5 Tips to Conduct Successful Airport Intercept Surveys

Work in the transportation sector? Then I think you’ll agree that the opportunity to learn how to improve your service from target consumers is critical.

In the airport and aviation industry, the need for this type of research is amplified.

Typical questions airport decision-makers might have include:

  • What’s the NPS score for our airport?”
  • “What other destinations should be offered?”
  • "How does our airport compare to competitors?

These questions and more can be addressed through airport intercept surveys.

In this blog post, our intercept survey company shares five tips for a successful market research study. We'll also share a real-world intercept survey case study our team recently conducted with an airport.

5 Tips to Conduct Successful Airport Intercept Surveys

Tip #1: Shorter Is Better

Try to limit your questionnaire to only a handful of questions.

By a rule of thumb, intercept surveys should range from 10 to 15 questions (or less) and take 1 to 3 minutes to complete.

It’s easy to think, “Why not ask visitors all of the questions we have while we’re already talking to them?” However, this notion easily lets survey length get out of hand.

When interviewers approach airport passengers, their pitch will need to include how long the survey takes, and if it’s longer than a few minutes you can count on it deterring interest from completing the survey.

To set yourself up for success, Drive Research recommends having your team conduct a few quick survey test drives to ensure questions flow smoothly and timing is at an optimal length.

Here are 7 example intercept interview questions to help get you started.

Tip #2: Use Signage to Your Advantage

Looking credible is always a key concern when conducting airport intercept surveys.

You will want potential survey-takers to look at your interviewers and know they are affiliated with the organization they are conducting research on behalf of.

Drive Research recommends placing the research provider’s logo, airport logo, and interviewer’s name on a name tag or lanyard identification tag.

This type of signage instantly adds credibility to anyone who sees it making the interviewer’s approach easier. While this is a small addition, you can count on it helping to increase your response rate.

Teamwork makes the dream work!

Tip #3: Find the Right Interviewer

Afraid of talking to strangers? Then conducting intercept surveys is probably not a great fit for you.

Drive Research has a team of ready-to-go interviewers when an intercept survey project begins.

Key qualities in an intercept interviewer to look for include:

  • An outgoing personality
  • Experience in service-based industries
  • Friendly attitude
  • A go-getter mentality

Having a team of determined individuals sets your team up for success when conducting airport intercept surveys.

Here are five more intercept interview tips to assist in a successful study.

Tip #4: Interview Where People Are Waiting

If you’re at the airport or traveling, your main concern is most likely getting to your destination safely and on time. This leaves little room for time to waste.

However, passengers typically have ample free time while waiting at their gate making it the most opportune time to receive feedback.

When conducting intercept surveys at an airport, work with the security team to create a plan that enables interviewers to gain access to the gate area or where passengers are waiting to board.

If unable to approach passengers using this method, your team will likely experience a lower response rate.

To accommodate this, consider other ways to spread awareness of your surveys such as using social media or email invitations to specific lists.

You may also decide to interview community members at typical hotspots such as a mall, park, etc. to supplement additional completes from community members.

Tip #5: Incentives Matter

We know travelers’ time is precious. To entice completes of airport intercept surveys, you will want to offer a reward for participation. 

When considering rewards, cash proves to be king.

Another great reward is something you can hand to survey takers upon completion, such as a small monetary amount or coupon.

Airports may also consider a raffle of some sort, such as offering a pair of round-trip tickets to a popular destination.

Offering rewards for research is important. To learn more about research incentives, read our post: You Should Offer a Reward for Your Market Research.

Case Study: Airport Intercept Surveys

Recently, an airport at a U.S. vacation destination partnered with Drive Research to conduct a market research study.

The market research objectives included a better understanding of:

  • Passenger profiles
  • Unmet needs
  • Drivers to the usage of competitors
  • How to draw more passenger traffic to the airport
  • Other secondary objectives

These insights were gathered across critical audiences, such as business, leisure, and combined audiences.

The investment in market research provided the client with definitive, measurable, and actionable feedback to guide the next steps with marketing and strategy for the airport.

Airport Research Approach

To address the objectives at hand, Drive Research recommended a survey to address two audiences:

  1. An intercept survey at the airport, a home and garden show, and a community shopper area where tourists frequent
  2. An online survey to the general community including consumers and businesses

The combination of these methodologies provided the airport with comprehensive answers to crucial questions.

Details of the Intercept Survey

  • Drive Research used two trained intercept surveyors for a total of 128 hours.
  • The intercepts were conducted over the course of several dates and times.
  • The intercept survey took an average of 7 minutes to complete and included 26 questions.
  • The intercept survey received 224 responses. 

Details of the Online Survey

  • Fieldwork for the online version of the survey began on May 15 and lasted until June 12.
  • The online survey took users an average of 7 minutes to complete and included 33 questions.
  • The online survey received 91 responses.

Airport Research Results

With a probabilistic sample, a total of 315 responses at the 95% confidence level offers a 5.5% margin of error.

If the survey were conducted with another random pool of 315 respondents, results would yield within +5.5% or -5.5% of the stated totals in the reports. 

The airport also received a market research report.

The report included an executive summary of themes answering key objectives, recommendations, a respondent persona, and an infographic.

The raw data file was shared as separate files.

The report answered the following questions:

  • What was the awareness of the airport and competitive airports?
  • What were travel habits among respondents and how have they changed?
  • What was the usage of the airport and competitive airports among respondents?
  • What were respondents’ travel preferences in regards to COVID-19?
  • What was the perception of the airport?
  • What was the knowledge level of offerings at the airport?
  • What was the future appeal of using the airport?

Recommendations Based on the Data

Drive Research shares more than just data with our airport intercept surveys. With every market research project, we share expert recommendations for how our clients can take action with the results.

Recommendations based on the data included:

  • Strategy on how to best increase awareness of the airport.
  • Strategy on how to increase the awareness of specific offerings at the airport.
  • Strategy on how to position the airport in the market.
  • Ideas on how to boost awareness of success areas at the airport.
  • Ideas on how to boost positive reviews about the airport.
  • Statements to use when promoting the airport.
  • Strategy on how to best address concerns regarding COVID-19.
  • Ideas on recommendations to improve the airport to better need passengers’ needs.

Contact Our Intercept Survey Company

Conducting airport intercept surveys is one of our specialties at Drive Research.

When conducting intercept surveys with our team, you’ll begin with survey creation. After this, you’ll move through fieldwork, which requires a team of interviewers whose responsibility is to approach customers and conduct the survey face-to-face.

Once fieldwork is complete, reporting begins which is where researchers dig into the data to create actionable insights. 

Interested in partnering with Drive Research on your next project? Contact our team below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily taylor about the author

Emily Taylor

As a Senior Research Analyst, Emily is approaching a decade of experience in the market research industry and loves to challenge the status quo. She is a certified VoC professional with a passion for storytelling.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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