Customer Satisfaction Pilot Studies and Analysis

Alternatives to the Average

There are several alternatives to the average. These include the median and the mode. The median is a number determined by identifying the response score for which half of the responses are below and half are above. The mode represents the response that customers in the survey choose most frequently. In the example of the two sets with an average of 6, the first set, {6, 6, 6, 6} has a mean, mode, and median of 6. The second set, {2, 2, 10, 10}, has a mean and median of 6 but has two modes, 2 and 10; that is, no one score was chosen more frequently than another.

Medians and modes are rarely used to present information to the public. In a large data set, the median and mode are sometimes similar to the average but often provide additional insight into the responses. However, people are unfamiliar with the terms and tend to interpret both statistics as averages. This misinterpretation of median and mode leads to confusion and limits their use with a general audience. Moreover, the statistical tests for medians and for relating medians to other statistical values are limited. Therefore, medians and modes are not recommended as primary analyses for customer satisfaction survey data reports.

Dispersion of Responses>>
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