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This paper reviews the existing literature on customer satisfaction measurement and provides the theoretical background for the development of a number of tools to help the community services industry in Queensland measure customer satisfaction.

In the context of community service delivery, there are a range of issues to be considered when designing and using satisfaction measurement tools.  There is a growing expectation, in the literature that individuals and their family should be at the centre of service design, delivery and review.  Tools and processes for measuring satisfaction need to accommodate individual needs and preferences around literacy, timing and form.  There is also an expectation that people who have contributed to such processes will receive information on the broader outcomes from their feedback and ideas.

At a broader policy level, contestability and a move to self-directed and in some cases, self-managed funding means the people who use services may be doing so under market or market-like conditions.  This requires that people shift from being consumers to “discerning customers” which will bring challenges and opportunities for both organisations and the people who use their services.

The paper begins by outlining a brief definition of customer satisfaction measurement drawing on the extant literature. At the most basic level, customer satisfaction measurement involves assessing the difference between a customer’s expectation of a product or services and a customer’s experience of a product or service.

The paper investigates the main reasons why measuring customer satisfaction is important. Through the review of the literature it is shown that customer satisfaction measurement provides a means to better understand the needs of social service customers and to empower customers by creating customer-centred services. It is also argued that customer satisfaction measurement provides a means of creating ongoing service improvement by identifying areas of improvement. Lastly it is argued that customer satisfaction measurement provides a performance management tool that can be used to generate data to meet compliance and reporting requirements, provide customers with information about service performance and provide evidence for future funding proposals.

The paper also discusses how customer satisfaction is measured by analysing the literature on key drivers or determinants of satisfaction. This section of the report demonstrates the importance of understanding satisfaction from the point of view of the customer. It argues that the drivers or determinants of satisfaction will differ in different service contexts and discusses the importance of including service customers in the design of customer satisfaction surveys. Doing so, ensures that customer satisfaction processes are able to accurately reflect the needs and values of customers and can be effective in driving service improvement.

The final section reviews a number of methodological considerations. This includes discussion of the impact of timing, sampling bias, customer benefit and confidentiality on participation and the impact of customer expectations and experiences, social and cultural background, intellectual disability and mental illness and response bias on participation and response quality. As it is noted it is useful to gain direct feedback from customers about how they would prefer customer satisfaction surveys to be administered, as this can have a significant impact on participation and on the quality of responses.

The paper provides a starting point for social service organisations in developing more rigorous customer satisfaction processes and will be augmented by the development of tools that can be used to assist in the measurement of customer satisfaction. As part of the development of these tools, QCOSS will be undertaking consultation with the social service sector to ascertain current practice and capacity. This will include consultation with customers to better understand how customer satisfaction measurement processes can be engaged in the development of customer satisfaction processes.

File Customer satisfaction literature review 1.12 MB


Quality and Safeguarding Half Day workshop

Thu, 05/07/2018 – 7:00am
Disability Services Consulting (DSC) is running the workshop Making Sense, Moving Forward to give you expert insights, analysis and practice implications to get your organisation ready for the Quality and Safeguarding Framework. The workshop will work on: Leveraging the new rules to enhance…
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New eTraining course for managers and organisations new to the social service sector

Thu, 23/02/2017 – 2:00pm
We have launched a brand new course on the Community Door eTraining website which provides an introduction to the social service sector in Queensland for managers and organisations new to the sector. It is free for anyone to access. It features a profile of the sector in Queensland, insights into…
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NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention

Thu, 13/10/2016 – 10:02am
The Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach is how the NDIS is delivering early childhood intervention for children aged 0-6 years. The overall aim of ECEI is to ensure that parents or primary caregivers are able to provide young children who have developmental delay or disabilities with…
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Legal resources for Queensland organisations

Wed, 30/03/2016 – 10:49am
Australia’s 600,000 charities and not-for-profits, from international aid groups right down to the local tennis club, have recently received a major boost, as Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law service launched the acclaimed Information Hub for a national audience. The Not-for-profit Law…
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HSQF front page

