Client Service – Different for Public Sector Organisations?

If you were to ask Revlon, the Cosmetics Company what they did the response you might get is that “we sell hope”. Qantas provide air travel, but that is just the means to getting people to where they want to go. Qantas sell leisure, recreation and business services. They have diversified their business to include the sale of accommodation and related travel services to ensure that their customer thinks of them, as they would want to be perceived. They know the business in which they are operating.

Southcorp a one-time diverse organisation decided to sell its very successful white goods division that included brands such as Hoover and Dishlex to Email who were their main competitor. Why? Because they also hold large interests in wine growing, making and distribution. They regarded themselves as a wine company.

Some organisations such as Coca Cola are engaged in a variety of products and markets. When you hear the words - Coca Cola - you think of their trademark drink. However Coca Cola is involved in many markets. They have a variety of core markets by maintaining brands that do not display the words Coca Cola. For instance Mount Franklin mineral water is a Coca Cola product. The words Coca Cola only appear in small print on the side of the bottle. Coca Cola want to ensure that customers are not confused about their core products in different markets.

For some organisations the core product is their trading name. Sara Lee has moved to licensing the use of their name for new products such as ice cream. Pierre Cardin no longer produces any clothes or accessories. He licenses manufacturers to use his trade name.

When the letters MGM are mentioned many people will quite rightly think of movies. However, in the late 1980’s MGM made a clear statement to their customers that they were now in the hotel business. They now build and operate theme hotels worldwide.

Unlike commercial organizations, which generally only deal with people and organisations that are interested in using their products and services, the public sector is charged with the implementation of government policy. Government policy in one form or another affects everyone.

Public sector organisations are the repository of information on every person in Australia whether it is the registration of a person's birth, receipt of taxes, payment of benefits, registration of a child in school or registration of your death. Public sector organisations deliver a diversity of services to a diverse, heterogeneous population. Every person in Australia is or is potentially a client or customer of a public sector organisation.

Service and service delivery in most public sector organisations needs to reflect the requirements of government policy, meet legislative requirements, be matched to the needs of the groups of people to which a service applies and be matched to each individual recipient of those services. The big challenge that faces public sector organisation is to be across the requirements of government and to be relevant, helpful and responsive to the needs of the public they serve.  Public sector organisations need to:

  • Know the client groups they serve and be able to detail the needs of each individual within those client groups

  • Be sure that each public sector employee that deals with members of the public is fully informed in respect to the service they provide

  • Ensure the actions of every member of each public sector organisation enhances and sustains the reputation of their organisation

  • Communicate effectively with clients and be able to resolve client issues

  • Anticipate changes in the needs of clients and continually improve and modify services within legislative and budgetary requirements to meet changing client needs

Public sector organisations are under pressure to ensure the services they deliver and how they deliver them is the best it can be.  Each manager, department head and team/section leader has the challenge to ensure the service delivery by their team, section or department uses the best available approach but also complies with legislative requirements and budgetary responsibility