MWR Feedback

MWR Feedback – Feb/March 1999 Opinionmeter Eliminates hassle of data gathering, and customers like to use it.

By Paul Biesemeier

What’s the customer reaction to our new theme restaurant (fitness center, recreation center, etc.)?
Are customers satisfied with service at our facilities?

How many times has your garrison commander or director of community activities asked you those questions? Do you have the answers? Maybe you have current information or maybe you do a “tap dance.” Here’s how we came up with answers. It’s a machine called the Opinionmeter.

In this age of interactivity, patrons readily step up to the Opinionmeter in Fort Hood facilities to provide input – a record of their satisfaction. The unobtrusive device that looks almost like a parking meter (and isn’t much bigger than one) draws the attention of all ages and gives patrons a fun away to let our marketing team know just how they feel about the facility without completing a long questionnaire or being inconvenienced in some other way.

The number of question on the single page prompt sheet is the only real limitation to the amount of information you can get. The prompt sheet is easily changed and tailored to the facility. We’ve used it as Assistance Office, Primo’s Restaurant, Sports Pub, and the Outdoor Recreation equipment checkout center.

Army marketing managers who attended the November 1998 Marketing Manager’s Course at Texas A&M University saw an Opinionmeter demonstration. The flexibility and low profile of the machine make it very effective and provide a low cost alternative to time and labor-intensive data gathering.

“The need to benchmark our efforts drove the staff to seek additional and nontraditional ways to get customer feedback”, said Michael B. Dutcher, Fort Hood’s assistant director of community and family activities. “The Opinionmeter helps because we can easily go back to the facility at least once a year with the same questions.”

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