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CHAPTER 7 Tenant Surveys Many of the issues related to planning and designing tenant surveys are common to other types of airport user surveys, and the reader will be referred to those sections of the guidebook where applicable. Airport tenants include a wide range of organizations, such as concession operators (retail, food and beverage, car rental, courier, entertainment, etc.), airlines, government agencies, orga- nizations providing aircraft and aviation services, organizations handling cargo and mail, gen- eral aviation aircraft owners and fixed-base operators, and often non-aviation businesses as well. The particular tenants to survey will depend on the goals and purpose of the survey. 7.1 Purpose of the Survey and the Data to Be Collected Tenant surveys are conducted for a variety of reasons. Typical examples, and the types of data collected, include the following: To obtain information to determine the economic impact of an airport. The types of informa- tion collected typically include data on gross revenues, wages, and taxes; numbers of employ- ees by part-time or full-time status and type of work; and the value of capital assets and capital expenditures. To determine satisfaction with the services provided by the airport in its role as landlord. This survey could include tracking tenant satisfaction and service requirements, identifying key fac- tors that influence overall tenant satisfaction, gathering feedback about the quality of the services provided by the airport and its efficiency in meeting tenant needs, and identifying opportunities for enhancing tenant satisfaction and value. This type of survey should be conducted by a third party, and responses should be kept confidential and released in aggregate form only. To obtain information on customer service through techniques such as "mystery shopper" sur- veys. The survey could also include price comparisons with identical or similar off-airport shops and services (e.g., restaurant chains). The results are used to make specific improvements to concessions. As with all airport user surveys, the first step in conducting a tenant survey is to outline its goals and purpose. (See Chapter 2 for a discussion on specifying goals, defining the purpose of a survey, the importance of doing so, and who should be involved.) 7.2 Survey Methodology The options for conducting tenant surveys include using Internet, fax-in, or mail surveys (or a combination of these) or on-site visits. Because the number of tenants is generally relatively small, 125

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126 Guidebook for Conducting Airport User Surveys all tenants in the categories of interest are usually surveyed, especially if the results will be compiled for tenant subgroups. Where there are many tenants, selection of a sample is appropriate. Survey- ing all tenants will help ensure an adequate response rate. Mystery shopper surveys must obviously be conducted on site. These surveys are very different from other tenant surveys and are discussed separately in Section 7.7. 7.2.1 Internet Surveys Internet surveys are ideal for conducting tenant feedback and economic impact surveys. The airport should have contact information for all tenants, which will generally include email addresses. There may be exceptions in the case of general aviation aircraft owners or small, inde- pendent concession operators, who may have to be surveyed using another method. All tenants to be surveyed are sent an email asking them to participate in the survey and pro- viding a link to the questionnaire on the World Wide Web. (See Section 1.4 for a discussion on setting up a Web-based survey.) It is often a good idea to notify tenants in advance of the survey by email or telephone and to follow up with non-responding tenants, again by email or prefer- ably telephone. Using Web-based surveys with initial contact via email has the following advantages: The survey is relatively easy to set up and administer. The use of email allows the survey invitation to be easily forwarded to the appropriate person in the company. It allows respondents to complete the survey at a time convenient to them and to do so in more than one session, if they wish (depending on the software used). It allows easy tracking of the number of responses and requires no data entry. Response rates are usually much better than with mail surveys. The main disadvantages are that some effort may be required to compile a tenant email address list and some tenants may not have email addresses or easy access to the Internet. A mail or fax- in survey could be used for those tenants without email addresses. Many Web-based survey tools allow for mailed and faxed replies to be entered manually so that they can easily be incorporated into the Web-based survey results. However, response rates for Web-based surveys are not as high as with on-site visits. 7.2.2 Mail or Fax-in Surveys Mail and fax-in surveys are similar in approach to Internet surveys but require each tenant's mailing address rather than email address. Questionnaires are mailed to each tenant with a pre- paid reply envelope, and responses are either mailed or faxed back. The advantage of mail surveys is that all tenants will have a mailing address. The main disadvan- tages are that response returns are often slow, the response rate is typically low, and responses must be entered into a database for analysis. Non-responses are usually followed up by telephone, which is more costly than sending bulk reminders via email but is generally more effective, particularly if the emails have not been reaching the correct person. 7.2.3 On-Site Surveys On-site surveys are the only viable method for mystery shopper surveys (discussed in Section 7.7). On-site surveys can also be used for tenant feedback and economic impact surveys, but Internet or mail surveys are generally preferable. Tenant staff available on site will often not be able to provide