NOAA 2004-009
Contact: Kent Laborde
NOAA News Releases 2004
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Results from a recent national survey of products issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service indicate that there is a high level of satisfaction among customers using weather information. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The survey was conducted by an independent research company at the request of the National Weather Service, and assessed the performance of the nation’s principle weather provider among sectors that rely heavily on its products. These sectors were aviation, emergency management, media and marine.

“This is wonderful feedback for us to gauge our performance,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David Johnson, director of the National Weather Service. “We have strong indicators as a result of this survey on what we’re doing right and on how we can improve. Weather affects one-third of our nation’s economy, so it’s critical for us to give the best possible service to all users, and continually track their needs.”

Questions in the survey were geared at gauging usefulness of National Weather Service products by the customers, how to improve on products, how the products are being used by various sectors and how the individual sectors perceive the effectiveness and proficiency of the National Weather Service as a whole.

On a scale of 0 to 100, emergency managers ranked the National Weather Service at 80, marine personnel scored it at 78, 77 for aviation and media satisfaction was 76. All four of these customer segment scores are above the aggregate score of 70 for all federal agencies and also above the aggregate score of 74 for all organizations.

“Businesses and government agencies measure satisfaction for several reasons,” said Greg Mandt, director of the National Weather Service Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services. “The insight we gain from customer satisfaction surveys will help us link customer satisfaction with expectations and desired outcomes, as well as help us identify areas for improving quality of service provided to customers.”

National Weather Service program managers are using the survey findings to adjust their annual plans and focus efforts where customers have said they have greater needs. Data from the surveys may also provide critical information for annual performance plans to Congress, as required by the Government Performance and Results Act.

“It will also help us to benchmark National Weather Service performance against ‘the best’ in business and government and set a baseline for customer satisfaction, so we can measure our progress,” Mandt said.

Detailed analysis has been performed on three of the four survey sectors and the fourth is nearing completion. Through this analysis, a consolidated response report is being created for use by National Weather Service managers. Each service area will be taking actions based on survey results.

With the performance baseline established through this survey, the sectors will be surveyed biannually as a follow-up to track improvements and changes that have been implemented in response to public input.

“The information gathered so far will be used immediately to validate current products and services and to establish requirements for future products and services. It will feed into future strategic planning for all of the National Weather Service,” Mandt said.

The survey was conducted through a variety of methods with more than 7,000 participants. Aviation sector respondents were phoned, returning 250 completed surveys. Of emergency managers, 479 responded to a targeted Internet survey, as well as 529 members of the media industry. Marine sector was polled through an open Internet survey linked to the National Weather Service Tropical Prediction Center with 250 responding.

The NOAA National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The NOAA National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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