Life Events Survey

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Purpose To identify and link together services that will assist customers during life events. The life events that were the particular focus of this piece of work were moving house, having a child and bereavement. The survey also obtained face-to-face customer perceptions of current contact methods (eg website, in person, telephone).
Subject County Information Centres
Satisfaction with the council
Commissioned by Customer Access Team
Geographic area All of Lancashire
Method Questionnaire - face-to-face
Consultation with General public
Date 01/07/2008 - 28/11/2008
Undertaken by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team, Policy Unit


Number of responses 950
Key findings The most common method of contacting the county council was by telephone, visiting in person was the next most common, and the website was the least common. Even though survey respondents were interviewed face-to-face, they already use more than one channel, as telephone is their preferred method.

Customer service centre - around a third of respondents were aware of, or have used the customer service centre. This is lower than the 60% who said they usually contact the council by telephone, suggesting that people are using the customer service centre without realising it. Usage is lower among BME respondents and those who don't have English as a first language. The most common reasons for phoning the customer service centre were to book a registrar appointment, report a highway fault or apply for a NoWcard. Customers were very satisfied with the service they received.

County council website ( ) - only half of respondents were aware that the county council has a website, and a quarter thought they have used it suggesting the need for publicity. Two-thirds felt that they would use the website in the future, though this is lower among the over 60s. The main reason people gave for not using the website in the future was because they don't have access to the internet, or don't like using it. Nine in ten of all respondents would recommend the website, the reasons given for not recommending it related to their own lack of experience using the website or computers in general. Training on how to use the internet would encourage use of the council's website in a quarter of respondents who said they otherwise wouldn't use it. A free computer at a local venue would encourage use of the council's website in a third of respondents who said they otherwise wouldn't use it. However, among the over 60s both of these are less of an incentive to use the website.

Service usage for life events - a quarter of respondents have moved house in the last two years, though this is lower in the over 60s. The most commonly used services were change of address, electoral register and change of household.

A quarter of respondents said they have had a child in the last two years, though this figure seems unusually high. By far the most used service was birth registration, followed by childcare information service. Services were once again most often contacted by phone. Mostly services were contacted after the child was born and by the respondent themselves.

A fifth of respondents have experienced bereavement in the last two years. The most used service was registering a death, followed by cremation and cemeteries. Almost four-fifths of the services were contacted by phone, and as you would anticipate everyone contacted the service after their bereavement. Fewer services were contacted by the respondent themselves, mainly because they found it too distressing.

The services respondents most anticipate to use in the next year were primary school places and nursery school places.

Project document(s)


Contact information

For more information about this research contact:

Rebecca Robinson
01772 537787

Mick Edwardson
01772 530290