Resident satisfaction survey sets baseline for regional council

22 Jul 2016

A recent residents’ survey has provided a baseline for the Northland Regional Council as it takes a fresh approach to customer satisfaction and engagement with its residents and ratepayers.

The telephone survey of just over 330 people across the region was aimed at measuring the level of awareness of regional council services; how well the existing communication channels were performing; and how satisfied a sample of its customers were with the services they had received. The survey is just one of the initiatives aimed at achieving council’s long term objective of being a positive and customer-friendly organisation. 

The survey has provided some valuable insights about the areas where the council is performing relatively well, and where there is an opportunity to improve.

The results indicate council’s overall reputation is positive with a reputation index of 66.  Also, 53% of respondents have indicated they are satisfied with the quality of services provided.  However satisfaction with the overall performance of council and level of satisfaction of value for rates paid was lower at 47% and 41% respectively.

Around a quarter of those surveyed had been in direct contact with council in the last year.  Of these 55% were satisfied with the service received and 45% were not. 

Overall satisfaction with communication and engagement was 46%.  This included high levels of satisfaction with the council’s website and events (63% and 52% respectively).  However, levels of satisfaction around open and transparent communications (32%), and how well council involves the community in decision making (32%) were low.

The survey showed residents tended to get their information about council from newspapers, newsletters, its website and letters from council, with letters being the preferred method.

Councillors discussed the survey’s findings at the council meeting (Tuesday, 19 July 2016) agreeing with a recommendation that staff prepare a draft action plan outlining what activities should be undertaken to improve residents’ awareness and satisfaction with council services and engagement.

The draft plan will be workshopped with councillors in September and feedback used to develop a more comprehensive plan to present to the new council after the local body elections in October 2016.

Find the residents' survey report at www.nrc.govt.nz/residentssurvey