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London, 10 October 2007

WCL, in partnership with Experian and Bristol Business School, have released the results from one of the largest surveys of its type ever carried out in Government - on how well public sector organisations (PSOs) are set up to manage citizens as customers. The survey shows that while there are some excellent examples of customer management in PSOs, generally they are 15 years behind their private sector equivalents. The average benchmark score, using the CMAT benchmarking tool, was 22% versus 42% in the private sector. The survey shows a strong product or service focus in PSOs, but the willingness and enthusiasm to move towards customer focus, not least because this is what citizens are demanding. Professor Merlin Stone, Director of WCL, comments 'We see islands of excellence in all PSOs, but to move forward it is critical that leaders of PSOs, and elected members, take time to learn from the private sector on how to transform their organisations to become customer focusssed'. Neil Woodcock (neil.woodcock@w-c-l.com), who heads up WCL's research in this area, agrees 'if they are smart, and learn from tools like CMAT which have been used extensively in the private sector, PSOs won't take 15 years to catch up'. Woodcock goes on to say; 'The PSO challenges now are strong leadership, to determine what customer models mean to them as PSOs, and aggregating data at a customer level, to provide the insight required to both improve public services and to increase the engagement and participation of citizens in the process of Government'.

WCL (www.w-c-l.com)is a UK consultancy working to help organisations improve performance. Contact Neil Woodcock on 02030085820; 10 October 2007

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