Information

Social Security Experience Panels - appointments and local delivery: report

This report outlines the Social Security Experience Panels views expressed in a survey and focus groups on Social Security Scotland appointments and local delivery.

This document is part of a collection


Before the appointment

Appointment confirmation

Once a client has booked their appointment, Social Security Scotland will send them a confirmation of their booking. Survey respondents were asked how they would like to receive this confirmation. The most popular method was by email (47 per cent), with text message and post also popular (26 per cent and 25 per cent respectively). The least popular options were by telephone (1 per cent) and social media (0 per cent).

Table 21: How would you like to receive your appointment confirmation? (n=539)

Method 

%

Email

47

Post

25

Telephone

1

Text

26

Social media

0

No preference

2

Total

101

Respondents were also asked if they would still prefer to receive a digital confirmation alongside a post one. Almost three quarters of respondents said they would (74 per cent).

Table 22: If you received a post confirmation, would you want one by a digital method too? (n=542)

Duration 

%

Yes

74

No

26

Total

100

Respondents were asked what information they would find useful in their appointment confirmation. Almost all respondents said they would find all of the suggested information useful.

Table 23: What information would you find useful to be included with your appointment confirmation? (n=522-542)

Information 

Very useful or useful

Not that useful or not useful at all

Parking information

81

19

Building information

92

8

Public transport routes

80

20

Information about what will happen on the day

99

1

Information on how to change your appointment

99

1

Information on how to tell us your accessibility needs

92

8

What to bring to your appointment

100

0

If you should bring someone else to the appointment

96

4

Information about the meeting room and the equipment available inside it

85

15

Pre-appointment information

Focus group participants were also asked what types of information they would find useful prior to their appointment. Participants across most focus groups tended to suggest similar types of information, such as:

  • Information on accessing and moving around the venue;
  • Typical length of appointments;
  • Information on travel expenses; and
  • Information on how to change or cancel the appointment.

Some participants suggested the information should be personalised to their appointment, including information such as who they would be talking to, what documents they should bring and how to get to the venue from their home address.

Some participants suggested a pre-appointment information sheet was the best format to supply this information.

“I would like an information sheet that this is what we will cover […] without being hit with lots of information…”

A small number of participants also suggested that Social Security Scotland emphasise that bringing along a friend, family member or advocate to these meetings would be welcome, and reassure clients that this is something they could do.

“Know that you can take someone with you [to] be a second pair of eyes and ears…” 

Appointment reminders

Respondents were asked if they would like to receive a reminder of their appointment. Almost all respondents said they would (94 per cent).

Table 24: Would you like a reminder before your appointment? (n=546)

Response 

%

Yes

94

No

6

Total

100

Most respondents wanted a text or email reminder, with around a third wanting a reminder by post (32 per cent) and less than a fifth by telephone (14 per cent) Respondents could tick multiple options.

Table 25: How would you like to receive your reminder? (n=511)

Channel

%

Text

69

Post

32

Email

57

Telephone

14

Most respondents wanted their reminder the day before the appointment (44 per cent), however just under a third wanted it two days before (32 per cent) and just over a third wanted it a week before (34 per cent). Less than one in ten respondents wanted a reminder on the day (9 per cent) or two weeks before the appointment (6 per cent).

Table 26: When would you like to receive your reminder? (n=511)

When 

%

On the day of the appointment

9

The day before the appointment

44

Two days before the appointment

32

Three days before the appointment

17

A week before the appointment

34

Two weeks before the appointment

6

Changing appointments

In the future, Social Security Scotland wants to make sure that clients are able to easily change their appointments if needed. To determine the need for this service, respondents were asked if they would ever want to change or rearrange their appointment themselves. By ‘themselves’ we mean that they would do it using an automated system such as online or using an automated telephone menu.  

Seven in ten respondents said they would want the ability to cancel or change their appointment themselves (70 per cent) with three in ten saying they would prefer to ask Social Security Scotland staff to do this for them (30 per cent).

Table 27: Would you ever want to cancel or change your appointment yourself? (n=545)

Response 

%

Yes

70

No – I’d want to ask Social Security Scotland staff to do this for me

30

Total

100

Respondents were asked what would be their preferred way to change or cancel an appointment. The most popular method was online, nearly two-thirds of respondents (65 per cent) would prefer to change or cancel an appointment that way. 

Table 28: Preferred way to change or cancel appointment (n=381)

Channel 

%

Online

65

Use an automated phone system

17

Use an app

9

Another way

9

Respondents who said that they would prefer to change or cancel an appointment ‘another way’, were given a free text box to specify. The vast majority said that they would like to speak to someone over the phone. Other suggestions were post, text or a combination of different methods. 

Contact

Email: aimee.mccullough@gov.scot

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