Local Government Syndicated Research Programs

Nillumbik Shire Council’s CX Lead, Craig King, shares how CSBA’s syndicated research programs are helping the council drive strategy and keep their finger on the pulse.


‘Together the CXB and VOC programs provide us with both the immediate, on the ground understanding of what is happening, as well as the deeper strategic insight we need to plan effectively’

Craig KingCX Lead

Customer Experience Benchmarking Program (CXB)

‘Nillumbik Shire Council first took part in CSBA’s Local Government Customer Experience Benchmarking Program (CXB) back in 2018.

At the time we were developing the council’s Customer First Strategy and needed quality, independent customer experience data and insights to help develop, measure and action our initiatives.

CXB delivered the insights we needed to be better

CXB appealed to us, particularly because it would allow us to benchmark the council’s current performance and begin creating a trend line for tracking future performance.

Also, unlike other customer research programs, it contexualised our performance, letting us see how our customer experience and service compared to other Local Governments – organisations doing exactly the same things as we do, just in different ways.

Ultimately, it would give us a true understanding of the customer experience at different levels of the organisation. Unlike the Annual Community Survey, CXB surveys customers who have had recent and direct contact with the council, rather than a random selection of residents – this means it’s not about perceptions, but rather real life experiences and interactions. It looks at the customer experience through the customer’s eyes.

A strategic tool that guides decision making

Nillumbik has continued to participate in the CXB program twice a year, since our first wave back in 2018. It provides a sound temperature check and trend line that we can monitor and share with with the Executive and Senior Managers. And, the fact that it is independent research means that the results are accepted and embraced by all.

Unlike other research programs it allows us to track the customer’s experience as they interact with different departments, providing us with an understanding of the actual customer journey and the specific pain points or problem areas that need attention. This insight lets us design and target initiatives where they’re needed most, based on real life customer feedback.

Voice of the Customer Pulse Survey Program (VOC)

Knowing how valuable the CXB program has been for us, we were very keen to join the Local Government Voice of the Customer pulse survey program (VOC, when it was launched earlier this year.

CXB provides us with a very comprehensive understanding of what has happened over the last six months and allows us to look at and understand why it happened.

The VOC program on the other hand allows us to stay on top of what is happening each and every day.

It lets us to quickly identify issues on the ground, as and when they are happening, and get on top of potential problems before they become problems – it’s a great awareness tool.

One of the features of the program that I believe will prove to be incredibly valuable are the quarterly theme based questions, which provide additional insight into a specific area. Over the last few months, these have explored the council’s COVID-19 response and provided us with insight into what customers are thinking and feeling during these unprecedented times.

Learning from other Local Governments

Both CSBA programs provide opportunities to connect and collaborate with people from other Local Governments in similar roles. It gives us a platform for sharing ideas, seeing what is and isn’t working elsewhere and learning from one another in a very meaningful way’.

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