New Human Services Quality Framework eTraining

Wed, 09/12/2015 – 10:51am
Have you explored the Community Door eTraining site? All training is free and accessible to anyone. We have just launched a new eTraining module based around the Queensland Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF). The Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) is the first consolidated set of…
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New HSQF resources

Tue, 06/10/2015 – 10:30am
The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services has released new publications to support the implemention of the Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) . The documents can be accessed under the Resources and Tools section of the HSQF website . The documents that have been…
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Self-Assessment important step to embedding the HSQF

Tue, 29/09/2015 – 3:15pm
The self-assessment workbook is one of a suite of tools created to support service providers to develop and maintain a quality system which conforms to the Human Services Quality Standards (HSQF). The workbook has been designed to assist service providers to review their processes and practices and…
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This is not a scam – ACNC

Tue, 08/09/2015 – 3:10pm
Charities that receive an email regarding their financial information from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) are being advised not to dismiss it as a scam. The ACNC is contacting thousands of charities that have made significant errors in their financial reporting. The…
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Organisational health check-up webinar recording

Fri, 04/09/2015 – 3:11pm
During May to July 2015, QCOSS delivered a series of workshops that introduced participants to the Business Development Package, including the online Organisational Development Toolkit, developed as part of the Sector Readiness and Workforce Capacity Initiative. These free workshop were designed to…
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Worried about the HSQF?

Thu, 03/09/2015 – 8:14am
Throughout May, June and July 2015, the Human Services Quality Framework team in the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, in partnership with the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), delivered presentations to service providers around Queensland through 15 face-…
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oneplace community services directory

Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get…
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Online referral for HSQF support

QCOSS is running one-on-one support and small group capacity building sessions to assist organisations that are new to HSQF. Assistance is available to organisations funded under the Community Services and Child and Family funding streams. Support includes how to conduct a self-assessment,…
Read more about Online referral for HSQF support

Blue Card Services online learning portal

A Blue Card Services online learning portal has been launched. The portal contains 10 videos which provide an overview of the legal requirement for organisations to develop a child and youth risk management strategy. View these resources on the Blue Card Services website .
Read more about Blue Card Services online learning portal

Community Resource Handbooks

The Community Resource Handbooks were launched by Volunteering Queensland on 12 May 2015. They consolidate the knowledge gained through Volunteering Queensland’s community leadership work with more than 2,000 community groups over the past fifteen years. The handbooks are aimed at small to medium…
Read more about Community Resource Handbooks

Planned Support Guide: an approach to case management

The Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) has produced the Planned Support Guide: an approach to case management for people working in a wide range of community services. If you are a front line worker, supervisor or manager this guide is for you. The guide assists in the development of a…
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How to decide on a Client Relationship Management system

Authored by: Craig Ford, Polymorphic Solutions Your community organisation might have run on spreadsheets, shared folders and Access databases until one day, when you realised the systems don’t talk to each other and your organisation can’t grow without a single integrated system. Then it is time…
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Childrens Services Legislation

Children’s services need to be aware of a range of legislation that applies to their environment. Depending on the type of service and nature of sponsor body this may include all or some of the following: The Child Care Act & Regulations Services are required to have copies of the Child Care…
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Not-for-profit Legislation

There are a range of legal structures which may be suitable for Queensland not-for-profit community groups. The four main options are: an incorporated association: Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (QLD) and Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999 (QLD) a company limited by guarantee:…
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HSQF: Effective governance and management

Mon, 30/07/2018 – 2:52pm
Liza Moore, Quality and Safety Advisor – MS Queensland

Effective governance structures create direction, purpose and value. They offer frameworks for essential systems such as operational efficiency, IT and privacy, financial and risk management, as well as innovation. These together increase the likelihood of

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A quality story

Tue, 24/04/2018 – 10:54am
Ula Cavanagh, REFOCUS

REFOCUS Chief Operating Officer Ula Cavanagh was determined to use the Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) to make the organisation shine.

