How the City of Tempe, AZ Used Community Feedback to Improve Resident Satisfaction

How the City of Tempe, AZ Used Community Feedback to Improve Resident Satisfaction
Major University
Tempe is home to Arizona State University, one of the largest public universities in the United States.
Outdoor Activities
Tempe Town Lake offers many outdoor activities like boating, kayaking, and jogging on its scenic trails.
Cultural Scene
Hosts the annual Tempe Festival of the Arts, one of the top art festivals in the nation, attracting hundreds of artists and thousands of visitors each year.

Community Profile

The city of Tempe, Arizona, is a technology and business hotspot, an inclusive and caring community, and a hub for recreation and adventure. The city of Tempe works hard to connect with the community, as exemplified by its value of “meeting people where they are.” Tempe aims to connect with its diverse community and ensure inclusivity in decision-making processes. The city of Tempe prioritizes initiatives in four areas: community, business, recreation, and government.

The city of Tempe prioritizes gathering feedback from various stakeholders, including residents, businesses, and employees, to guide their strategies and initiatives. The overarching objective is to develop programs, systems, and services that can serve as models for meeting community needs effectively.


Before partnering with ETC Institute, the City of Tempe primarily relied on limited communication and feedback gathered from citizen attendance and participation in bi-monthly city council meetings. This approach restricted the city’s ability to hear from a broader spectrum of its citizens. Tempe recognized the need for a more comprehensive and inclusive method to gain feedback and insights from all community members.

Additionally, the city aimed to develop programs and systems that could serve as models for other communities, enhancing their ability to meet local needs effectively. While Tempe was already regarded as a community leader in the region, it aspired to elevate its status to a national level and maintain its leadership position.


The City of Tempe’s partnership with ETC Institute began with conducting surveys on the city’s Parks and Recreation services. These surveys targeted users and non-users of these services, providing comprehensive insights into citizens’ needs and satisfaction levels with the current offerings. The gathered data was then utilized to develop strategies for service improvement.

ETC Institute’s data collection plays a crucial role in initiating Tempe’s annual budgeting process. The city uses these insights to communicate more effectively with the City Council, providing evidence-based findings and recommendations. The reports and Satisfaction-Importance Matrix prepared by ETC Institute present the data in an intuitive and easily understandable format, facilitating better communication with the City Council and the community.

Additionally, follow-up focus groups were conducted to discuss specific results with local businesses. These discussions helped the city identify previously unknown gaps and challenges faced by the business community, enabling more targeted and effective responses.

“ETC makes very complex data understandable for all of our community members. The responsiveness that we've had from the whole team at ETC has always been very positive and productive and efficient at times too.”

Wydale Holmes
City of Tempe


The partnership with ETC Institute has yielded tangible results for the city of Tempe, driving improvements across the city’s performance indicators, 30% of which rely directly on data gathered by ETC Institute:

  • Reliable data allowed for performance metrics to be established before resource allocation
  • Surveys provided vital data that help uphold performance metrics and secure Tempe’s position among the nation’s top 10 cities
  • Branded visuals created by ETC Institute can be utilized in multiple ways

Based on the combined percentages of the residents surveyed who had an opinion, 81% were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the overall quality of services offered by the city of Tempe.

Are you curious about the insights a resident satisfaction survey can offer your community? Contact a member of the ETC Community Survey Team today. 
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