MWR Today – January 2001
Camp Lejeune Tests the Waters
By Regina A.B. Delgado
The Camp Lejeune, N.C. Marine Corps Community Services conducts extensive market research using Opinionmeters, interactive polling machines designed to quickly and efficiently gather customer satisfaction feedback at point of service. Driven by a strategic plan, this effort focuses on an annual survey distributed to a representative sample of eligible MCCS patrons, and is supplemented by exit poll surveys. The primary objective is to obtain current information regarding customer opinions, patterns, and levels of satisfaction with all MCCS facilities, programs, and services at Camp Lejeune.
The stand-supported, battery powered Opinionmeters are programmed with standardized questions and rotated through MCCS facilities. The Opinionmeter can record up to 2,000 surveys and process the data internally, producing a summary report with percentage results at the touch of a button. Or, for additional data manipulation, results can be downloaded into a personal computer and analyzed using statistical software. The Opinionmeter offers an optional “winning number” feature that we activate and associate with an incentive to encourage participation and increase response rates.
We began using the machines at Camp Lejeune in 1997 and, in some facilities, have collected as many as seven independent sets of data. In several cases we’ve been able to recognize a weakness, make necessary improvements, and monitor a direct increase in satisfaction at a particular facility. For example, results from a study of the Harriotte B. Smith Library at Camp Lejeune determined facility hours of operation were inconvenient for many customers. Mangers identified specific days and times by interacting with customers, and extended operating hours on Friday evenings to accommodate the requests. A follow up exit poll at that facility conducted three months later showed increased satisfaction levels with hours of operation, presumably related to the changes instituted by management.