The report presents the findings of a survey of major inland office walk-in clients. The objective of the study was to provide client input into some of the CIC Client Service Initiative projects within the context of the Treasury Board Service Improvement Initiative. The analysis is based on 284 questionnaires completed by clients who visited ten offices spread out from Halifax to Vancouver between October 11, 2000 and November 2, 2000; 28 in-depth interviews of clients were conducted at the same times and locations by the CIC project authority. Observations include:
- Visits to inland offices represent a small part of the service provided by CIC.
- Three quarters of walk-in clients came to the office without an appointment. Among them, more than one quarter came to the office after failing to obtain the service from the call centre. About one quarter of visits to inland offices can be traced back to not obtaining the service from the call centre (however, this represents only 4% of all calls handles by the call centres).
- While the availability of telephone access to the call centre from the waiting rooms is valued by some, considering the responses to this survey, it is unlikely to significantly improve access to services for walk-in clients.
- One third of clients indicated that they would like to have access to CIC services through the Internet. A majority of survey respondents did not find enough on the Internet to avoid the visit to the office. It is unlikely that Internet access from the waiting rooms will do much to improve access to services for walk-in clients.
- Walk-in clients were generally satisfied with the service they received. The ratings indicate a decent, albeit not stellar, level of service. Clients were most satisfied with staff fairness, competence and courtesy. They were least satisfied with office hours and accessibility for the disabled.
- Walk-in clients support the implementation of a formal comment and complaint system.
- Service in languages other than English and French is not perceived as a crucial issue by most walk-in clients.
- Based on the joint analysis of levels of satisfaction and of the importance clients attach to various service features, to improve overall client satisfaction, the most effective service improvements would deal with: clients' perceptions of staff helpfulness and the availability of information.
- In brief, the issue of access to services, as perceived through the lens of the walk-in clients, is not primarily about waiting time to get telephone service or physical access to in-land offices. It is about getting the information sought for and accessing staff who display a helping culture.
154 pages, 792k [PDF format]
Report prepared for Citizenship and Immigration Canada following the implementation of a continuous client feedback pilot project, September 2001
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has embarked onto a large-scale service improvement process named "Client Service Initiative" which includes several components. This report presents the results of a pilot project aimed at offering clients comment cards for immediate feedback to port of entry and inland CICs on their service experience.
Between mid-February and mid-August 2001, 23 ports of entry and inland offices, mainly from Quebec and British Columbia, were involved in the project whereby comment cards were offered (first passively, then actively) to clients who could return them by mail. Canada Post was contracted to handle the logistics of the production and distribution of required materials and to keypunch the data.
Conclusions regarding the comment card pilot project
- A total of 317 comment cards were returned over a five-month period. This is an extremely low participation rate.
- Of the 25 possible issuance points (two offices were port of entry as well as inland offices), 19 had at least one completed card and 12 had at least 5 (one per month). Quebec offices represented 17% of the returns and BC, 79%. Four BC offices accounted for 212 cards or 67% of all returns (CIC Kingsgate, CIC Douglas, CIC Vancouver International Airport and CIC Prince George).
- As used, the comment card approach seriously underestimates client satisfaction. The average satisfaction measured in Quebec during the pilot project was one point lower (3.2 vs. 4.3) than the results obtained in a special experiment conducted in three offices of the Eastern Townships (CIC Sherbrooke, CIC Trois-Rivières and CIC Rock Island). In this experiment, all clients were approached over a two week period to complete the comment card as a means to measure satisfaction instead of only making cards available to clients as an on-going feedback mechanism.
Conclusions regarding client satisfaction
- The following conclusions must be construed as tentative because of the non random nature of the sample.
- Overall satisfaction was highest with service at
- inland offices (4.1 on 1-to-5 scale),
- followed by land ports of entry (3.7), and
- air ports of entry (2.3).
- Speed of service is the main culprit for clients, particularly at air ports of entry
- 4.2 for inland offices,
- 3.5 for land ports of entry, and
- 1.8 for air ports of entry.
- At Vancouver International Airport, wait times were long enough for several clients to indicate that three or four-hour long delays translated into missed connecting flights — there is no indication of substantial confusion between Immigration and Custom services; the delays were most likely due to Immigration services.
- Perceived low speed of service probably provoked a halo effect on the perception of other service components.
- Service standards may help deal with this issue.
- Poor POE ratings (particularly at air ports of entry) were not due to outcomes which did not satisfy the clients: satisfaction with service was substantially lower among POE clients who were admitted into Canada than among inland office clients, even though only 4 out of 169 POE clients were denied admission.
Conclusions regarding the causes of low participation
- The comment cards were not given enough visual prominence.
- The return by mail was conducive to not completing the card.
- Supplies were difficult to obtain from the supplier.
- Project communications were difficult.
- The comment card design could be improved.
- There is a negative perception of the comment card system among some staff.
- Some clients had difficulty completing the card.
- Regarding the logistics of the system: revise the design of the comment card, improve stock management, empower offices, develop a project team.
- Regarding the collection of on-going information: ensure buy-in, clarify communications, improve the profile of the comment cards.
- Regarding the measurement of client satisfaction: implement systematic survey periods in addition to using an on-going approach, repeat measurement at regular intervals.
- Regarding the improvement of client satisfaction: emphasize speed of service particularly at ports of entry and especially at airports; the implementation of service standards may help.
74 pages, 738k [PDF format]