Publication - Research and analysis

Social Security Scotland – Insights Research Findings to December 2019

Published: 24 Mar 2020

Social Security Scotland insights research findings for the period September 2018 to December 2019.

18 page PDF

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18 page PDF

653.0 kB

Contents
Social Security Scotland – Insights Research Findings to December 2019
5. Findings

18 page PDF

653.0 kB

5. Findings

5.1 Client Insights – telephony contacts

From September 2018 to December 2019, Social Security Scotland received approximately, 137,700 contacts by phone. The breakdown of the number of calls received about each benefit is provided in the table below.

Phone calls received for period to end December 2019 by benefit
Total Best Start Grant and Best Start Food Funeral Support Payment Carer's Allowance Supplement Young Carer Grant General enquiries
Calls received 137,700 76,100 5,300 34,700 1,200 20,300

Call volumes are rounded to the nearest hundred.

Call waiting times were on average 12 seconds. The breakdown of the average call waiting times by benefit can be seen below.

Call wait times in seconds for period to end December 2019
Call wait times in seconds for period to end December 2019

Call handling times were on average 5 minutes. The breakdown of the average call handling times by benefit can be seen below.

Call handling times in seconds for period to end December 2019
Call handling times in seconds for period to end December
2019

5.2 Client Insights – application contacts

From 10 December 2018 to end December 2019, 120,700* applications for Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods were received. More detail on Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods high level statistics have been published here.

A comparison of the number of Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods application contacts against the volume of insights data is provided in the table below.

Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods – Application contacts vs insights data Dec 18 to Dec 19
Number of telephony/paper applications Number of telephony/paper feedback ratings Number of telephony+ open text feedback responses
9,370* 854 (9.1%) 180 (1.9%)
Number of online applications Number of online feedback ratings Number of online open text feedback responses
111,115* 4,619 (4.2%) 480 (0.4%)

* a small number of applications are categorised as unknown channel. For more information refer to statistics published here.
+ There were not enough open text responses from paper applications to analyse.

From 16th September to 31 December 2019, 2,050 applications for Funeral Support Payment were received. More detail on Funeral Support Payment high level statistics have been published here.

A comparison of the number of Funeral Support Payment application contacts against the volume of insights data is provided in the table below.

Funeral Support Payment – Application contacts vs insights data Sep 19 to Dec 19
Number of telephony/paper applications Number of telephony/paper feedback ratings Number of telephony+ open text feedback responses
1,310 238 (18.2%) 65 (5.0%)
Number of online applications Number of online feedback ratings Number of online open text feedback responses
730 166 (22.7%) * (*%)

+ There were not enough open text responses from paper applications to analyse.
* There were not enough open text responses from online applications to analyse

From 21st of October to 30 November 2019, 750 applications for Young Carer Grant were received. Currently, published data does not provide information about the number of applications received up to end December 2019. More detail on Young Carer Grant high level statistics have been published here.

5.3 Client Insights - satisfaction following general telephony contact

After any phone call with a client advisor, clients can stay on the line and answer a series of three questions about their experience with Social Security Scotland. The automated survey asks:

Question one: How quickly did we answer your call today? Press a number from 1 to 5, where 1 is not quickly at all and 5 is very quickly.

Question 2: Did you get what you needed from this call? Press a number from 1 to 5, where 1 is not at all, and 5 is you got everything you needed.

Question 3: How would you rate our service today? Press a number from 1 to 5, where 1 is poor and 5 is excellent.

More than 900 clients left a rating for the period up to end December 2019.

Of those who left a rating, 81% felt their call had been answered quickly [Question 1], 72% felt they got everything they needed from the call [Question 2], and 79% rated the service positively overall [Question 3].

Client experience ratings following telephone calls - for period to end December 2019
Client experience ratings following telephone calls -
for period to end December 2019

Total number of responses to Question 1: 1,026
Total number of responses to Question 2: 980
Total number of responses to Question 3: 945

5.4 Client insights - satisfaction following applications

5.4.1 Experience ratings following Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods applications

Following paper, online and telephony applications for Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods, a questionnaire offers applicants the opportunity to make ratings on how the experience has been for them.

5,473 applicants left experience ratings following a Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods application between December 2018 and the end of December 2019.

Of paper Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods applicants who left a rating during this period, 86% rated the service as Very good or Good. For online Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods applicants, 95% of those who left a rating rated the service as Very good or Good. For telephony Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods applicants, 98% of those who left a rating rated the service as Very good or Good.

Client experience ratings - Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods applications December 2018 to end December 2019
Client experience ratings - Best Start Grant and Best StartFoods applications December 2018 to end December 2019

Total number of ratings following a paper application: 140
Total number of ratings following a telephony application: 714
Total number of ratings following an online application: 4,619

5.4.2 Experience ratings following Funeral Support Payment applications

Following paper, online and telephony applications for Funeral Support Payment, a questionnaire offers applicants the opportunity to make ratings on how the experience has been for them.

404 applicants left experience ratings following a Funeral Support Payment application between September 2019 and end December 2019.

For online Funeral Support Payment applicants, 89% of those who left a rating rated the service as Very good or Good. For telephony Funeral Support Payment applicants, 98% of those who left a rating rated the service as Very good or Good. There were not enough ratings for paper Funeral Support Payment applications to provide an equivalent breakdown.

