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CRM in Action: Paramount Gets Customers to Talk Back
Employees had conducted one-on-one customer satisfaction research within its parks for years, Paramount wanted to implement a less intrusive solution.
For the rest of the June 2004 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Challenge: Paramount Parks, the theme-park division of Viacom, owns and operates theme parks in such locations as Brazil, Canada, Spain, and the United States. Although employees had conducted one-on-one customer satisfaction research within its parks for years, Paramount wanted to implement a less intrusive solution. "Most guests aren't interested in spending 20 minutes to tell us about their experiences," says Mark Kupferman, director of research at Paramount. "It's difficult to get good, qualitative information in the park environment, and the in-person surveys must be very short." Kupferman also noticed that guests were self-conscious when asked to be honest with a live interviewer. The company sought a solution that would allow guests to feel less pressured and more relaxed when asked to answer questions honestly. Ideally, Paramount wanted the surveys to be answered within the comfort of its guests' own homes. Solution: Paramount implemented Web-survey software from Inquisite to serve as the centerpiece for its customer-feedback initiatives. Inquisite has also been used effectively to help Paramount's management assess the impact of its advertising awareness and guest visitation plans. "In terms of advertising we've used Inquisite to survey guests about what they thought about our TV commercials before we air them," Kupferman says. Benefits: Kupferman conducted more than 55 surveys in 2003, netting about 100,000 individual responses. Inquisite's flexibility has allowed Paramount to collect both quantitative and qualitative data about each guest's experience, including satisfaction with rides, dining, shopping, games, and shows at each park. Results are forwarded weekly to each area of each park, and are used to make any necessary adjustments. Kupferman says that Inquisite has paid for itself many times over, providing the company with a quantity of research that would otherwise have been cost-prohibitive. Additionally, its format allows adjustments to be made to ongoing surveys at any time, even after the survey is deployed. "Inquisite also has given us a great deal of flexibility to do surveys quickly--and to some extent, on impulse," Kupferman says. "It's easy for us to test an idea that we previously might not have wanted to spend a lot of research money on."
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