Rest Area Case Study – Visitor Feedback
The Departments of Transportation in Florida and Georgia were the subjects of a recent visitor feedback rest area case study by the Opiniator team. Specifically, to understand how improving the visitor feedback process could lead to improvements in rest area performance.
The findings (pdf format) can be downloaded on the product information page.
Visitor Feedback – The Challenge
Freeway rest areas across the country often rely on paper comment cards to obtain feedback from visiting drivers. Maintenance contractors were not able to act on visiting drivers’ complaints until more than a month later. Because this is the time it took to collect the cards and input the information into the system.
“Many visitors didn’t immediately deposit their paper cards in the collection boxes, so it could take three to four weeks to mail them to the DOT. Consequently, by the time the cards were scanned into the system and viewed by the Asset Maintenance contractor, the issue was probably already taken care of”.
Kirk Hutchison – FDOT
Visitor Feedback – The Solution
For this reason, DOT’s implemented Opiniator, replacing paper comment cards with a digital alternative. Feedback is prompted with clear, simple signage explaining to visiting drivers on how to provide instant feedback using their cell phones. This can be done by scanning a QR code, sending an SMS or calling in to complete a quick survey.
“From a logistical point of view, replacing the old system with Opiniator is as simple as replacing the comment cards with the appropriate signage. We got started in May of 2018 with a few of our rest areas and Welcome Centers, and by June we had the signs up in all 26 locations.”
David Sparks – GDOT.
Visitor Feedback – The Result
The rest area case study showed that after Opiniator was introduced, the DOT’s maintenance contractors were able to immediately resolve issues reported. In addition, they cut down the time it took to get in touch with the visitors from almost a month and a half to just a few days. Contractor accountability also improves.
“Due to its ﬂexible architecture, adapting Opiniator to meet speciﬁc DOT’s demands was relatively easy. Specifically, in a couple months Opiniator built a module that allows us to accurately measure the contractors’ response time to customer-reported incidents, besides a wide range of other performance indicators”
Kirk Hutchison – FDOT
Opiniator – Visitor Feedback Collection by Cell Phone
Posters at the rest area invite feedback from the driver. The driver uses their own cell phone to share their thoughts and ratings. Most importantly, the driver can elect to give feedback using the most convenient method for them. This includes SMS (texting), Phone call, QR Code, or the web.
The feedback takes less than two minutes and is in the form of a short survey. To make the answering process easier, the survey includes smiley face icons.
Twelve States Use Opiniator for Rest Area Feedback
Florida and Georgia are two of twelve states that collect driver feedback at rest areas. The goal is to improve operations and safety performance. Additionally, GovTech featured the use of Opiniator for the Florida Department of Transportation in all their rest areas. Govtech featured article about opiniator..
More detail on the rest area program – including the ROI.