Turning Consumer Satisfaction into Quality Improvement

Mark, will be discussing our work with the vocational rehabilitation system at the 11th Annual PEQA Summit this September. Satisfaction survey data can be used at the agency-wide level to spark action and improve the quality of service provided to its members.


While satisfaction surveys are a widely used tool among Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies, these surveys potentially miss opportunities to measure the complete experiences of consumer working with VR agencies. The consumer experience encompasses all parts of an individual’s relationship with a VR agency, its staff and counselors, and their outcomes. By reimagining consumer satisfaction surveys as opportunities to learn about the complete consumer experience, simple satisfaction surveys can be turned into powerful tools to measure agency performance and improve the quality of service provided to consumers.

Improvement in the consumer experience is particularly important as new measurement targets come into force. Research has shown that many VR customers are lost during the VR service process due to issues that, when identified, can be readily addressed. These consumers lose access to many of the pathways to credential attainment, measurable skill gains and successful employment that VR agencies can offer. By reducing the rate of consumers lost to these process failures, agencies can better meet emerging targets.

This presentation explores the methods by which consumer satisfaction survey efforts can be turned into consumer experience evaluation efforts. It covers:
  • Defining consumer experience and how it differs from satisfaction (Hint: Satisfaction is only one part of the broader consumer experience)
  • The purpose and goals of consumer experience evaluation
  • The conceptual areas of survey design: Process, Performance, Outcomes and Quality Improvement
  • Asking the right questions to address each conceptual area
  • Developing core metrics that allow you to track performance and outcomes
  • Identifying areas for concern and improvement based on consumer feedback
We will explore how an agency may go about implementing the consumer experience evaluation process.
  • Relying on scientifically rigorous and valid methods of data collection and analysis
  • Implementing the consumer experience evaluation
  • Providing results that are easily understood
We will also explore the benefits of understanding the consumer experience.
  • Scientifically valid measurements that are comparable across geographies
  • Exploring the data by consumer characteristics
  • Tracking agency changes over time
  • Identifying issues and concerns for quality improvement initiatives
In addition, we will discuss how consumer experience tools can be used to facilitate inter-agency exchange and communication.
  • Offering consistent and comparable measures
  • Creating a common language for quality improvement between agencies
  • Sharing experiences of what works for you and what works for others

We conclude by sharing results from several agencies using the consumer experience evaluation process.

Attendees to this presentation will learn the advantages of a consumer experience evaluation, what to include in their evaluation tools, how to implement a more scientifically rigorous process, and see results from peer agencies that have already implemented the consumer experience evaluation.

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