Last Updated on January 28, 2013
Category: All

Recently completed research, sponsored by Tracker, has reviewed the impact that survey methodology, type and size have on response rates and resident satisfaction scores – generating some interesting and enlightening results which should help when developing and planning future survey programmes.

Most startling is the fact that there is no evidence that the number of questions included in a survey impacts the response rates or that the overall size of a questionnaire has any impact on satisfaction scores. How the survey is conducted does however have a significant impact on the satisfaction score, with a survey being undertaken by telephone obtaining a much higher score than the same survey being done by post.

The time of year that a survey is done can also affect the results with a survey being conducted in October-December being more likely to achieve a higher satisfaction score than those conducted between April-June.

The STAR questionnaire is widely regarded as has having been a significant improvement over the STATUS questionnaire but there is no evidence of a statistically significant difference in satisfaction scores between them or for other general satisfaction surveys. However satisfaction expressed in a service review survey (particularly following completion of a repair) tends to be significantly higher than in a general satisfaction survey like STAR.

Collectively this means that additional care should be taken when comparing satisfaction scores from surveys completed at different times of the year, or obtained using different methodologies, and that it is important to use the same category of questionnaire (‘STATUS/STAR/General satisfaction’ surveys or ‘Service review’ surveys). If mixed data is used, then comparative trends are only valid when the proportions of respondents included for each time, methodology and survey type are consistent or the data has been corrected by weighting.

For a copy of the detailed report, please email us at or call 01603 813932. The report is based on data obtained from the Tracker Suite Feedback modules of fifteen different social housing landlords from across England, representing HAs, LAs and ALMOs of differing sizes and locations, with a variety of different survey methodologies being used and various time points over a four-year period.