New South Wales Trustee & Guardian (NSWTG) is a state government agency that provides will-making and deceased estate administration services. We can also be appointed by a court or tribunal to act as a person’s financial manager and/or guardian if they lack the ability to make decisions for themselves because they have a disability.
Business metrics and feedback showed there was an opportunity to improve customer service at NSWTG. Customer satisfaction indices (CSI) across key service streams were either low or declining, complaints were on the rise and staff morale was down following an organisational restructure in 2016. The Communications & Engagement team worked with a consultancy to develop the Customer Excellence Principles as a tool to turn this around and embed a culture of customer service excellence at NSWTG. Through a process of analysing customer satisfaction surveys, complaints, calls and staff workshops, six principles were identified – the key attributes of service our customers wanted from us. Each principle had a definition and aspirational customer statement.
Existing research showed customer satisfaction for involuntary customers such as financial management, private management and beneficiaries of a will normally rate lower than that of will-making customers who have chosen our services. For example, will-making CSI have been over 85% for many years, but Financial and Private Management have ratings between 50% and 70%. Beneficiary customers traditionally enjoyed ratings over 70%, but these plummeted to 50%-60% from 2016. Formal complaints received by NSWTG rose sharply in 2017 and 2018. Employee engagement scores were also relatively low for the sector.
NSWTG developed Customer Excellence Principles to reposition the organisation as customer-centred, the Communications & Engagement team developed and implemented a communication strategy comprising an interactive experience to support the launch and bring the principles to life. The results of the program demonstrate how experiential learning through team activities is a key contributor to changing staff behaviour and improving customer satisfaction.