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 Post subject: Does your group do surveys of membership/public/passengers?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:18 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:03 pm
Posts: 722
Do we ask for feedback in Train-World? Why or why not? Do you send out surveys by mail, internet, other?

Does anything substantial come from it in your group? How much outreach for opinions is worth it?

Have you done volunteer or ridership surveys to identify what your perceived strengths and weaknesses are?

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Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc
http://www.fwrhs.org


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 Post subject: Re: Does your group do surveys of membership/public/passenge
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 1114
Location: Northeastern US
Honestly, I've heard (and overheard) so many positive comments and seen so many smiling faces headed for the parking lot, that the thought of a survey has never crossed my mind -but it's a great point. What could be added (or modified, or curtailed) that would make a visitor's experience even better? Perhaps new members could be gained from such an endeavor. The question of surveying the membership is interesting too...

Any groups out there already have a "suggestion box" in use for the public?

Stephen


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 Post subject: Re: Does your group do surveys of membership/public/passenge
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:25 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1814
A few years ago at National Capital we did a simple zip code survey at the cash register to learn where our visitors come from. We learned our base was local to the county, followed by the Washington suburbs in Northern Virginia, then our neighboring counties in the Maryland suburbs.

Our educator has done some follow-up with group leaders in our school program. That effort has pretty much affirmed things we know: folks enjoy the programs and the ride, and sometimes our volunteer docents could be more engaged with the groups. But we have never done a detailed customer satisfaction survey with our weekend visitors. The weekend survey would require volunteer time and some financial resources to develop, and so it sits on the wish list.

Wesley


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 Post subject: Re: Does your group do surveys of membership/public/passenge
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 9:21 pm
Posts: 99
At the WW&F Railway Museum we have a visitors' log on the counter in the gift shop where visitors are encouraged to enter the date, their name, where they are from (not their address), and how they heard of us. That last column is the most important, as it gives us feedback on where to spend our meager advertising dollars. However, the most common replies are various versions of "word of mouth."

A little more than five years ago we included a survey form in our bi-monthly newsletter. We got about an 18% response rate. We received gratifyingly high marks for historic ambiance, member communications, quality restorations, volunteer utilization, and goal definition and fulfillment. Areas for improvement emphasized parking and restrooms, with additional mention of signage, artifact explanation, explaining the “two-footer story,” and provisions for weekday visitors. Expansions of the mainline and additions to the rolling stock also received frequent mention. Since parking and restrooms were the especially "hot" items, we have projects for both of those underway. Efforts to address the other issues are also being undertaken but less urgently.

-John


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 Post subject: Re: Does your group do surveys of membership/public/passenge
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5262
Location: southeastern USA
Does your newsletter go to people who are already your supporters, or just casual visitors? Asking the choir about the quality of the singing doesn't elicit a particularly useful response.......

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Does your group do surveys of membership/public/passenge
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:27 pm 

Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 11:27 am
Posts: 420
Location: Switching the Coach Yard
We recently changed caterer on our dinner train and we surveyed the first couple groups through (Valentine trains = several days of good crowds) just to get a feel for the quality. We limited it to 4-5 one line questions; direct, to the point and a minimal inconvenience to the paying passengers. Not something we do all the time, but there are occasions when we think it's very useful.


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