Public Sector - customer relationship management for federal, state and local governments

Ensure an excellent customer experience with surveys and mystery shopping

For public clients, concertare has been conducting projects to determine and improve service quality for many years. At the federal level, for state, local authorities, municipal companies, or intermediary organizations, we measure and increase customer orientation and customer satisfaction together with our clients in the public sector.

Among other things, we use methods such as mystery shopping, citizen surveys, or passenger surveys and support the implementation of improvements in specially designed employee development programs for the public sector.

Goals and projects for the public sector

The following objectives in particular are pursued within the scope of projects for public-sector clients:

  • Activities to improve the customer experience.
  • Determining the quality of customer contact through test calls (mystery calls) to citizen and service hotlines as well as mystery mails / test mails to the customer service of municipal companies, service and job centers as well as public administration to measure, for example, the response quality and accessibility.
  • Customer surveys and citizen surveys, among other things, on perceived offers of their administration or municipality.
  • Customer satisfaction surveys in offices, intermediary organizations, and municipal companies.
  • Customer centricity programs.
  • Evaluation and campaign checks of public communication campaigns and action days.
  • Passenger surveys, passenger counts, and stop checks for public transport and municipal transport companies.

Activities for systematic employee development:

  • Employee surveys in the public sector and surveys of employees at municipal companies.
  • Identification of training needs for customer advisors in the public sector to increase customer and citizen satisfaction by improving the quality of advice in customer contact.
  • Conception and monitoring of employee development programs for a higher service orientation.
  • Verification of training success through mystery research programs for training success control.


Methods for increasing service orientation in the public sector

In our mystery research projects and customer and employee surveys in the public sector, we use various methods to collect a wide range of data on customer interaction and the quality of customer contact.

The most frequently used survey procedures and methods in the public sector are:

  • Mystery research surveys: On customer contact quality and experienced service orientation, in particular test consultations, mystery mails, and mystery calls.
  • Customer surveys: In the public sector on topics such as, among others, service perception, quality in customer contact or perceived customer orientation and service quality
  • Key figure analyses: on the duration of response to customer inquiries, complaint rate, Customer Satisfaction Index, and Net Promoter Score for public institutions.
  • Employee surveys: In cooperation with HR departments in administration, municipalities, and public authorities on employee satisfaction and employee retention.
  • Process analyses along the Citizen Journey / Customer Journey: Determination of the brand perception of the public institution, optimization of complaint management as well as telephone customer and citizen service
  • Usability tests / user-friendliness tests: of public sector websites, administrative websites and municipal websites.

Mystery research instruments in the public sector

Mystery research methods such as test calls and test e-mails are increasingly being used in the public sector.

With established methods of mystery research, all predefined and relevant customer contact channels can be tested for their quality and weak points. In the public sector, where contacts and inquiries take place either by telephone, face-to-face or increasingly also by e-mail, test calls / mystery calls, test e-mails or on-site observations and test consultations are particularly suitable for this purpose.

Beyond the pure measurement of consulting quality, these mystery research methods offer the added value of deriving individual training measures for employees in customer contact and customer consultants from the results, thus contributing to continuous employee development. The focus is usually on the further development of employees in terms of their service orientation and quality of advice.

Mystery research procedures offer many advantages, especially in the public sector. With their help, aspects can be tested that can hardly or not at all be measured in customer surveys. This is particularly true of internal standards, which normal customers are simply not aware of or familiar with. We train our test customers so that they are able to assess the fulfillment of these standards in test calls, test e-mails or test consultations.

A holistic customer experience can be surveyed via various process steps. With an appropriately designed survey, all phases of customer contact are evaluated in modules, for example the information behavior of the relevant institutions from the first customer contact to the follow-up of the contact. In such mystery research projects, customer-relevant features of the public institution are analyzed (findability, parking situation, service presentation, cleanliness, and tidiness, etc.), as well as employee-related criteria (greeting by professional staff, needs analysis of customer/citizen wishes, quality of advice and service, behavior, etc.).

Customer satisfaction surveys and other surveys in the public sector

In addition to mystery research methods, customer surveys in particular are used to determine service and customer orientation in the public sector.

With the knowledge of which criteria are especially relevant in the public sector, we have been designing individual questionnaires for administration, public authorities, and municipal companies for many years. The focus is often on the aspects of customer satisfaction, service perception, and awareness measurements, willingness to recommend as well as other comparable key figures. These can also be compared across different customer types of an institution, across several institutions regionally, or over time.

In addition to standardized, quantitative surveys, we also offer more qualitative, heuristic methods such as customer or citizen forums, customer or citizen panels, and focus group discussions. These instruments are particularly suited to understanding customers' motives in the public sector and incorporating customer expectations and wishes into the further development of measures and offerings. These qualitative methods help many public institutions to position themselves in a future-oriented way and to put citizens and customers at the center of their actions.

Satisfied citizens through service-oriented employees

In mystery research projects for the public sector, the objectives may vary from institution to institution. Often, two basic directions can be identified, which can be treated individually or in combination with each other.

Projects to determine needs and survey the current situation: The focus here is on the extent to which customer advisors and employees demonstrate customer orientation and service quality, how the quality of advice can be improved, and how customer satisfaction can be increased. The development of a department, a team, or comparable units over a certain development period can also be measured.

Training and coaching projects as well as training success monitoring: Together with the respective HR department, such projects aim to review, adapt, or redesign individual training concepts and training content in order to ensure sustainable employee development in the public sector and in municipal companies.

Benchmark studies for the public sector

Benchmark studies are increasingly being used successfully in the public sector to compare the company's own services and key figures with those of other public institutions.

Such comparisons of key figures can look at a wide range of variables. The most common comparative data is available for established indices such as customer satisfaction (Customer Satisfaction Index) and willingness to recommend (Net Promoter Score).

concertare has access to many benchmark data from the public sector and makes them available to its customers upon request.

More about mystery research and customer surveys in the public sector

Current studies, developments, and practical examples on topics of mystery research in administration, customer surveys in the public sector, and best practices for customer relationship management in the public sector can be found in the Infocenter and on the concertare blog.