Those at the forefront of their field no longer regard ‘Listening to the customer’ as best practice. They now consider it to be essential practice. In a world in which resources are tight, marketplaces fierce and innovation an expectation, service user involvement is vital.
What effective service user engagement brings is the opportunity to:
But how engaging are your ‘engagement’ techniques? BIGGER Picture events offer a real and powerful means by which you can better understand what is important to your staff and service users. This might be in advance of a new initiative you are looking to develop; consulting with stakeholders, so that they can have a say on the best direction to take.
It’s amazing to see how the painting really opens up conversations. We’ve used deadcatdreaming repeatedly to give our ‘hard to reach’ families a means of expressing what it is really like for them. We have then used this information to redefine what we do.
The process also lends itself to detailed qualitative feedback on products and services. Creating the BIGGER Picture distils down evocative accounts of the user’s experiences. The co-created metaphors capture not only the group’s shared thinking but also their feelings, beliefs, and values.
I always get glowing feedback about how our clients have enjoyed the BIGGER Picture evaluations. But as a manager what I also value are the reports detailing what our clients have said. The reports are a fantastic way of showing our funders what has been achieved. The images and the descriptions convey the difference our efforts and their support has made. So much so that we use the reports to bolster further funding applications in other areas, demonstrating how we value inclusive ways of working.
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