Well in the private sector, it would be called something like market research or customer relationship management, account based marketing or maybe all of these things and probably others I’ve missed out. The point being that the methods used are with one aim in mind – building a relationship with the customer which will lead to more business.
The public sector is different; we’re not a profit making business and I don’t think we should be run as a profit making business. That doesn’t mean that the sector shouldn’t strive to be efficient and effective.
This is where community insight comes in: by regularly checking what are the issues that are important to local people, services and priorties can be adjusted and reconfigured to meet the needs local residents.