Customer Satisfaction Surveys for Facilities Management

Analysing survey results and reporting back are key activities (Image: CFM)

How do you know whether your FM is delivering what your stakeholders want?

Satisfaction surveys are a useful tool for measuring how well FM is delivering. By instituting regular surveys, facilities managers can report on their work, identify areas for improvement and monitor performance.

Survey tools

For office-based staff, an online survey may be the easiest to complete. For volunteers, outside staff or contract staff, it may be easier to set up a paper-based survey.

Online surveys: Many Charity FMs use the online platform  Survey Monkey. It has both free and paid options. Your organisation may have an intranet facility that enables you to survey staff. External companies working the in field of employee engagement also provide survey services.

What to measure

Overall FM performance may be difficult for staff and stakeholders to assess. It is better to separate different FM services into specific metrics.

Some (but not all) metrics which may help to measure people's satisfaction include:

  • The physical condition of the building
  • Space: the size of rooms, desk spaces, circulation areas
  • Air quality and thermal comfort
  • Lighting
  • Security and access control
  • Noise
  • Cleaning and waste disposal 
  • Amenities: drinking water, washrooms, common areas
  • Transport facilities: bike racks, parking

 

Designing your survey

Doing a survey can take a lot of time - getting the survey design right can make a significant difference to its value. It's useful to undertake a pilot survey to ensure that your respondents understand the questions you are asking, and feel that they can respond effectively.

A typical question format might be: "How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with xxxx?", with the answer choices on a numerical scale from one to five, or very satisfied, satisfied, neutral, not satisfied, very dissatisfied.  

Some of these topics may touch on a wide range of issues - dissatisfaction with lighting, for example, could be due to many different issues - lack of daylight, glare from sunlight, lack of control over lighting levels, etc. It may be useful to include free text fields for respondents to describe any concerns they have.  

Surveying staff satisfaction with the FM team - sample questions:

  • How do you rate the friendliness and helpfulness of the facilities management team?
  • How do you rate the information available about facilities issues on the intranet?
  • How do you rate the process for reporting problems?

Survey alternatives

The typical questionnaire is not the only way to discover how stakeholders rate your service. If you have the time, convening a user-group which meets three or four times a year can be very helpful for opening up lines of communications between the FM team and staff and other property users.

Frequency

Many organisations carry out a big annual survey - but being asked to fill out a 30-question survey is not really something to look forward too!

Consider doing smaller, more specific surveys and then report back promptly on your findings and the actions you have taken.

Reporting

Reporting the results of your survey - especially positive ones - are a great way to highlight the contribution of your FM operations within your charity.  Positive survey results are also a good way to motivate members of your team.

Follow up

Following up on the survey is crucial.

There is little point in undertaking a survey if you do not analyse the results and think about what people's answers mean for your operations.

Your staff will have little incentive to complete a survey if they never get any feedback or see any action taken. Schedule a report back to staff after a suitable interval, and use it to tell colleagues about actions that you have taken in response to issues that were been raised. 

Meeting report: How are charity facilities managers measuring customer satisfaction?

Our December 2018 meeting looked at how charity FMs are surveying their stakeholders about their service delivery, and how they are using the results. The following notes summarised the discussions

Q. Do you do surveys?

Most of the organisations represented at the meeting did do surveys

Staff surveys were generally conducted by HR, culture, and facilities teams, as well as other departments like travel, finance.

Q. What tools do you use? 

Survey Monkey was the most commonly used online survey tool. Some charities used Office 365 forms and Google forms.

Members recommended the following external companies: People Insight, ETS, Culture Amp. IBM Conex was not recommended. 

Q. Do you have a budget for doing this?

The budgets available for surveys varied. A couple of organisations had quite large budgets, others had much smaller sums to spend, while others took a do-it-yourself approach.  

Q. Whom do you survey? How often?

Most organisations conducted surveys yearly.

Staff sizes ranged from 100 to around 600 people

Some organisations surveyed only the staff members using a particular building for facility, other while other staff surveys were conducted globally. 

Q. What things do you ask? 

One organisation asked how people used a space after redevelopment. 

Some asked how their teams were doing. 

Some of those surveyed asked generally the same questions each year to be able to compare against last year, while other organisation asked different questions depending on what was going on that year. 

One charity asked staff does staff travel surveys, as part of their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint.

One faith-based charity asked whether their values were coming across. 

 Q. Do you report on the results? To whom?

Most organisations reported the results. Some reported the results to trustees and all staff, while others circulated the reports to the FM team. They felt that it was nice for teams to feel valued and always nice to get feedback when they were doing a good job.

One charity used the data to compare their performance against similar organisations. They were for new companies to join a benchmarking exercise. 

Q. What other processes do you have for getting feedback?

One FM was looking at getting push-button feedback devices (smiley face pads) for visitors. They were aware that this type of instant feedback could be affected by mood and was not a good method for collecting detailed information.  

One FM issued email surveys to staff who had used a their travel company.  

Q. Does customer satisfaction feedback have any impact on your performance reviews? Pay? 

Charity FMs said surveys did not generally impact their performance reviews. But FMs felt that it was good to see whether service level agreements were at the right level, and whether teams had the correct staffing levels, depending on the size of the organisation and what services were needed. 

The meeting also included a short presentation on how easy it was to use Office 365 to create your own forms by World Animal Protection’s Global Digital Workplace Lead.

With thanks to Karen Melck of World Animal Protection who hosted the meeting and took these notes.

Date published