Customer Satisfaction in Services Provided by the Kaunas City Centre of Social Services: Aspects of Index Calculation and Interpretation
The research of citizen satisfaction in public services gained new relevance in Lithuania in 2009, when the Ministry of Interior added the assessment of customer satisfaction in public services as an instrument of public management quality policy. The paper seeks to answer how this top-down initiative is applied in practice and what kinds of problems arise. The object of analysis in the paper are two independent researches related to the assessment of satisfaction in public services, which were conducted in Kaunas in 2013 and produced markedly different results. The paper is based on the case of the assessment of the Customer Satisfaction Index of Kaunas City Centre of Social Services (CSS), which aims to uncover the factors that determined the disparity in the results. The analysis of the calculation methods for the satisfaction index of the services provided by the CSS has revealed that the methodology approved by the Lithuanian Minister of the Interior can be utilized at the municipal level for the satisfaction in general services used by the majority of city residents. The municipalities, which conduct centralized assessment of public services and wish to ensure objectivity must control that the satisfaction index indicator includes only the customers who have used the service. However, in this case one would face increased financial costs, which rise due to the process of ensuring the involvement of customers who have used services provided by separate institutions.