In March we asked over 440 customers who we work with most closely how satisfied they were with Invest NI. At 85%, overall satisfaction remained consistent with the high level of last year however over the past four years those claiming to be ‘very satisfied’ has increased to an all-time high of 56%.
The Invest NI Customer Satisfaction Survey takes place each March and asks customers how they rate our team of people, quality of services, communications, application and claim processes. We also discuss with our customers what they would like to see improved and these results feed into improvement activities in the business.
2014’s survey highlighted that customers wanted to see improvements in both our application and claim processes. In August 2015 we launched a new single claim form. We also concentrated on simplifying some of our claim activities including a simpler vouching process for claiming labour costs as part of a Grant for R&D.
2015 saw an upward trend in satisfaction with the time taken to approve funding going from 68% satisfied in 2014 to 73% in 2015. Customers also indicated that Invest NI staff were better at keeping them informed about the progress of their application, 82% up from 80%.
2015 also saw us maintain 2014’s huge uplift in satisfaction with communication between Invest NI and its customers (88% in 2015 and 89% in 2014, up from 80% in 2013). This is a key driver for customer satisfaction and something we have concentrated on over the year.
78% of customers were satisfied with the quality of programmes and advisory services offered by Invest NI; increasing from 72% in 2014.
Invest NI continues to focus on improving digital communications. 2015 saw very low levels of dissatisfaction but almost 20% of customers were neutral about it. Improving digital communications will be a key driver in 2016.
While our customers confirmed that our service was better, we also received external validation through the Customer Service Excellence standard which recognises an organisations commitment to customer service.
Each year Invest NI goes through a rigorous assessment where the assessor meets with staff, customers and stakeholders to review our customer service performance against the standard.
In 2015 we increased our Compliance Plus ratings from 11 to 16. A Compliance Plus rating is given where an organisation has gone over and above what is required to meet the criteria.
16 compliance plus ratings makes us one of the highest ranking CSE accredited organisation in Northern Ireland, something that we are very proud of.