Customer Satisfaction Surveys for Facilities Management

How do you know whether your f.m. is delivering what your stakeholders want?

Satisfaction surveys are a useful tool for measuring how well f.m. 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: The online tool Survey Monkey is widely used. It has both free and paid options. Alternatively your organisation may have an intranet which enables you to survey staff. External companies working the field of employee engagement also provide survey services.

What to measure

The performance of facilities management may be difficult for staff and other stakeholders to assess.

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

  • 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

How you design a survey can make a significant different to its value. It is 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, dissatisfied, 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.  

Survey alternatives

The typical questionnaire is not the only way to discover how stakeholders rate your f.m. 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 f.m. 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 report back on the results and actions taken promptly

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. 

How are charity facilities managers measuring customer satisfaction?

Our December 2018 meeting looked at how charity f.m.s 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 reduce our 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 f.m. 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 against similar organisations to see how they fared, but the comparison company was not in business anymore, and so were looking for new companies to compare against. 

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

One organisation was looking at getting the smiley face pads that visitors could use. They were aware that this type of instant feedback  could be affected by mood at the time and was not a good chance to collect useful data, as there no context. 

One charity issued email surveys to staff who had used a travel company recently.  

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

Generally no, but members felt that it was good to see whether service level agreements were at the right level, and to see if teams had the correct staff 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.