Author Archive

Author Archive

Client Survey – Telephone Interviews

Background

Based in London, the executive recruitment agency that approached Mackman specialise in recruiting and selecting the best possible people for executive appointments at prominent companies in the city. Mackman Research was commissioned to conduct a client survey by the London based recruiter and was supplied with a strong, clear brief detailing what type of queries they would like the research to answer. Mackman Research designed a wide-ranging questionnaire on behalf of the client which offered a framework for the qualitative telephone interview.

Approach

The questionnaire addressed all concerns but also allowed the Mackman researcher to inquire into the reasons why the client had given a distinct rating or felt a particular way. The survey included satisfaction, service ratings, and perception questions. The aim of the research was to help the company improve the overall quality of client services but also seek opinion on proposed changes and the effectiveness of the company brand.

Clients were invited personally by the company director to take part in the questionnaire. Survey participation was in the form of a telephone interview, lasting approximately twenty to forty minutes with a Mackman researcher. The recruitment agency provided 20 company contact details and Mackman made significant efforts to book convenient times to conduct the qualitative interview with each and every contact.

Results

Survey participation was very positive, achieving a 90% response rate. The research provided evidence that the recruitment agency is a leading organisation in its field and the team is well known for its expertise in finding exceptional individuals for demanding roles. The findings report provided the client with clear-cut recommendations for service improvements, alongside the individual opinions and reactions from the company’s clients, which fulfilled the initial research brief.

Customer Service and Access Survey – Telephone Interviews

Greenfields Community Housing

Background

Mackman Research was commissioned by Greenfields Community Housing to conduct a customer service and access survey using one questionnaire. The key objective for the satisfaction survey was to identify areas for future improvement within face to face and operational communications and then to ascertain how these could be delivered. The access questions sought to identify which customers need help to get online and use the internet. Additional questions asked about the use of the Greenfield’s website, to determine which customers make use of this and what would motivate customers to visit the website in the future.

Approach

The challenge for this study was in engaging with all demographics across the Greenfield’s community. This is one reason that a telephone interview methodology was chosen as the research method. The questionnaire asked personal questions about access to the internet and their online behaviours. By using a telephone interview the researcher was able to probe and delve more into the reasons why people are frustrated or disillusioned. This guaranteed that the survey included people who may not have taken the time to complete a postal survey; customers with special needs for example. This also made sure there were no incomplete survey responses. The sample size was split proportionally to represent the percentage difference among the age groups, so that it reflected Greenfields overall customer population. Greenfield’s stakeholders were notified that the customer survey would be taking place via their newsletter.

The telephone survey lasted approximately ten minutes with a Mackman researcher. A total of 377 respondents completed the telephone survey, achieving a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of +/- 4.95%, from a population of 9660 individual contacts.

Results

The research report provided Greenfields Community Housing with a thorough examination of how satisfied their customers are with communications. This performance data was also benchmarked against comparable data achieved in 2011. The research is one component of an extensive communications strategy for Greenfields, so it was essential that the research identified how the organisation can reach its customers more effectively, categorising who these customers are as individual groups. The research was successful in making a robust judgement on how this can be carried out.

The access data was a vital element to this research project and sought to find out how Greenfields can help customers who want to learn more about being online. Data here is instrumental for Greenfields so they can set about making a real difference to the people who need help the most. Access to the internet is lower for people living in housing association properties compared to people who are home owners or private renters: the research report made statistical comparisons (compared to a national average) and attained access levels which Greenfields Community Housing can now act upon and make progress against.

Housing Association research to make an impact

Greenfields Community Housing

Mackman Research is delighted to have worked with Greenfields Community Housing to deliver the results of their customer service and access survey. Greenfields is a housing provider based in the Braintree district, in Essex.

The study was designed to help Greenfields identify areas for future improvement within their communications to their customers and then to ascertain how these could be delivered. The access questions sought to recognise which customers need help to get online and use the internet. Additional questions asked about the use of the Greenfield’s website, to determine which customers make use of this and what would encourage them to visit the website in the future. To achieve the highest response rate possible, Mackman Research used telephone interviews and used random sampling to speak with 377 tenants. Greenfield’s stakeholders were notified that the customer survey would be taking place via their newsletter and that one lucky respondent would be selected to win £200 of high street shopping vouchers.

Research Director, Gemma Mackman said, “The Greenfields research study has provided worthwhile data which will make a real difference to the people who use their services; improving customer service, access and understanding of the internet for people who need help. The findings highlighted conclusive evidence of where activity can take place and essentially provides Greenfields with the robust data they need to recommend these actions. We are now working with our communications team at Mackman to ensure the research informs an effective and influential communication strategy for the organisation. This has been a rewarding project and we look forward to collaborating with Greenfields again.” 

