Client Satisfaction Research: Service Interactions with Service Canada

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This section identifies the main purpose and frequency of clients' interactions with Service Canada during the six months preceding the survey, including the service channels used.

Purpose of Contact with Service Canada

Surveyed clients contacted Service Canada for a relatively broad range of purposes. Identified most often, but by less than half, were CPP Retirement Pension and Old Age Security - both cited by 45%. More than one-third (38%) identified Employment Insurance, while more than one-quarter mentioned the Guaranteed Income Supplement (28%) and 1-800 O'Canada (27%) (multiple responses accepted).

Approximately one in ten contacted Service Canada regarding CPP Disability Pensions (11%) or a Social Insurance Number (9%). Few (3% or less) did so about the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, Apprenticeship Completion Grant or Wage Earner Protection Program.

Purpose of Contact in Last 6 Months

Question 5. Did your contact concern any of the following programs or services?

  • 45% stated Canada Pension Plan Retirement Pension.
  • 45% stated Old Age Security.
  • 38% stated Employment Insurance.
  • 28% stated Guaranteed Income Supplement.
  • 27% stated 1-800 O-Canada.
  • 17% stated Canada Pension Plan Disability Pension.
  • 9% stated Social Insurance Number.
  • 3% stated Apprenticeship Incentive Grant Program.
  • 2% stated Apprenticeship Completion Grant Program.
  • 1% stated Wage Earner Protection Program.
  • 12% stated other reasons.

These results are based on a survey size of 4,009 Canadians. Multiple responses accepted.

Prepared by Phoenix SPI for Service Canada; January 2011.

Reasons for contacting Service Canada included in the 'other' category are to obtain a passport or a birth certificate, enquire about tax issues, student loans, language training, or a health card, provide a change of name or address, and to access the Job Bank, among other reasons.

In terms of the number of programs/services used, slightly less than one-third said they had contacted Service Canada about one program only during the last six months. More than a third (37%) contacted the Agency about two programs, 19% did so for three, and 14% for four or more programs.

Looking at the mean score, surveyed clients contacted Service Canada, on average, for 2.2 programs/services during the six months prior to the fieldwork.

Number of Programs/Services Used in Last 6 Months

Mean: 2.2 programs/services

  • 30% stated one.
  • 37% stated two.
  • 19% stated three.
  • 9% stated four.
  • 3% stated five.
  • 2% stated six or more.

These results are based on a survey size of 4,009 Canadians.

Prepared by Phoenix SPI for Service Canada; January 2011.

Telephone, Website - Top Service Channels Used

In terms of the service delivery channels used to deal with Service Canada during the previous six months, more than half of surveyed clients (58%) said they contacted Service Canada by telephone, while almost half (49%) contacted the organization using its website. Exactly one-third visited an office to access service in person, while almost one-quarter (24%) contacted Service Canada by mail or fax.

Service Channels Used in Last 6 Months

Question 7. During the last six months, in which of the following ways did you contact Service Canada?

  • 58% stated by phone.
  • 49% stated by the Service Canada website.
  • 33% stated in-person.
  • 24% stated by mail or fax.

These results are based on a survey size of 4,009 Canadians . Multiple responses accepted. Don't Know/No Response = 13%.

Prepared by Phoenix SPI for Service Canada; January 2011.

In total, approximately two-thirds of clients used one (34%) or two (32%) service channels to deal with Service Canada during this period. Conversely, 21% used three or four channels, while 13% said they did not use any (presumably, these clients were contacted by Service Canada and not the other way around per the question).

Once again, looking at the mean score, on average, surveyed clients used more than one service channel to deal with Service Canada, during the six months prior to the fieldwork.

Number of Service Channels Used in Last 6 Months

Mean: 1.6 channels

  • 13% stated none.
  • 34% stated one.
  • 32% stated two.
  • 18% stated three.
  • 3% stated four.

These results are based on a survey size of 4,009 Canadians.

Prepared by Phoenix SPI for Service Canada; January 2011.

Website - Service Channel Used with Greatest Frequency

Surveyed clients who said they had used a specific service delivery channel to deal with Service Canada during the previous six months were asked to identify the number of times they used the channel during that time period. Perhaps not surprisingly, clients who used Service Canada's website to deal with the Agency were more likely to point to frequent use of the channel compared to other service delivery channels. Only 16% said they visited and used the website only once, while double that number (32%) said they used it between four and 10 times, and a further 18% used it more than 10 times.

Frequency of Service Channel Use in Last 6 Months

Question 8: How may time in the past six months did you use the following service channel?

  • Mail or fax: 51% stated once, 24% stated twice, 8% stated three times, and 6% stated 4-10 times.
  • In-Person: 43% stated once, 26% stated twice, 13% stated three times, and 13% stated 4-10 times.
  • Phone: 31% stated once, 26% stated twice, 12% stated three times, 22% stated 4-10 times, and 4% stated 11 or more times.
  • Service Canada Website: 16% stated once, 19% stated twice, 11% stated three times, 32% stated 4-10 times, 18% stated 11 or more times.
  • These results are based on a survey size of 1,018 to 2,413 Canadians: those who used each channel.
  • Don't Know/No Response = 4 to 9%.

Prepared by Phoenix SPI for Service Canada; January 2011.

Use of the telephone channel was not nearly as frequent, but was still considerably more frequent than the two other service channels - mail/fax and in person. In total, 31% said they contacted Service Canada by phone only once during the previous six months. Conversely, 26% had used it four times or more.

The pattern was quite different for mail/fax and in-person service. For these two channels, most clients who used them to contact and deal with Service Canada used them only once - 51% for mail/fax, 43% for in-person - or twice - 24% for mail/fax, 26% for in-person. Almost no one used either service channel more than 10 times, and relatively few used it between four and 10 times - 6% for mail/fax, 13% for in-person.

In terms of the total number of contacts by surveyed clients in the six months prior to the survey fieldwork, the mean (average) number of contacts per client, not including use of the website, was 4.34 contacts. When the Web is added in, the average number of contacts per client increases to 7.92 contacts. The accompanying table presents a breakdown of the number of contacts that clients said they had with Service Canada, both including and excluding use of the website.

Total No. of Contacts in last 6 Months

  Excluding Web Contact Including Web Contact
% with one contact 29% 19%
% with 2-3 contacts 37% 27%
% with 4+ contacts 34% 56%
Mean 4.34 7.92

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