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Tenant satisfaction survey provides tips for the development of TYS’s operations

TYS’s customer satisfaction survey was conducted in early 2020. There were three hundred more responses than in the previous year, a total of approximately 1,500. The survey mapped service experience in terms of customer service and property maintenance. In addition, satisfaction was mapped on e.g. own housing, communications, tenant activitiy, and feedback and development suggestions asked regarding the foundation’s operations as a whole.

Our objective is to continuously monitor the quality of customer service and to obtain information about the customer experience related to the properties and housing. With the feedback we receive, we can develop our operating methods and properties to better serve our customers.

The respondents had a lot to say; more than 700 pages of open feedback was collected and reviewed, both jointly and in teams. In addition, the results of the customer satisfaction survey are presented to TYS’s board of directors and the advisory board of the tenant committees. Based on the feedback received, we have refined processes and reformed practices. Unfortunately, not all of the great ideas as such are possible to implement, at least in the short term.

TYS is renewing its tenant satisfaction survey so that in the future we will send a tenant satisfaction survey to 1/12 of our tenants each month. This way, compilation does not take half a year and we receive up-to-date feedback on apartments and services throughout the year. In this way, we also receive information on a monthly basis if there are problems with snow ploughing or lawn mowing, for example.

The rating scale used in the survey is 1–5, with a rating of 1 describing the weakest option and 5 the best.

Customer service representatives as spokes judokas

Customer service collected a significant amount of feedback, most of which was positive. The respondents praised the speed and efficiency of customer service, especially when it comes to responding to messages. As in recent years, the Swedish language skills and the congestion of the telephone service were criticized. Some feedback also mentioned the unfriendliness of the service, especially on the phone.

We have carefully reviewed the messages and our work community has been offered a Swedish language course throughout the spring. In addition, we have resourced in the telephone service at the turn of the month, and in October we will be organizing a spokes course for all the personnel, aimed at managing emotional and challenging service situations.

The chat service also got bad feedback for the first time and we ended up changing the bot to a person during the day. Since the spring, during the office service hours, service advisors are responsible for the chat, and bots Toivo and Hope work in the evenings and on weekends.

Tenants wished for visual tenant communication

The reform of the website divided a lot of the opinions of the tenants. Others found the site to be much better and clearer than it is today, while some felt that the content was difficult to find on the site.

The login to the tenant pages received the most feedback, which got one additional click after the reform. This feedback has been taken into account, nowadays the website has direct access to the tenant pages. The content of the tenant newsletter was considered good and varied. In addition, the Instagram bloggers received positive feedback from the tenants.

More housing presentations, pictures of living and day-to-day life, and tenants’ own videos about housing and living were wished for social media. This was partly answered by the Prettiest student home in Finland competition held on Instagram in the spring. Approximately forty tenants participated in the competition and the pictures were added to TYS’s Instagram pages, where residents were allowed to vote for their own favourite. TYS’s new location presentation videos were also downloaded during late summer to YouTube and during October they will also be presented at housing search.

Apartments mostly in good condition – maintenance divided opinions

The respondents described that their apartments were mainly in good or satisfactory condition. Of course, minor defects, traces of life and age-related wear were found in the apartments. Several feedbacks called for renovations to the kitchen and bathroom.

Reporting faults was generally considered easy and effortless. The fault fix was also praised in several feedbacks for being quick and friendly.  80.5% of the respondents had home insurance.

The rating scale used in the survey is 1–5, with a rating of 1 describing the weakest option and 5 the best.

Regarding the maintenance and service of the housing locations, the opinions of the respondents were very divided. Some felt everything was in excellent condition, while some had faced a lot of challenges. According to the respondents, the most to be developed would be in the cleaning and general condition of the stairwells. The piling up of waste bins, especially in front of small stairwells and yards, and thus the spread of waste into the environment, also caused annoyance.

TYS tenants are mainly active recyclers and the wish list included better recycling opportunities for the apartments themselves. The better availability and material of bio-waste bags also came up in several feedbacks, as did the possibility of recycling batteries at own waste points. Bio-waste bags are available at all waste points, but unfortunately their shelf life has proven to be poor. TYS is happy to receive good ideas to improve the shelf life of the bags. With regard to batteries, the problem is the location of the waste points outdoors. As moisture and batteries are a poor combination, TYS recommends that the tenants make use of, for example, grocery store waste sorting points for batteries.

The rating scale used in the survey is 1–5, with a rating of 1 describing the weakest option and 5 the best.

Feedback collected from the tenants is compiled on a location-by-location basis and reviewed with the maintenance and cleaning services. Feedback related to waste sorting is also processed on a location-by-location basis.

Tenant activity more familiar to the tenants

In terms of tenant activity, both awareness of the location’s tenant activity, participation in the activity and satisfaction with information about tenant activity had improved slightly from last year. In the future, it was hoped that the tenant committees would organize, for example, excursions, barbecue nights, courtyard voluntary works, movie and gaming nights, activities for families, courtyard flea markets and other joint events to get to know the neighbours. Feedback on tenant activity has been communicated to the tenant committees on a location-by-location basis. In the future, TYS will ask the tenants separately each year about the tenant activity at the locations, and the surveys will be profiled according to whether the locations have tenant activity or not.

Tenants have many ideas for developing TYS’s operations

A lot of thoughts and ideas came to the development of TYS’s operations again. For example, there was a desire for a more transparent queuing system, home renovation, more sustainable development and environmental friendliness, development of common areas for residents, laundry shifts, tumble dryer reservation system, increased parking space, lowered family home rents, increasing the purchase opportunity for additional sauna shifts, locking of the waste points, improving the heating of the apartments, improving the website, increasing the number or interior pictures of the apartments, increasing the number of studios, increasing smoking bans on locations and improving exercise opportunities.

The teams have reviewed the feedback and have implemented various development measures as a result of the feedback. Estimates of the average queuing times for different housing types in properties have been added to the housing search. At the beginning of 2021, TYS will publish its first accountability report, which will make visible e.g. projects related to sustainable development and environmental friendliness. TYS also has an ongoing community-related development project, which aims to make the common areas better and more comprehensive for the tenants.

Would you recommend TYS’s apartment to a friend?

With the completion of Tyyssija, the service offering in the Student village area will be diversified when, in addition to a grocery store, a student restaurant and gym become available.

TYS is still a tenant favourite

A staggering 97.8% of the respondents were ready to recommend TYS’s apartment to a friend. Thanks for that!

Thanks also to all the respondents. It is great to develop TYS with you!


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