92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 5:15 PM
Monitoring Users' Satisfactions of the NOAA NWS Climate Products and Services
Room 243 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Marina Timofeyeva, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and S. L. Dixon and J. C. Meyers

The NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Climate Services Division (CSD) ensures the relevance of NWS climate products and services. There are several ongoing efforts to identify the level of user satisfaction. One of these efforts includes periodical surveys conducted by Claes Fornell International (CFI) Group using the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), an "indicator of macroeconomic performance", which is “the only uniform, national, cross-industry measure of satisfaction with the quality of goods and services available in the United States” (http://www.cfigroup.com/acsi/overview.asp).

The CFI Group conducted NWS Climate Products and Services surveys in 2004 and 2009. In 2010, a prominent routine was established for a periodical assessment of the customer satisfaction. From 2010 onward, yearly surveys will cover major climate services products and services. An expanded suite of climate products will be surveyed every other year.

Each survey evaluated customer satisfaction with a range of NWS climate services, data, and products, including Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlooks, drought monitoring, and ENSO monitoring and forecasts, as well as NWS local climate data and forecast products and services. The survey results provide insight into the NWS climate customer base and their requirements for climate services. They also evaluate whether we are meeting the needs of customers and the ease of their understanding for routine climate services, forecasts, and outlooks. In addition, the evaluation of specific topics, such as NWS forecast product category names, probabilistic nature of climate products, interpretation issues, etc., were addressed to assess how our users interpret prediction terminology.

This paper provides an analysis of the following products: hazards, extended-range, long-lead and drought outlooks, El Nino Southern Oscillation monitoring and predictions as well as local climate data products. Two key issues make comparing the different surveys challenging, including the inconsistent suite of characteristics measured and the different number of respondent collected for each survey. Regardless of these two factors contributing to uncertainty of the results, CSD observed general improvement in customer satisfaction. Although, all NWS climate products have competitive scores, the leading ACSIs are for NWS Drought products and climate surface observation products. Overall, the survey results identify requirements for improving existing NWS climate services and introducing new ones.

To date, the 2011 survey results have not been evaluated, but will be included in the conference presentation. A key point out of the initial 2011 survey results was that the climate section captured the greatest interest (as measured by number of respondents) of the customers of NWS products and services.

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