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Results of the customer satisfaction survey

Turku Student Village Foundation (TYS) carried out a customer satisfaction survey in spring 2019. The link to the survey was sent to tenants by email. The rating scale used in the survey went from 1 to 5, with 1 being the most negative option and 5 being the most positive.

We received 1,187 responses to the survey, which is 558 responses fewer than last year. The response rate was 19.2%. The background information of the respondents was very similar to 2018, and it corresponds to the TYS tenant population well. TYS will revise its customer satisfaction survey at the start of next year.

Customer service

The average of the ratings given to our customer service has stayed nearly the same in all areas compared to 2018. The general rating for the customer service was slightly higher: 4.10 (4.05 in 2018). In the open feedback, tenants highlighted the friendly and understanding manner of the customer service, as well as quick resolution of problems. Tenants were unhappy with long queues on moving-in days, and also with the opening hours of the Housing Office: some respondents found it difficult to reconcile their schedules with the hours.

The phone service received some criticism. Some respondents felt that customer service cannot be reached by phone at all, and that customer service does not call customers back. The problem is particularly present at the turns of months when there are many customers. In the future, we will try and solve this problem by having one service advisor solely answer calls and online contacts on the busiest days. However, customers found that emails and tenant page messages received quick answers: many had received their answer during the same day.

Real estate services

Approximately 83% (80.1% in 2018) of respondents felt they had received notice of any repairs done in their apartment or housing location sufficiently in advance. A vast majority of respondents found email to be the most effective information channel for real estate communications. However, many respondents were also hoping for a traditional paper note on the front door regarding repair work. In addition, some respondents felt that the notices were sent so early that they had already forgotten about the matter before the actual date. The real estate services team is looking into the possibility of using paper notes and reminders to make communications more effective.

Online services

Respondents were mainly happy with the tenant pages, and not many respondents could think of any additional services they could want. The suggested improvements to the tenant pages included maps of the housing locations and more detailed information on services (such as storage, parking, etc.). The tenant pages were updated in late spring. The tenants’ wishes have been taken into account on the new pages.

Similarly to previous years, customers wished to see queue numbers on the tenant pages. We aim to improve the apartment search function by showing the queue time for each apartment type in the location’s information.

Apartment condition and maintenance

The average rating for the condition of the respondents’ apartments was 3.98 (3.92 in 2018). Improvements such as surface renovations received praise. Correspondingly, tenants criticised plastic floors, bathrooms and kitchen fixtures, which they found worn and outdated. Poor ventilation and cold indoor temperatures in winter were mentioned in most of the feedback.

As in last year, tenants were satisfied with the reaction times to fault reports and the repairs. In the open feedback, respondents mainly praised the quick processing of fault reports and the friendly manner of the maintenance staff. As for the fault report form, the tenants criticised that the form does not work on all browsers and that the size of the photos attached to the form is limited. The fault report form has been completely changed after the survey, and we have tried to take feedback into account in its implementation.

The number of respondents who had a home insurance increased from the previous years, which has been a trend lately. This year, as many as 80% of the respondents reported having a home insurance.

Housing location condition and maintenance

The condition and maintenance of outdoor areas was rated slightly better than last year (3.73 / 3.66 in 2018). Waste management also received a slightly better rating than last year (3.95 / 3.84 in 2018). In the open feedback, most of the negative remarks were about the cleanliness of the stairwells and saunas. Several respondents also complained about yard maintenance and the waste bins being filled too quickly. Winter maintenance also divided opinions: some respondents found the snowploughing and sanding excellent, while others complained about the constant risk of slipping.

The volumes of all types of recyclable waste increased slightly from last year. Respondents reported having recycled much more plastic than before. According to the tenants, better recycling systems in the apartments would increase their willingness to recycle. TYS has started a recycling pilot in the shared kitchen of buildings 6C and 12 A in the Student Village. The kitchens now have separate bins for biowaste, carton, plastic, glass, metal, and waste that can be incinerated. We are also looking into improving the recycling opportunities in the apartments.

Parking

The parking spaces in Aitiopaikka, Student Village, Nummenranta, Ikituuri and Yo-talot are rented with the eParking app. The usability of the system was rated at 3.72 (3.60 in 2018). The customers found eParking easy to use, but the registration process was challenging according to most respondents. Problems had also arisen from unclear maps of the parking areas and changing the register plate number in the system. The most trouble had come from guest parking. Opinions were divided on invoicing: some respondents thought the payment systems were very practical, while others wished for e-invoicing or repeating payments. TYS will forward the tenants’ wishes on invoicing to eParking.

Rents and invoicing

The respondents found TYS’s price level lower than in last year’s survey, and the rating for the price level was 3.94 on a scale from 1 (expensive) to 5 (cheap) (3.77 in 2018). The respondents mainly found TYS’s rent levels reasonable, particularly since the apartment rents include water, electricity and internet. The price-quality ratio of the apartments was praised in many responses, although many respondents also found the price level to be at the ‘pain threshold’ and that they could not afford higher rents.

Tenant Committees

Of the respondents, 70% said they were aware of the Tenant Committee in their location. However, only 30% of respondents were aware of the actual tasks of the Tenant Committee. Only 15.4% had participated in the Tenant Committee activities. (17.6% in 2018) The average rating for the sufficiency of the Tenant Committee’s communications was 3.42 (3.21 in 2018), while the rating for the activities organises was 3.51.

As in the previous survey, tenants wished that Tenant Committees would organise low-threshold activities that are easy to participate in. The examples mentioned included BBQs, yardwork and film nights. Practical activities were also suggested, such as bicycle repair days or fire extinguishing trainings. TYS will forward the feedback and suggestions received to the Tenant Committee of each location.

Overall rating for TYS

The general rating for TYS was 4.12 (4.07 in 2018), and 98.0% of respondents would recommend a TYS apartment to their friend (98.2 in 2018). The tenants’ improvement ideas included increasing the number of laundry rooms and offering free laundry days. When the new Tyyssija building is finished, the west side of the village will have more laundry rooms. However, the fee for the laundry rooms ensures that the rooms are used efficiently and that everyone gets their turn. Respondents also suggested improvements to the website, the application form and booking. Some of these suggestions have already been implemented.

We want to thank all respondents! We held a raffle for the respondents who had submitted their contact details. The raffle prize was 10 packages of cinema and popcorn vouchers for two. The 10 winners have been contacted personally.

Pirjo Lipponen-Vaitomaa
Customer Relations and Communications Director
Turku Student Village Foundation