Total Place

Posted on August 18th, 2009

Customer insight

Total Place Customer Insight Review

The IDeA is supporting the Total Place Pilots’ work on customer insight. The Total Place programme will map flows of public spending in local areas and make links between services, to identify where public money can be spent more effectively. Using customer insight to better understand need is a critical part of the approach. Customer insight can provide the evidence and rationale for re-designing public services and making better use of resources.

Communities and Local Government and the IDeA, working with the Leadership Centre and the 13 Total Place Pilots, have commissioned Tribal to review the pilots’ current and potential use of customer insight. Tribal are interviewing the 13 pilots to understand the current state of insight activity, the good practice already underway, and the key challenges the pilots face in making better use of insight.

The research will map the data and tools being used by participating organisations, review how the data is being used to inform service design, and identify opportunities for collaboration between agencies. The findings will help the pilots realise the potential benefits of customer insight work, particularly the opportunities to join-up and exploit data about shared customers in their themed work.

Communities and Local Government and the IDeA also expect the research to identify opportunities for them to provide additional support and resources to the pilots on Customer Insight to help them with their themed areas. The results of the research will be available in October.

Customer Insight

Insight is useful information that enables an organisation to better understand its customers. In practical terms, insight involves:

Sources of insight can be qualitative and quantitative and include customer surveys, frontline experience including journey mapping and mystery shopping, “complaints, complements and comments”, operational data (for example, footfall, call volumes, numbers of service users), and citizen engagement.

By sharing and analysing these data sources, local authorities and their partners can understand customer needs better to design and deliver better services.

Understanding customers and citizens should be at the centre of all public organisations. Customer insight is one of the key tools available to enable councils to redesign services in ways that save money and improve customer satisfaction.
Customer insight is rising rapidly up the agenda of public sector organisations.

The public expects increasingly more of its local services. And, only by understanding what is really important to people can a service be efficient and effective.

Customer insight (including examples of how it has been used effectively) – on the IDeA Knowledge website

Guidance to provide an introduction to individual tools and techniques (and examples of how customer and citizen insight has been used in practice) – on the IDeA Knowledge website

Customer Led Transformation Programme

The IDeA is currently overseeing funding for local authority projects to use customer insight and social media tools and techniques to help better understand and meet the needs of the local community.

The criteria for assessing these proposals include:

An initial phase of projects will help start this programme, this consists of projects which can deliver results to be reported to Ministers in the autumn of 2009 in time for the Pre Budget Report (PBR). These projects will also help give a clearer indication of the types of projects that this programme is looking to fund.

The IDeA will work closely with these successful projects to share their learning with the sector (including the Total Place pilot areas).

Further information about this programme:

The Customer Insight Community of Practice – new users will need to register

Local Government Customer Insight Forum

The Local Government Customer Insight Forum promotes work on local service transformation and acts as a link to central government. It is a sub-group of the Local Government Delivery Council, which was established during 2007 under the auspices of the Local Government Association and includes senior local authority representatives from across all nine English regions.

The Forum’s work includes:

Information about the Local government Customer Insight Forum – on the IDeA Knowledge website

Customer insight Community of Practice

The IDeA supports a number of online communities including the Customer Insight Community of Practice (CoP) which has over 800 participants representing a range of organisations including local authorities, RIEPs, central government departments and housing associations.

The Customer Insight CoP – new users will need to register

IDeA contact for customer insight


Category: learning