If you have an enquiry for quantitative or qualitative insight for your organisation, please contact us at customerservice@mackmangroup.co.uk or telephone 01787 3788038

Campaign launch to help region’s care homes

FaNs Kerry-Paul-01

Mackman has been working with the charity My Home Life Essex Community Association, supported by Essex County Council and Age UK Essex, to launch a new campaign website to encourage volunteers to support older people living in care homes across Essex. This new movement is called Friends and Neighbours (FaNs) and its campaign encourages volunteers to 'Make Every Moment Count'.

Jan Lockyer, FaNs Programme Manager said, “We are really excited to see this campaign come to life. The generous help and extra resources that care homes can get from their local community is great, and the benefits are felt not only by the residents and the care home, but also by the volunteers themselves.”

The new volunteer movement is of national significance. Jan said, “FaNs is a movement that started in Essex, but has the potential to extend right throughout the country. It is about facilitating people who know how important it is to make every moment count, for both themselves and for the older people living in care homes, many of whom still have so much to offer us.”

The FaNs movement looks to make people aware of the little things that can make such a huge difference to the happiness and wellbeing of care home residents. Jan added, “There are approximately 405,000 older people in the UK living in care homes and 81% of older people believe talking and laughing with someone is the most important thing to them.”

The campaign invites anyone to become a FaN; an individual person who wants to volunteer some of their time to help a local care home, community groups such as theatres and choirs, scouting and guide groups, and organisations such as local businesses. There is no formal FaNs membership and no specific commitment required; volunteers can be as involved as they want to be.

Individuals and organisations taking an active interest in the well being of care home residents are known as “FaNs Ambassadors.” There are several ambassadors already on board with the FaNs campaign including Mackman, the Essex County Council, Colchester United Football Club, Essex University Students Union, and the Essex Fire and Rescue Service.

Cllr Anne Brown, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Healthy Living said, “We are firmly committed to improving the quality of life for older people living in residential care in Essex and are delighted to be supporting the FaNs campaign. The council actively encourages care homes to engage and forge close links with their local communities, allowing them to benefit from the extra resources they can offer.”

“We acknowledge the benefits of working together in a positive, supportive and empowering way to help ensure the wellbeing of residents living in residential care, and the FaNs movement gives us an excellent opportunity to do this.”

Charity Age UK Essex, is also a FaNs Ambassador. Chief Executive Andrew Gardner said, “I see my friends regularly and talk to my neighbours all the time, helping out whenever I can - to me that's just a part of living where I do. The work of FaNs is an extension of what all of us do in our daily lives and that's why Age UK Essex support the work of FaNs.”

“It's about helping people who live within our communities to feel as much a part of that community as everyone else. It doesn't matter where someone calls home as long as they are happy.”

The campaign will also offer practical help and support to the owners, managers and staff of care homes to take advantage of the opportunities that FaNs can generate.

“The quality of the care home sector in the UK can be perceived in a negative light which often over shadows some of the brilliant work already going on in the area. The FaNs campaign is going to be a fantastic way to encourage more people to support our care homes but also, celebrate the success stories that do happen in the sector, specifically in Essex”, Jan said.

We have worked with My Home Life Essex to deliver the marketing for the campaign, creating the FaNs visual look and interactive website. Bruce Burgoyne, Creative Lead for the project said, “What resonates with people is real life, honest stories. We wanted to create a current and energetic design for the campaign, something that challenges the misconceptions that working with old people is dull and boring. We needed it to appeal and be accessible to several different audiences, inspiring and motivating them through others stories to get involved and make every moment count.”

Further details on the campaign can be viewed by clicking here

Customer Satisfaction Survey – Mixed Methodology

EOS-Lorry

Background

EOS is the UK’s leading supplier of recycled and unused electrical insulating oils and associated site services, based at Stanlow, near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, from where they serve the whole of the UK . The Mackman team was commissioned to provide a strategic marketing plan for the company and the customer survey was the foundation to this project. The study was carried out to help EOS gain more insight into its current service levels, identifying strengths and weaknesses to help EOS implement changes to foster competitive advantage.

Approach

In collaboration with EOS, Mackman Research designed a questionnaire on behalf of the company. The survey questions were in relation to EOS’s customer service provision but also asked questions about the perception of the company brand, competitors and use of the company website. Clients were invited by a letter from the Sales Manager of EOS to take part in the survey. EOS provided the customer contacts database which contained a mix of email and telephone information. Survey participation was either in the form of a telephone interview or an online survey. The telephone interviews lasted approximately six minutes with a Mackman researcher. Numerous attempts were made to book a convenient time to conduct the survey with as many contacts as possible in the five week calling period, and customers were sent email reminders to encourage them to take part and to notify them of the closing date of the survey.

Results

Mackman Research analysed the data from the mixed collection survey and prepared a findings report with detailed recommendations based on the outcome. From EOS’s customer population, the research achieved a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of +/- 7.48%. It was clearly evident that EOS has a dedicated customer base who considers them to be the market leader for the supply of reclaimed insulating oil. The customer satisfaction results for EOS demonstrated first-rate levels of service for their industry sector and highlighted areas where further improvement can be made. The study has informed EOS about potential future developments for the business and provided competitor information. The information gathered was also used to inform a re-brand of EOS Ltd which includes logo and strapline design.

