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Creating a better front-of-house experience

Creating a better front-of-house experience

The full front-of-house package includes soft seating and rearrangement of waiting areas, community art, introduction of colour, planters, children’s areas, signage and water coolers.

Creating a better front-of-house experience

The front-of-house area of a service centre is often where clients form their first impressions of MSD. For many, coming into one of our offices is stressful or tense: we want to reduce those feelings and create a more positive client experience with a warmer and welcoming environment, every time someone visits us.

Our Front of House project is focused on both the physical and client service elements of a service centre. We have made improvements after feedback from clients, our people, and community, health and disability groups.

Key themes identified from co-design were that people wanted a sense of privacy, atmosphere, comfort while waiting, and provision of amenities. Themes that came through in client feedback included:

  • don’t put us on display – design the area so private conversations are not heard
  • don’t create a ‘walk of shame’
  • use artwork and panels to create a place that doesn’t feel cold and clinical
  • streamline the queuing process and tell people how long they’re going to be waiting
  • provide something to keep children occupied.

Since June 2018 we have introduced the new front-of-house layout in 52 service centres, and we plan to make changes in all our service centres by 2020.

Our staff have donated over 500 children’s books for use in service centres. This has proved so successful that we are initiating a further book request drive to provide more books in a wider range of service centres.

Listening to our clients

Part of mana manaaki is about seeking out the views of our clients and key stakeholders, and then using that feedback to improve our services.

Inviting people to tell us what they think

One of the new initiatives we have introduced to strengthen our service culture is a client experience survey. Every day thousands of clients have the chance to tell us about how they found their MSD experience. We use this feedback to identify what we are doing well and where we can do better.

In the pilot of the surveys between January and June 2019, over 105,000 clients received survey invitations: more than 11,000 clients responded, making over 20,000 comments in their responses. The response rate of 10.6 percent is in line with similar surveys run by other organisations [15].

Service Centre

In surveys conducted at service centres after the changes were made:

  • 87% of clients think the new layout is more comfortable and inviting
  • 95% feel they were treated with respect

Proactively assisting clients to ensure they keep their payments going

Many of our clients need to take action from time to time, such as renewing medical certificates, to make sure their payments keep going. We have for some time been texting clients with information about what services they may be entitled to, and in May 2019 we began to send proactive text messages to remind clients how to make sure they continue to receive their payments and services without disruption.

In eight weeks up to the end of the financial year, we sent more than 30,000 reminders to clients whose medical certificates were due to expire. Before these reminders were introduced, the proportion of clients who renewed their medical certificate on time was 50 percent; this has increased to 59 percent.


[15] We went nationwide with the surveys in July 2019. Around 4,000 clients every day will get the chance to give us feedback on their interaction and their experience with the person they spoke with. More and more clients will get the chance to respond as we develop the survey.

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