Local Register Offices are making history by opening themselves up to appraisal by their clients.
The Local Register Offices wanted to be the first government agency to find out how well it is implementing its values in everyday interactions with its clients. More than 1,000 clients evaluated their experiences of Local Register Offices on the basis of how customer-orientated, fair, transparent, and diligent their interactions were, as well as how high the level of expertise on offer was.
Customer satisfaction was assessed with regards to the following services:
- appointment of a guardian,
- witness services,
- marriages and registrations of civil partnerships,
- registration of a foreigner,
- name-related services (applications), and
- registration of a child.
The customer satisfaction survey was conducted in October 2014 in the form of a personal online survey. The survey was also publicly available in four languages (Finnish, Swedish, English, Russian) in the Local Register Office website. In total, 1,046 clients completed the survey.
The overall opinion was that Local Register Office services are easy to use and that the Office values its customers. The most commonly cited areas for development related to facilities and space, particularly from the perspective of groups with special requirements and being able to discuss matters in private. Customer feedback was another area highlighted for improvements. In the eyes of its clients, the Local Register Office treats people fairly and without prejudice. Further praise came in regards to the way in which the agency resolves issues and provides a clear basis for its decisions. The most significant factor affecting the smooth running and quality of services at the Local Register Offices was deemed to be the lack of development of its online and digital services.
There was some variation in the standard of expertise customers experienced from service to service. The appointment of legal guardians was seen to be handled with expert care, with clear guidance and instructions offered, but the process was deemed to be slow and there was a perceived lack of understanding regarding customers' needs. The latter issue was also noted in relation to the registration of children, marriages, and civil partnerships despite the view also being expressed that the instructions and guidance provided by the Local Register Officer regarding these services was clear and the process progressed smoothly. Overall, its clients were of the opinion that the high-quality of the Office's services and the expert knowledge of its personnel were founded on the provision of clear instructions and the smooth processing of matters.
The value most cited as being poorly implemented was openness and transparency. Of particular concern in relation to citizenship and the provision of information and timeliness, were the Office's appointment of guardians, name-change, witness, and marriage services. One exception of note was the registration of foreigners, which was deemed to be a much more openly conducted service than the others.
It is the aim of the Local Register Office to adapt its operations in order to fulfil its duty to function as a fair and equal public agency and service provider. To this end, the most significant challenges posed are the need to improve the openness and transparency of its interactions with clients and to improve and make more user-friendly its online and digital services.
The customer satisfaction survey was carried out by BroadScope.