Occupant surveys are an important tool that many Facility and Property Manages neglect. They are much easier and cheaper to do now with easy to use web tools and are even environmentally friendly as a result.
The web tools make it easy to create and distribute surveys in a corporate environment and you can even collect useful information that helps you do an analysis, such as building, floor, department, etc. These web tools provide analysis and you can download the data to excel for even more detailed analysis.
The occupant survey gives you information you need to improve services by providing insight into your customer’s opinion and identify issues you may not know exist. They can also demonstrate how good your services are or even justify changes or budget increases. Don’t be afraid of the results, even if they are low, you can use them to your advantage.
There are several key elements to an effective occupant survey:
- Gather information you can use for analysis. This includes the building, department, floor, etc.
- Ask questions about things you can actually do something about. Don’t ask questions about things you can’t change and avoid personal questions about staff, keep it about service, not people.
- Ask questions that will help you improve service. Don’t simply ask if they are happy with the temperature, for instance. You won’t know if it’s too cold, hot, fluctuates too much, etc. They may answer about last winter, not this summer. You won’t know unless you craft the questions properly.
- Don’t give them a neutral option and don’t use the same scale for each question. Use a 4 answer scale with a 5th option of ‘I don’t know or can’t answer’. Some questions should be answered with a yes or no instead. Consider the question and adjust the answer method to give you information you can use and analyze.
- Keep the survey short and the questions short and worded in a neutral way, otherwise your responses may be tainted.
- Ask the same questions year over year to get valid comparisons to show improvement, not just an absolute number.
- Ask for comments, but don’t just have a place for ‘comments’ – ask specific questions like “What suggestions do you have about…..” or “What would you most like to see changed”
- Use the survey software to its fullest potential, including branching depending on the answer to questions and different types of questions and answer scales.
- Consider a different survey for decision makers, whether they are your main tenant contact or department manages.
- Be careful about comparing your results with other organization’s results unless you are comparing the same questions.
want more information or want help with your own occupant survey? Please visit FMInsight