Case Study

Using service user feedback to rapidly improve satisfaction with services

University characteristics

Undergraduate Students: 40-50,000
Postgraduate/graduate students: 3-4000
Academic & Professional Staff: 8-9000
UniForum involvement: Over 5 years

Reasons for joining UniForum

  1. The university had a very devolved responsibility model. As a result, the distributed academic leadership were unable to understand the true university spend on support services or make objective decisions that balanced the needs of their academic divisions with the needs of the university
  2. The desire to be able to assess the full contribution of resourcing across the university to administration and support services was one of the key reasons for joining the program
  3. Later on, in the university’s membership of the program it wanted to have an objective way to measure the effectiveness of its support services and get feedback on the experience of service users to direct its investment in service improvement initiatives

Icon Challenge


  • University had invested significantly to develop support service capabilities as a key enabler of its teaching and research strategy
  • Satisfaction with services was very poor but management had very little information to help them to understand the issues

How UniForum helped

  1. The UniForum Service Effectiveness survey provided service owners with objective measures of satisfaction normalized for the fact that some services always perform poorly and other well
  2. The survey also provided feedback on the user’s experience which helped managers understand the extent to which the personnel capabilities, the processes or the systems they interacted with contribution to the user’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the service
  3. Provided benchmarking metrics to enable managers to identify best practices at other universities and understand how the user experience at best practice universities differed to theirs
  4. Collaborative studies provide insights into factors have significant influence over a service user’s satisfaction with services

Icon Challenge


Identified that users were unaware of the service levels to expect
Identified where personnel capabilities, processes or systems did not meet needs
Focused effort on improving awareness of service levels commitments
Improved service provider awareness of the user experience and expectations
Lifted the overall service satisfaction from lower quartile performance to median performance over a 12-month period