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Determining the key drivers of tenants' satisfaction

Four London housing associations wanted to improve the quality of service they offer to their shared owners. Just over 1600 interviews (primarily telephone) were completed among their shared owners. The results and statistical analysis provided a detailed understanding of the key components of services that impact on satisfaction levels, enabling the focus of effort for a strategy to deliver increased levels of satisfaction.

Key benefits:

  • Sharing and understanding of best practice in a number of key service areas;
  • Prioritisation of effort through understanding of key drivers of satisfaction;
  • Quantification of the required improvements in service to achieve desired satisfaction levels.

Our Assigment

Four London housing associations were keen to improve the quality of service they offer to their shared owners. Whilst some useful data is already available, for example via STATUS, it was not considered sufficiently in depth of focused to drive future service improvement strategy. This project was to:

  • provide a benchmark for satisfaction, in order to identify and share examples of best practice and drive up satisfaction levels;
  • identify the causes of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and to highlight changes needed to increase satisfaction levels;
  • understand owners’ perceptions of key services in terms of quality, value for money and fit with expectations.
This project was undertaken in partnership with The Customer Framework and Caroline Midmore & Associates.

Results

The key drivers of overall satisfaction were; satisfaction with communal repairs, security, external repairs and maintenance, and keeping people informed. There was a clear link between overall satisfaction and advocacy towards the association.
There were three service components that were most influential on satisfaction with communal repairs; completed when expected, time before work started and quality of repair work. Additionally value for money of the service charge was inextricably linked in to this.
Satisfaction of how a complaint was dealt with emerged as a key driver of overall satisfaction; interestingly handling a complaint well can have a more positive impact on satisfaction than no complaints in the first instance.

Benefits

Areas of best practice in a number of key service areas were identified across the four associations, enabling such practices to be understood, shared, learnt from and extended.
Tangible components of service provision were clearly identified as key drivers of satisfaction enabling the prioritisation of effort towards improving satisfaction levels. Understanding the inverse was also of great value – determining which service characteristics had little or no impact on overall satisfaction.
The models developed helped to quantify the improvements in service required to achieve the desired satisfaction levels, giving a clear indication of the size of the task.

Our Approach

The primary data collection method was telephone interview among each of the housing associations’ shared owners. These telephone interviews were supplemented with postal and online self-completion surveys. Just over 1600 interviews were completed.
Three main groups were surveyed: those living in blocks/buildings with only other shared owners; those in blocks/buildings with other tenants of the association; and those owned under section 106 low-cost housing agreements.
The primary drivers of satisfaction were evaluated using a statistical analysis technique known as a generalized linear model (GLM). For the model overall satisfaction was used as the dependent variable. Four separate models were used in the analysis: overall satisfaction among those who had experience of communal repairs; overall satisfaction among those who had made a complaint; the buying process; and advocacy towards the Housing Association.

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NEMS Market Research Limited. Company registered in England no. 393 8078 Telephone: 01642 373355 Email: advice@nemsmr.co.uk