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  • Conclusions

    This section draws together key research conclusions.

    Customer satisfaction with the ATO's service delivery has dropped in 2018, driven by lower satisfaction with online services.

    Fewer customers were satisfied with the ATO's service delivery in 2018 that in the previous three years. This is primarily due to a decline in satisfaction with the ATO's portal services, resulting in an 11% drop in satisfaction with online services since 2017 (down to 66%).

    This fall is evident across the ATO's portal services, with fewer individuals, SMEs and tax agents satisfied than last year. Further, microbusiness' satisfaction with portal services has fallen since 2016. Lower satisfaction is driven by worsened perceptions of ease (of access and meeting obligations), timeliness and quality information (sufficient and easy to understand). Falls in these measures largely stem from individuals and SMEs.

    Satisfaction with service delivery has been relatively stable across the ATO's offline channels. Since 2015, inbound phone customers' 'very satisfied' ratings have risen, while overall satisfaction has fallen for inbound correspondence customers (driven by individuals).

    Customers are more satisfied with follow up, staff knowledge and reliability, yet find ATO services less timely and accessible.

    Individuals and tax agents using the ATO's inbound phone channel drove higher ratings of staff knowledge and reliable information (the latter also rose for outbound phone contact) compared to last year. Ratings of follow-up have risen in particular among micro businesses using the ATO's shopfront services.

    Lower perceptions of timeliness and accessibility stem from customers' online service experiences. With the drive to move more customer interactions online, it will be important to explore whether technology issues or greater customer expectations are behind these declines (particularly for individuals and smaller businesses). Notably, tax agent' satisfaction has fallen while no declines are evident in their ratings of specific online service attributes. This may indicate rising tax agent expectations of ATO online services relative to other customers.

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      Last modified: 03 Sep 2018QC 56735