Citizens Advice Bath and North East Somerset (CAB BANES) is an independent charity and a part of the national Citizens Advice charity. Their aims are to help local people to solve problems they face, across a range of areas, and to campaign for change to policies and practices which affect them.
CAB BANES’ own internal research identified a significant group of clients who return to their service frequently, often about the same or similar issues. This group of clients tend to present themselves at drop-in sessions in the One-Stop-Shops, which usually results in an interview with an advisor and sometimes a follow-up appointment. In order to plan and operate its services more efficiently with the resources available, CAB BANES needed to discover more about the reasons this group of clients were returning to their services and how they could empower these clients to help themselves where possible.
- To understand the proportion of clients that fall into each category of client group and any other groups that are identified
- To determine the key demographic and other characteristics of each group
- To discover whether early intervention could have prevented the need for repeat visits
- To discover which other support agencies clients are involved with
- To establish what kind of support would allow CAB BANES to support more effectively
Turquoise employed a qualitative approach to meet the research objectives which took the form of 26 tele-depth interviews conducted with clients who had presented at a drop-in session. Using the information provided on potential respondents prior to recruitment, Turquoise recruited and interviewed up to 7 respondents from each target group.
Turquoise identified five discrete groups, or segments, that encompass the type of returning client, including one brand new segment that had not been identified prior to our research. Clients with acute problems could generally be empowered to help themselves and their issues could be solved; those with chronic problems were less likely to be able to help themselves and more likely to keep returning to CAB BANES for support. We were able to provide the charity with specific recommendations relating to the importance of early intervention for clients within particular segments, and highlighted the importance of named case workers for those with particularly complex issues. Other actionable insights included the use of text messaging for enhancing and streamlining communication and an early assessment of the level of urgency with each case to help direct resources more efficiently.
Turquoise were a great company to work with. They listened to what we wanted, made helpful suggestions in scoping the research and were happy to adapt to changing needs as we went along. I was always able to get a quick response to any queries by email or phone and the final report and presentation were of an excellent standard.
– Gillian Whitehead, Director