Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Customer Satisfaction, Almost Guarenteed

Back in 2008 the City of San Antonio conducted its first customer satisfaction survey.  The city fared fairly well on that survey, but there was definitely room for improvement.  The results for the 2010 San Antonio Community Survey are now in.

Overall, the residents surveyed were very satisfied with city services, even more so than in other large cities.

The City of San Antonio is setting the standard for customer service among large U.S. cities. Among nearly 40 services that were assessed on the 2010 survey, the City of San Antonio rated above the U.S. average for cities with more than 250,000 residents in all but one area: animal care services.
When compared to other large central U.S. cities, San Antonio’s satisfaction ratings were highest in 5 of the 10 major city services assessed; the City also scored above the average for large central U.S. cities in all 10 of the major city services assessed.
But, as most of you probably would agree, respondents weren't so happy with street repair and maintenance.  Surprisingly, even though San Antonians aren't that happy with Public Works, the satisfaction rating is actually 11% higher than the 2008 survey, so things are starting to improve.

The City of San Antonio is moving in the right direction. While satisfaction ratings in most U.S. cities have decreased during the past two years, the Composite Customer Satisfaction Index for San Antonio increased significantly. The results for the City of San Antonio improved for 28 of the 32 City services that were assessed in both 2008 and 2010. The decreases were not statistically significant in three of the four areas that declined. The only significant decrease involved the City’s on-line payment programs (-6%).
In my post about the city's website, I mentioned the fact that the on-line payment service was glitchy, often sending me messages that the site was unsafe to use.  So hopefully, the survey will get the city moving on improving this service.

Stray animal control is another sore point in the survey. This is the only major service that San Antonio rates lower than the national average.  However, even this service showed improvement from the 2008 survey.
The percentage of residents who thought stray animals were a “major problem” in San Antonio decreased significantly from 38% in 2008 to 28% in 2010.
Improvements in satisfaction with services from 2008 to 2010 shows that City Manager Sheryl Sculley and her staff take the surveys seriously and are dedicated to improving relationships with the community. It's nice to know that the city is finally starting to think of its residents as customers instead of just money machines.  Look for the next survey in 2012.

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