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Local government - improving service and reducing costs

Effectively managing service quality in the public sector can bring benefits to customers and the service provider.  Customers receive better service - and the service provider benefits from reduced costs and increased loyalty and advocacy.  Remember, unhappy customers cost more to serve!

Save time and money at your council

Please contact us today to schedule a call to discuss how this scalable measurement framework can drive service improvement and save time and money at your council. 

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Client results


CTMA has helped local councils improve service and reduce costs with a range of local government services. (Client examples below):

Service requests:

  • Customer satisfaction improved by 10%
  • Customer advocacy and support improved by 8%
  • Call centre service request call-handling demand was reduced by 13%
  • Prematurely-closed service requests was reduced by 30%

Building consents:

  • Customer satisfaction at participating councils improved at nearly twice the rate of other councils


The responsibilities of local government continue to grow and become increasingly sophisticated.  Today, depending where you are in the world, customers depend on their local council for a diverse range of services, from regulatory control to rubbish collection, and from public libraries to water supply.  Customer seeking help from their local council when they have questions and problems involving:

  • Animal welfare

  • Beaches

  • Building consents

  • Inspection services

  • Car parking

  • Dog licenses

  • Environmental protection

  • Libraries

  • Noise-control

  • Parks

  • Roads

  • Sports facilities

  • Storm and wastewater

  • Water supply

With thousands of service requests received each month, the challenge for local councils is to ensure that the many processes for capturing, responding and actioning these requests are effectively managed to produce a satisfactory outcome for both customer and council.  Two attributes of local council services make this challenge all the more demanding:

Despite such a wide range of services (and each often supported by diverse teams of internal staff and external contractors) many councils only receive a single, annual, department-level assessment of customer satisfaction.  To place more control in the hands of the council, CTMA has been working with a number of local authorities to build structured customer feedback into their service quality improvement programmes.  This has helped them to reduce wasted costs, identify service failures and improve the effectiveness of their internally and externally resourced service delivery processes. 

Scalable measurement framework

To help meet this challenge, CTMA has established a scalable measurement framework that provides local councils with a set of cost-effective and easy-to-implement options, from one-off customer experience snapshots  - to a range of ongoing customer experience tracking programmes, and from standard industry-wide configurations to customised council-specific solutions.

The framework helps to drive continuous improvement at the department and customer touch-point level, and consists of a portfolio of measurement solutions focused on specific council processes.

If you are interested in adopting this approach at your local authority, please contact us today to discuss the framework in more detail, get help in selecting the participation level that’s right for your council and learn more about how to change the local government customer experience management paradigm.
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Local Government Measurement FrameworkCustomer experience snapshots

CTMA’s customer experience snapshots provide an initial, high-level, external verification of service performance - for councils not yet wishing to engage in an ongoing measurement programme.  The snapshots are based on the same condensed questionnaire format as CTMA’s ongoing tracking programmes, but focus on providing a single report summary of performance over a short, recent 2-3 month period.

Customer experience tracking programmes

CTMA has been working with individual councils since 2002 to develop cost-effective management tools that provide an ongoing external measurement of service effectiveness. These satisfaction tracking tools help to monitor and support the ongoing management and service quality improvement of specific customer processes such as service requests, resource consents, and building consents.

CTMA’s satisfaction tracking programmes help individual councils build cost-effective and customer-driven service standards and monitor the effective completion of internal processes and outsourced tasks.

Industry-wide customer experience baseline

CTMA’s customer experience baseline study of Building Consent and Inspection Services has demonstrated how effective service can be directly linked to the industry's support for building regulations and a region’s potential for growth.

The study helps participating councils identify opportunities for improvement within their own organisations and make service improvement investments that yield the most benefit to their customers. It helps to identify where limited resources might be reallocated to address issues that have greater impact on strategic outcomes.


Case study: Using satisfaction measurement to Improve Service and Reduce Costs

Responding to customers and actioning their requests for service is a mounting cost for local councils. Managing the process to produce a satisfactory outcome for both customer and council is becoming an increasing and costly challenge.

This case study looks at how some New Zealand councils achieved incremental improvements by building the customer into their service quality improvement programmes and have turned satisfaction measurement into a source of management actions.

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Working paper: Top-level findings from CTMA’s 2018 local government customer experience snapshot study

At a time when local government is searching for ways to reduce their costs and improve public outcomes, a snapshot study of New Zealand local councils reveals that three key customer experience metrics that differentiate council performance and quantify the potential for saving costs and improving council and public outcomes.  This paper discusses these metrics and explains how they can be used to identify potential improvement opportunities to reduce costs, improve council efficiency, effectiveness, and obtain better overall council and public outcomes.

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