The City of San Antonio conducted its second Community Survey in April of 2010 through an independent consultant, ETC Institute, and the survey results indicate that we are moving in the right direction by raising City service delivery satisfaction levels in our community. In 2008, the City conducted its first-ever city-wide Community Survey with the overall purpose of gauging residents’ satisfaction with City services. The 2010 survey allowed us to benchmark the 2008 survey results to help us identify areas in which we can improve as an organization.
The 2010 survey results will be very important, as we prioritize City projects, measure the effectiveness of existing programs, continue to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction and work on increasing levels of satisfaction in areas where improvements are needed over the next two years.
The survey results indicate that residents are very satisfied with many of our core City services, like Fire and Emergency Medical services, Library services, Solid Waste services and the 311 Customer Service phone line. Residents are also very pleased with City employee customer service. Improvements in this area can be attributed to the investments the City has made in providing comprehensive ethics training across our organization, which has been on-going for the past four years. Our efforts to increase the skill set of employees and professionalize the organization have also had an impact on improving the quality of services we provide to the residents of San Antonio.
As background, the survey was offered to a random, stratified sampling of residents within each of the City’s ten City Council Districts by traditional land lines and cell phone numbers in both English and Spanish. In addition to the 2010 survey results, ETC Institute also conducted a 2008-2010 Benchmarking Analysis, provided comparisons to the National Average (San Antonio was compared to results of a survey conducted by ETC in April 2010 of U.S. cities with populations of 250,000 or more) and comparisons to Cities of Similar Size (Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis and Kansas City, Missouri).
Some of the major findings of the 2010 Community Survey results are indicated in the following table:
Major City Services 2010 vs. 2008
Percent rating as “satisfied” or “very satisfied”
**Solid Waste Management and Animal Care Services conducted separate independent surveys in 2008.
The results also indicated that residents’ overall opinions of San Antonio are favorable:
Perceptions of the Community 2010 vs. 2008
Percent rating as “satisfied” or “very satisfied”
**The question was not asked in 2008.
City services that most improved since 2008 included: the percentage of residents who felt the City’s 311 Service was “very easy” to use (16% increase); resident satisfaction with code enforcement (15% increase); satisfaction with street repair (11% increase); and satisfaction with the responsiveness of City employees (10% increase).
The consultant provided the City with the following conclusions and recommendations:
- San Antonio is setting the standard for the delivery of City services. Compared to other large cities, San Antonio ranks above average in almost every category, and satisfaction with the overall quality of City services rated 18% above the national average.
- The City of San Antonio is definitely moving in the right direction. The overall results for San Antonio increased significantly while the results for most other communities decreased significantly. There was only one significant decrease in a City service, which is the City’s on-line payment programs (-6%).
- If the City wants to improve overall City services ratings, the City should continue to emphasize improvements in Public Works, Police and Neighborhood Services. Although the City’s investments in all three areas are working, residents continue to place a high priority in these services.
The results are available in both English and Spanish through the City’s website (www.sanantonio.gov) and a complete set of results are available at each City library. A summary of the results will be included in the City’s community newsletter, Dotgov, and available to residents by calling the Department of Communications and Public Affairs.
Although there were positive findings and incremental improvements indicated in the 2010 survey results, there are opportunities for City departments to improve. In some service areas, we are continuing to maintain high levels of satisfaction, like in Fire/EMS. In other service areas, our ratings need to be at a higher level of satisfaction for our residents. Following the communication of the survey results, City staff will analyze the results and develop plans for service improvement for areas such as on-line payment opportunities.
In summary, the Community Survey conducted on a biennial basis provides feedback from our residents, allowing us to prioritize our investments in City services.