business perceptions, TCOB3 attempts to better understand the extent to which these perceptions may have impacted client satisfaction in 2010. For the purposes of this study, business perceptions and attitudes are examined based on pre-service expectations and perceptions of government, satisfaction with the service experience itself and consequential post-service results with regards to evaluations of preferences.

Here are some Key Findings:

  • Good government service is essential to their business.
  • Easy access to service is highly valued by business.
  • Businesses prefer multiple channels of access.
  • Online service is rapidly expanding opportunity.
  • Efforts to improve service quality are working.
  • Timely service remains the main driver of satisfaction.

Other Important Findings

In addition to re-visiting service delivery issues that were explored in previous TCOB studies, several new issues were examined in the current study. While these issues may or may not directly impact the service experience, they are considered important factors influencing general perceptions businesses hold of government performance. Through the research, we discover that businesses with higher perceptions of government performance are generally more satisfied with their service experience.

  • Red Tape Regulatory Burden
  • Business Engagement in Decision-making Contributes to Positive Attitudes toward Government

The Road Ahead

As an organization dedicated to improving government service using evidence-based strategies, the ICCS through this research continues to identify emerging issues and developments relevant to government service providers. Government service providers are in many respects change leaders, exploring and testing new technologies and ideas for the purpose of improving the efficiency and quality of service to the public. All clients want quality service for their tax dollars and TCOB3 builds on the growing body of evidence that suggests governments benefit by listening to Canadian business and effectively responding to their needs through the service development process.

TCOB3 provides important information for government service agencies in a number of areas. It shows:

  • Despite declines in the “reputation” of governments among Canadian businesses, at the service delivery level, businesses are more satisfied with services in 2010 than was the case in 2007.
  • The research further underscores the key service delivery attributes for each of the three major service delivery channels that will allow service managers to continue to improve upon each channel’s performance.
  • The study also provides new insights as to how governments can support further migration to Internet or web-based service delivery channels.
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