Bonus lesson: Public ‘Services’ Are Not Services

When you are dependent on your customers you can call your offerings as services. You need to follow and listen to your incoming money flow. If no one is interested of your offerings it means that you cannot stay in the business for long without any income. You service becomes obsolete and useless. So, to an extent there is a very good mechanism to control your offerings—your business is dependent on your customers. They have the final saying.

Public services do not work this way. They get their money with or without customers. Their only true customer is the bureaucratic body that provides the funding. The rest is just mere annoyance and distraction from their existence. It is a disgrace to call the end users as customers when they are not really relevant or important to the operation.

Any organisation is mostly and mainly interested of its own survival and well-being. The situation is no different with public bodies. They care about their annual budget and what ever it takes to secure it for the next year. Status quo and conservatism are inherent in the bureaucratic way of running an organisation. The management, administration, and reporting of a public organisation is based on the needs of the organisation not of its end-users. This is reflected in their ‘offerings’ that are often rigid, cumbersome, and standardised without much consideration for the end user.

What is even worse is that you cannot do much about the situation. If the public body has a monopoly over the service there is no way you can walk away and vote with your feet. You need to adjust to the rules and protocols of the offering and silently suffer the bullying and inefficiencies. Of course you can always complain but what’s the purpose when there is no real inherent mechanism or need to listen to the customer? The public service is not dependent on its users of the service. They could not care less—unless you impact upon their true customer and thus threaten their lifeline, the next year’s budget.

No Comments

Leave a Reply