Tenant Satisfaction Surveys Uncovered
At KOMODO, we’ve been specialising in transforming the experience of tenants and housing association staff by designing and developing first-class mobile and web solutions. As part of this commitment, we focus not only on how we can improve the tenant experience for those that are already satisfied, but also go above and beyond to understand the needs and emotions of those that are not satisfied, to see how we can help them to become happier tenants.
One-Fifth of all Tenants are NOT Satisfied
Over the years, we’ve read our fair share of housing association annual reports and tenant satisfaction surveys and have noticed a key trend that is not highlighted in these reports… that on average, at least one-fifth of tenants are not currently satisfied with the service they receive from their housing association.
That’s why in this post we’ve taken a closer look at the latest reports and surveys from the UK’s 10 biggest Housing Associations (according to Insider Housing) and unpackaged the results to highlight this trend and consider how it could be addressed.
According to dissatisfaction scores from 10 of the biggest Housing Associations in the UK, the average across 10 Housing Associations showed that 20.38% of tenants weren’t satisfied with their housing associations.
It’s clear that some housing associations are reporting higher levels of customer satisfaction than others, but within the context of each report, we found that achieving ~80% satisfaction was widely recognised as a success – but is this really what success looks like?
We believe that across the board the standard for success should be set much higher.
What does it mean to be ‘satisfied’? And is this how success should be measured?
A definition of satisfaction: Fulfilment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs.
When we think about the definition of satisfaction, it simply means that expectations have been met (and those expectations may have been low in the first place…).
When considered in the context of a survey, this becomes even more apparent, as ‘satisfied’ tends to be mid-scale and the ~80% satisfied figure is typically taken from adding up all respondents that select ‘satisfied’ or above.
Yet, many of these reports do not give a breakdown of that figure, and those that do, reveal that the vast majority of those respondents selected ‘satisfied’ – rather than ‘very satisfied’ or ‘completely satisfied’. In fact, of those that did give a breakdown of results, on average only ~20% of respondents were reported to be very satisfied or above.
It’s for this reason that housing associations need to stop thinking of success as achieving small improvements in mid-scale satisfaction rates, but instead be more ambitious.
How to improve tenant satisfaction
(clue: 20% of your tenants have the answers)
Improving levels of customer satisfaction starts with closely reviewing the failures. One in five of your tenant’s expectations have not been met. Listening to these individuals should be the starting point in order to make improvements.
Of course, achieving 100% satisfaction is almost impossible. Things go wrong and that’s just life, but it’s how businesses overcome these failures that count.
Every failure should be viewed as an opportunity to learn and improve. It’s a fact that customers can often be more loyal to your business after they have experienced a service failure, than if it had never happened in the first place. That’s why the 20% of unhappy customers should be the most important focus for housing associations and be consulted with staff and other key stakeholders when scoping out improvements that can be made to processes.
Is your software letting you down?
Within your organisation, you may be listening to your tenant’s feedback (both good and bad) and making incremental improvements wherever you can – but are your suppliers listening to your tenants too?
As tenants' needs and expectations change, the technology they require to support them will need to evolve too. At KOMODO, we put designing an amazing user experience at the heart of everything we do.
During this process, we provide our housing association clients with a single tool where they can review individual software design elements, leave specific feedback and look back across previous versions of a particular design.
Collaborating in this way allows us to ensure that both teams are aware of the direction that the designs are taking and key stakeholders (including tenants) identified by the client team have the opportunity to influence and contribute to the design process.
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