Most patient satisfaction scales produce high, undifferentiated levels of reported satisfaction that fail to detect program areas that consumers do not like. Methodological problems apparently contribute to these results. An alternative procedure, the Evaluation Ranking Scale (ERS), was formulated and tested. A 2 X 3 design was employed with 246 public health center patients randomly assigned to one of two measurement techniques (ERS vs. a global measure) and one of three informational sets. A secondary group of subjects was a convenience sample of 26 staff members, which allowed comparisons of staff evaluations of the health center to patients' evaluations of the health center. Compared to the global measure, the ERS provided more specific information about particular program components, was more discriminating, and resulted in mean satisfaction scores that were significantly lower. This new approach may be a more effective technique for assessing the psychosocial effectiveness of human service programs.