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140 Guidebook for Conducting Airport User Surveys Questions asked when surveying businesses are very different from the questions used in other airport user surveys, which typically survey individuals. In medium- and large-sized organiza- tions, for example, uncertainty can arise over which office or department should be responding to the survey. For business locations that are branches of a larger organization, the question word- ing should be clear as to whether information should be provided for the local branch or the whole organization. In general, branches of larger organizations should provide information for only the branch in question. Not only may the branch personnel not have the relevant data for other branches, but also this procedure will avoid double counting in the event that some of the other branches also respond to the survey. Another issue is whether any reasons given or opinions expressed are those of the person respond- ing to the survey or represent the position of the organization as a whole. While it may be desirable to obtain reasons or opinions for the organization, rather than the individual responding to the sur- vey, this might require a level of internal approval that would preclude a response. One potential solution is to ask the respondents to indicate their personal view of the organization's position. In addition, questions should differentiate between commercial air service and corporate or charter services the business may use, since many medium- and large-sized businesses use sev- eral types of air transport. 9.5 Measures to Obtain Adequate Response Measures that should be taken to improve the response rate of surveys of area businesses include the following: Market the survey. Seek the support of local business organizations and ask them to let their mem- bers know about the survey and why it is being performed, and encourage their participation. In the introduction to the survey, include the name of the company or organization conduct- ing the survey and the survey sponsor, and make it clear what the survey is for, how the infor- mation being sought could benefit local businesses, and that all information provided will be treated as confidential and only released in aggregate form. Keep the questionnaire short and avoid asking for information that is difficult to obtain; let respondents know that approximate numbers are sufficient. Allow respondents adequate time to reply. The deadline for responding should allow sufficient time for people on vacation, leave, or work-related trips to respond when they return. Three weeks is a reasonable period, but longer may be advisable in July and August or around Christ- mas. Reminders should be sent weekly, with a final reminder within 48 hours of the survey's closing time. For Internet surveys: Make a telephone call for the initial contact (if the budget permits) to explain the reason for the survey and identify the correct recipient. Allow respondents to save a partially completed response and come back later to complete it. Follow up non-responses and partially completed responses with emails and/or telephone calls. 9.6 Survey Budget The cost to conduct surveys of area businesses varies greatly with the survey method and the level and type of follow-up of non-responses. The topic of the survey and the support it receives from the business community are primary determinants of response rates.