It is important that the questionnaire should be structured in such a way that it will earn the customer’s trust before moving on to the behavioural questions. The respondents should initially be asked demographic type of questions including age, profession, purpose of travel and have their gender verified. Geographic questions should follow next with questions on place of destination/departure.
Then, they should be asked what other airlines they considered prior to the ticket purchase and what attributes influenced them to choose British Airways. The questions can be pre-determined by the researcher allowing the respondent to choose the most appropriate answer or allowing the customer to fill in the answer him/herself. The survey can be divided into two main sections: the current and the past situation. The current situation can be further divided into two categories: passenger information and flight information.
The first section is dedicated in collecting information about the current situation such as airports (place of departure/destination), travel times, cabin class, purpose of travel as well as customer characteristics such as age, gender, nationality and ambitions. The purpose of this section is to collect as much demographic data as possible as well as identify unique characteristics of the airline’s customers i. e. their personality and how it may connect to their choice of airlines(Leick, 2007).
The second part of the research will attempt to investigate the reasons behind the customer’s behaviour i. e. why he/she chose British Airways and also how they rank the airline compared to other competitors. This section aims at investigating the customer’s perception about British Airways and will allow for a comparison with other competitors (Leick, 2007). The questions in the survey will be posed in various forms:
- Multiple-choice questions: such questions consist of three or more categories and can ask for single or multiple questions.
- Rank order scaling: questions that are answered by ranking several products or services based on particular attributes.
- Rating scale (Likert scale): a product or service is rated along a well-defined sequence in which the elements are not perceptibly different although the extremes are quite distinct.
- Semantic differential: the customer is asked to rank a product or service based on a point rating scale that has two bipolar adjectives at either end.
- Open-ended questions: where customers are allowed to answer the question in any way by filling up the blank space.
Each question will be accompanied by detailed instructions on how to appropriately answer the question explaining the required action as well as offering a different option if the answers are not applicable. The Questions The table below includes the type of questions that will be posed in the survey. Each question will help in gathering the type of data as designated in the table. (Gilbert, 1996).
The research will be conducted using a questionnaire that can be administered either through the one-on-one interview technique or via email distribution. As far as the former is concerned this can take place in the check-in area of various airports. The targeting of passengers must be as random as possible (i. e. both men and women, with or without travelling companion, all cabin classes, all ethnicities etc. ) and should include both domestic and international travellers.
The duration of the research is at the company’s discretion but should be at least more than a day. Emails can be sent to the frequent-flyer-programme members as well as members of companies which participate in the airline’s loyalty scheme. Data Analysis Once the data has been gathered it must be analysed in order to determine which groups of passengers are represented by the information obtained by the questionnaire. This can be done via the chi-squared analysis. The chi-squared technique will be used in order to carry out a “test of independence”.
This test assesses whether various observations on variables are independent of each other. For example, chi-squared analysis can be applied to investigate whether customers’ choice on the type of cabin class is affected by their purpose of travel or by their age. The analysis will help in identifying how different customer groups think and act by correlating the demographic data with the different rankings in decision-making. Several hypotheses will be made on the relationship of different variables and the probability will be calculated.
A chi-squared probability of less than or equal to 0. 05 is usually enough to reject any hypothesis on the significance in the relationship between two variables in which case new hypotheses will be stated and reexamined (Lind, Marchal, & Wathen, 2007). Once the chi-squared analysis has been completed the findings will be presented in the form of graphs and tables accompanied by comments and remarks. Certain questions can be further analysed through the semantic differential method.
This method measures the reactions of customers to certain elements in terms of ratings on bipolar scales with both ends described by antonyms. The results are drafted into a graph with the different characteristics of various variables in the form of lines making it easier to determine how the airline performs in several sectors (Lind, Marchal, & Wathen, 2007). By presenting the analysed data in segments it will easier for the company to target particular groups by understanding how they specifically think, act and decide when purchasing flight tickets (Gutman, 1982).
- Gilbert, D. (1996). Relationship Marketing and Airline Loyalty Schemes. Tourism Management , 17, 574-582.
- Gutman, J. (1982). A Means-End Chain Model Based on Consumer Categorization Processes. Journal of Marketing (46).
- Leick, R. (2007). Buikding Airline Passenger Loyalty Through an Understading of Customer Value: A Relationship Segmentation of Airline Passengers. Cranfield, UK: Cranfield University. Lind, D.
- Marchal, W. G. , & Wathen, S. A. (2007). Statistical Techniques in Business and Economics (13th ed. ). McGraw-Hill Education.