Client experience ratings - Funeral Support Payments applications September 2019 to end December 2019
Client experience ratings - Funeral Support Payments
applications September 2019 to end December 2019

5.4.3 Open text responses following Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods applications

In addition to making a rating, clients have the opportunity to leave an open text comment about their application experience in response to the question "Is there any further feedback you would like to provide?". Of those who applied for Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods online or over the phone between December 2018 and December 2019, 660 chose to answer the further feedback question. There were not enough open text responses from paper applications to present an equivalent analysis.

Negative responses fell into three broad categories: issues with the application form, applicants disagreeing with the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods policy and eligibility rules and applicants not receiving a decision after applying.

Mixed responses focused on issues with and suggested improvements for the application form, and applicants feeling that Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods should be better publicised.

Most neutral responses expressed that applicants had no further comments or commented on matters not related to Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods application.

Positive responses left by clients fell into three broad categories: applicants finding the form easy to fill in, applicants agreeing with Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods policy and applicants being happy with the service they received.

180 open text responses were received following telephone applications. The majority of these were positive (77%) with 4% of responses negative. 7% of responses were mixed while 12% were neutral. Some illustrative examples of each classification are provided below.

Category Example
Negative response "It's long."
Neutral response

"Nothing to add."

"No that is all."

Mixed response

"Everything perfect over the telephone, had issues submitting online."

"I feel these grants should be more advertised … I would have applied sooner."

Positive response

"Advisor was very helpful and answered all my questions."

"I would give Social Security Scotland a 10 out of 10."

"The speed and processes of making application [is] quick and simple."

"It's a great service and really helpful. Thank you."

The word "helpful" was mentioned by 23% of telephony applicants who provided a response to the open text feedback, while the word "good" was mentioned by 12% of clients, "great" mentioned by 10%, "quick" mentioned by 8% and "easy" mentioned by 8% of applicants.

The below chart shows the most commonly recurring words mentioned in the responses to the further feedback question after a Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods telephone application.

Recurring open text feedback words - Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods phone applications December 2018 to December 2019
Recurring open text feedback words - Best Start Grant and
Best Start Foods phone applications December 2018 to
December 2019

Of those who applied online for Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods between December 2018 and December 2019, 480 chose to answer the further feedback question. 73% responses were positive and 10% of responses were negative. 8% of responses were mixed while 9% were neutral.

Some illustrative examples of each classification are provided below.

Category Example
Negative response

"I applied a few months back but received no response."

"The pages kept freezing or taking me back a page."

"Having to send [paper] copies should not be required … should be all digital."

Neutral response

"No thanks."

"This is my first time so I can't comment yet."

Mixed response

"Very helpful for low income families, would appreciate grants like these becoming … more known."

"It would be easier if Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods were two separate applications."

Positive response

"I am dyslexic [and] I normally struggle but I found this form straightforward."

"Applying for the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods was one of the easiest forms I have ever filled in - clear, simple and quick."

"Really clear and simple form, intuitive website. Well done."

"The form is so easy and straightforward to fill in, so stress free."

"I am blown away by the fact this was the most straightforward benefits application I have ever done. If this is the future of devolved benefits in Scotland then I feel a great sense of hope. Well done."

The word "easy" was mentioned by 52% of applicants, while the word "simple" was mentioned by 17%, "quick" mentioned by 14%, "clear" mentioned by 9% and "straightforward" mentioned by 6% of applicants.

The below chart shows the most commonly recurring words mentioned in the responses to further feedback question after a Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods online application.

Recurring open text feedback words - Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods online applications December 2018 to December 2019
Recurring open text feedback words - Best Start Grant and
Best Start Foods online applications December 2018 to
December 2019

There were not enough open text responses from paper applications to present an equivalent analysis.

5.4.4 Open text responses following Funeral Support Payment applications

In addition to making a rating, clients have the opportunity to leave an open text comment about their application experience in response to the question "Is there any further feedback you would like to provide?". Of those who applied for Funeral Support Payment over the phone between September 2019 and December 2019, 65 chose to answer the further feedback question. There were not enough open text responses from online and paper applications to present an equivalent analysis.

Most negative responses were focused on equalities question asked at the end of application and clients expressing dissatisfaction with being asked these questions.

Mixed responses focused on issues with and suggested improvements for the application form, and applicants feeling that Funeral Support Payment should be better publicised.

Positive responses left by clients fell into two broad categories: applicants finding the form easy to fill in and applicants being happy with the service they received.

65 open text responses were received following telephone applications. The majority of these were positive (86%) with 11% of responses negative and 3% of responses mixed. Some illustrative examples of each classification are provided below.

Category Example
Negative response "It is out of order to be asked [equalities] questions [when] someone is grieving."
Mixed response "I didn't know about it until this morning but so far so good."
Positive response

"The client advisor was excellent, … language used was appropriate."

"I'm registered blind and the online facility was not an option for me and I'm very grateful I was able to make the application over the phone."

The word "helpful" was mentioned by 35% of applicants, while the word "good" was mentioned by 9%, "easy" mentioned by 8%, and "excellent" mentioned by 8% of applicants.

The below chart shows the most commonly recurring words mentioned in the responses to Funeral Support Payment phone application.

Recurring open text feedback words - Funeral Support Payment phone applications September 2019 to December 2019
Recurring open text feedback words - Funeral SupportPayment phone applications September 2019 to December2019

There were not enough open text responses from online and paper applications to present an equivalent analysis.

5.4.5 Open text responses following Young Carer Grant applications

There were not enough open text responses from Young Carer Grant applications during the period of 21 October to end December 2019 to present an equivalent analysis.


Contact

Email: gabija.povilaityte@socialsecurity.gov.scot