Based on the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay and Gympie, REFOCUS specialises in providing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families…

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Information, knowledge and process management

Tue, 22/09/2015 – 12:19pm
Richard Fahy, Lutheran Community Care

Information, knowledge and process management focusses on capturing meaningful and relevant data to assist evidencing multiple areas of an organisation. A few key areas may include:

  1. The organisation is on track and demonstrating it is achieving its strategic goals
  2. The
Read more about Information, knowledge and process management
 Charles Clowes

Quality systems, innovation and improvement.

Wed, 09/09/2015 – 12:24pm
Charles Clowes, Australian Organisation For Quality

Within the organisational development toolkit the capability area of quality systems, innovation and improvement refers to staff and client contribution, innovation, quality culture and management, reporting, adaptability and improvement, legislation and risk management.


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Are you ready to measure your outcomes?

Wed, 02/09/2015 – 2:11pm
Dr Ruth Knight, Zark Consultancy

Like many other community organisations, you are probably being increasingly asked to demonstrate the outcomes of your programs and services. Outcomes measurement allows you to identify which of your programs and services are successful, and helps you to test assumptions and communicate

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Rachel Drew, Director, Mamre Association

HSQF experience – tips for preparing for audit

Fri, 15/05/2015 – 8:52am
Rachel Drew, Mamre Association

Mamre Association is a Brisbane based non-profit organisation supporting families which have children with a disability.  Mamre believes that people with a disability and their families can have rich, full and meaningful lives within their communities and is committed to working with families in…

Read more about HSQF experience – tips for preparing for audit
Craig Blackman, Executive Manager, Share Bayside

HSQF experience – audit process

Fri, 15/05/2015 – 8:47am
Craig Blackman, Share Bayside Inc

Share Bayside Inc provides accommodation and lifestyle services for people with an intellectual disability who live in or around Redland City. They assist people with a disability to live as independently as possible through a range of accommodation options and recreation and social…

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Peter Last Manager Anglicare Southern Queensland

HSQF experience – focus on quality

Fri, 15/05/2015 – 8:39am
Peter Last, Anglicare

Anglicare Southern Queensland is an Anglican not-for-profit organisation committed to social and community welfare issues and aged and community care needs, focusing on disadvantaged members of our community. They provide more than 150 different services across Southern Queensland.

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The Organisational Development Toolkit

Wed, 29/04/2015 – 12:25pm
Kylie Hogan, National Disability Services

The Community Services Industry is facing a myriad of reforms and challenges now and into the future. 

Challenges such as an ageing population, workforce shortages, sector-wide reforms, technological advances and economic uncertainty are making it more important than ever for…

Read more about The Organisational Development Toolkit

See videos from StudioQ related to this topic


Quality assurance

  • Human Services Quality Framework
    • HSQF overview
      • Step 1: Establish a quality system
      • Step 2: Review customer and stakeholder feedback
      • Step 3: Conduct service provider self-assessment
      • Step 4: Undertake quality improvement
      • Step 5: Demonstrate compliance with the standards
    • The HSQF standards
    • HSQF templates
      • Standard mapping
      • Policy template guide
      • Standard 1: Governance and management
      • Standard 2: Service access
      • Standard 3: Responding to individual need
      • Standard 4: Safety, wellbeing and rights
      • Standard 5: Feedback, complaints and appeals
      • Standard 6: Human resources
      • Sample registers, tools and templates
      • Auditing
    • Certification – requirements and resources
    • Self-assessable – requirements and resources
    • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
    • HSQF stories from the sector
    • Help
  • Feedback on client experience
    • Background
      • Why measure client experience?
      • What is important in determining client experience?
      • The continuum of the client journey
      • A note about language
      • How do we measure satisfaction?
    • Framework
      • In crisis
      • Vulnerable
      • Stable
      • Safe
      • Thriving
    • Tools and resources
      • Focus groups
      • Interviews
      • Surveys
      • Crisis lines and phone counselling
      • Telling your customers story
        • Story: Michelle
        • Story: Matthew
        • Outcomes
      • Feedback in domestic and family violence services
      • Customer satisfaction literature review

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