Improvements in Residences
The annual refreshment of UEA residences continued with refurbishment of existing room stock with the replaement of bathroom pods at The Village and a comprehensive refurbishment of Hawthorne and Willow House. New shower floors were fitted in Nelson and Constable Terrace and a new trial kitchen was fitted in Nelson Court.
The Doubling Up Strategy completed with 33 new bunk bed rooms. The commitment to a 25 year old Accommodation Strategy continued with £2.6m spend during Summer 2017, including the relocation of gas meters and installation of gas risers external to Village Oak, Elm, Ash and Courtyard A.
In addition, Estates Helpdesk hours Monday-Friday during term time have been extended to provide continuity of service to our students until 19:30 and the Post Room has rolled out email notification services as it begins to work more closely with the Accommodation Office to ensure a more integrated experience for students.
No staff or students at UEA could go about their work or studies without the services of the Estates team, who maintain the campus grounds and buildings, from security to cleaning and space management to sustainability.
With such a wide range of responsibilities, the team is constantly working to ensure that daily life runs smoothly at UEA – and that means maintaining a strong focus on customer service.
“Our customers tell us we’re doing a good job, but we’re always looking for ways to improve,” said Justin Rhys, Customer Liaison Officer. “We continually listen to and act on feedback and run a Customer Perception Survey every two years, which gives us the opportunity to step back, look at how we operate and take action where it’s needed.”
As a result of the 2015 survey, the new role of Building Fabric Manager was created to speed up estimates and small works activities. Thanks to this, 67% of staff who responded to the 2017 survey said they were happy with time taken to complete their requests - a 23% improvement on 2015 - and fewer than 0.5% of jobs resulted in complaints.
There’s also been a 10% increase (68% to 78%) in satisfaction with communication about the status of maintenance jobs following a restructure of the Maintenance team, additional resource for the Helpdesk and the introduction of a new contractor for non-emergency small works and estimates.
Another popular innovation is the self-service auto-responders – by sending an e-mail to email@example.com with “Help” or “?” in the subject field, customers can see real-time status information about maintenance work.
“We’re delighted that 82% of respondents agree that fixing problems is a particular strength of Estates, and almost 70% are happy with the speed at which we fix problems,” said Justin. “The technology we’ve introduced for the Helpdesk team has also improved our performance, with 81% of respondents happy with our service.”
Some of the most complicated challenges are faced by the Space team, whose role is to balance the needs of the University with the available space. Their ability to deliver this balancing act was recognised by the 86% of customers who agreed that they complete their tasks successfully, with 75% were happy overall, compared with 55% in 2015.
Refurbishments can cause the biggest disruption, but improved communication via the monthly Projects Forum has also seen satisfaction levels with the way these projects are handles jump from 51% in 2015 to 77% this year.
The greatest accolades were for the Security team, however, with 92% of respondents saying they’re happy with the services they provide, 92% saying they’re friendly and helpful, and 91% saying they help to make them feel safe and secure on campus.
“We’re very happy that the changes we introduced following the 2015 survey have had such positive results and look forward to continuing to offer our customers excellent service,” said Justin.