Consumer Impact Assessment

Making your organization receptive to consumer input

Making it easy for consumers to provide input as a matter of course and having processes in place to solicit it and integrate it into specific initiatives will help build rapport with consumers (groups or individuals) and enhance the quality of the feedback. Government policy managers may wish to ask the questions below about their operations and then make organizational or procedural changes in light of the responses.

Recognize the consumer interest

  • Is there a clear view of who the consumer is in the organization’s work, and how to define the consumer interest?
  • Is there a process in place for identifying and tracking consumer issues?
  • Are there clear channels through which consumers can communicate and raise issues with the organization?
  • Is there regular liaison with consumer bodies, non-governmental organizations and academics to keep the organization informed about their issues and priorities?

Continually assess impacts on consumers

  • Are there clear policies and procedures for dealing with consumer issues identified by tracking and consultation?
  • Do business planning and risk assessment processes include consideration of consumer issues?
  • Are there processes in place to ensure that the key consumer interest issues are explicitly explained, assessed, and addressed in policy and regulatory projects?

Maintain commitment at high levels

  • Are there regular reports to senior management on consumer-related issues?
  • Does management regularly benchmark the organization’s processes against those of other organizations involved in consumer matters?5

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5 Adapted from the U.K Office of Communications, 2006, Capturing the Consumer Interest, A Toolkit for Regulators and Government.