A West Midlands-based technology company has proved it is firmly on track after securing a major contract with London Underground.

Customer Research Technology has spent the last two-and-a-half years working on a deal to install customised Opinionmeters at the 253 stations owned by London Underground.

The portable battery-powered machines that are situated in the stations' ticket halls give millions of passengers the chance to take part in customer satisfaction surveys the length and breadth of the capital.

Customer Research Technology, which is based at the University of Warwick Science Park's Business Innovation Centre in Coventry, has developed a range of technology products to catch customer feedback.

Director Richard Gamble said the London Underground had been delighted with the number of passengers who have taken part in the on-going surveys as part of the Secure Station Scheme run by the Department of Transport.

"We are rotating the machines round the stations, they are simple to use and give everyone the opportunity to give feedback," he said.

"The questions vary depending on local issues but there are usually no more than ten.

"One survey is usually regarding security so that London Underground bosses can determine passengers' opinions regarding security at different times of the day so that if there is a specific time when customers are worried then individual stations can make changes.

"London Underground has been stunned by the response rates and since these machines are available 24-7, people can take part when it is convenient.

"The benefits are that it is a much more cost effective way than employing interviewers because we deliver high volume results within two or three days.

"We find people are more honest using these machines because there are no human influences on them while they respond."

Jim Muir, senior researcher for London Underground, added: "Opinionmeters are used to measure customer feedback on very local and tactical issues.

"The beauty of the Opinionmeters is they are fairly economical, easy to use and portable so they can be moved from station to station."

Karen Aston, centre manager at the University of Warwick Science Park's Business Innovation Centre in Binley, said: "London Underground is a world leader in the transport sector which is a massive industry.

"To have secured a rolling contract highlights the value of the services and products offered by Customer Research Technology and we wish them every success in gaining further high-profile clients.

"With the support of the Science Park's Projects Team, the company has raised equity finance through the Investment Readiness programme funded by Advantage West Midlands and is well on the way to exceeding its own sales projections.

"This is another successful example of the way the Science Park can work with its tenants to accelerate their growth."