 

Minds, meanings and metrics – Impact conference 2015

 

 

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The Market Research Society (MRS) has released full details of their Impact conference 2015 in London. This year the event is titled ‘Minds, meanings and metrics: consumer understanding in an uncertain world’ and is taking place on the 17th and 18th March 2015.

There will some big name speakers to discuss research in changeable times, including CEO’s, designers, entrepreneurs, artists and top selling novelist Sebastian Faulks, who will explain the secrets of the narrative arc and how to interpret the expectations of your customers / readers.

Sessions will cover thought-provoking subjects such as:

  • Polling statistics for the general election
  • Ethical debate on data privacy
  • Sampling in the internet age
  • Seizing people’s attention on social media
  • High tech solutions for big data
  • How research has helped amplify previously unheard voices
  • Reshaping brands
  • Reasons for insight failing to transform
  • Improving policy to reach people at the margins of society
  • Measuring social media
  • Re-discovering empathy when conducting research

For more information about the event and a full list of speakers, visit: http://www.mrsannualconference.com/

Making a difference where it counts

We want to share with you, one particular way in which we support a local charity that has had a profound impact on our team.
We've been working with The Bridge Project in Sudbury for years. It's a charity that exists to provide a 'community within a community', that helps vulnerable people living in the area, whether they have learning, physical or 'hidden' disabilities.

We support the marketing and promotion of The Bridge Project's work, and Paul Mackman is on the board of trustees. Theirs is a cause that's always been close to our heart, as they share our values of supporting people and making a positive difference to the lives of individuals in the community.

In 2012, we were part of a group discussion with other organisations in Sudbury who met with The Bridge Project to figure out different ways organisations in the town could get involved with the charity. Joined by businesses like Waitrose, we initiated a work placement programme that would allow students of The Bridge Project to become employees of organisations within the town and develop new skills, while contributing to the businesses they were joining. After a couple of taster day sessions in our offices with around six students from the charity, we were able to offer two people a place on this new eight week programme. They're still with us today as official employees, and that's a big deal for us.

Michael Balls supports the general operations of the business and is solely responsible for all recycling and the shredding of sensitive paperwork. A keen gardener, he also looks after the runner beans and the roses outside and regularly decorates our desks with freshly cut posies. Michael works independently, with very little supervision and makes an invaluable contribution to our business. He's very friendly and loves a chat, updating us on his fishing exploits and what he's been learning at The Bridge Project.

Patrick Parker works across a number of areas of our business, largely because of his incredible aptitude for computer based tasks. He's a fast learner and works closely with the technical team, inputting data. Patrick has been instrumental in the uploading of information to our accounts software. He's also very interested in design and the work undertaken by the creative studio. Patrick is a hard and thorough worker and has integrated seamlessly with the rest of the team. He's got a cracking sense of humour, and doesn't forget a thing even if you tell him once.

It's important for us to share this with you, because there are students at The Bridge Project who could make a real difference to a business like yours, if they're just given the chance. There is a perception that those with additional needs, or a mental health condition, aren't suited to the workplace. But this simply isn't true.

Michael and Patrick are no different to any other member of the Mackman team, and with the wonderful support of the staff at The Bridge Project, we're able to give them access to opportunities and experiences they wouldn't have been available otherwise. If you'd like to learn more about what this means to Bridge Project students like Michael and Patrick, please get in touch by emailing customerservice@mackmangroup.co.uk, or call 01787 388038.

Perception Survey – Paper and Online

Background

Harlow College is a medium-sized tertiary college located on a single site close to Harlow town centre, North West Essex. Historically, educational aspiration in Harlow tends to be low, with capable learners in Harlow aspiring to go to Hertfordshire/Cambridge. However, Harlow College had been undergoing a transformation over the previous five to six years and had recently achieved the prestigious status of No 1 college in England. Mackman were commissioned by Harlow College to develop a tactical marketing campaign to help change out-dated perceptions of Harlow College. The main focus of the campaign was to raise awareness of Harlow College’s award winning status of Number 1 College in England.

Approach

The campaign would target potential students, students who would not have considered Harlow due to its perceived poor reputation, and existing students at the college. The campaign also needed to target the parents of potential/existing students to raise awareness of the option for suggesting Harlow College to their children. The initial stage of the campaign was to conduct a perception survey with both students and parents of Year 10 students (age 14/15). The results were used as the drive to inform the marketing campaign. Mackman Research designed a questionnaire for both student and parent responses, which contained equivalent questions for easy evaluation between the two populations.

The student survey was in the form of a five page paper questionnaire. A school which has a high proportion of students attending nearby Harlow College every year was enlisted for the perception survey. The student survey took place in the last week of the summer academic term. A £15 iTunes voucher was offered as an incentive for students to complete the survey. In a bid to capture parent views and perceptions of Harlow College a second survey with equivalent questions was designed for respective parents of students at the same school. Survey participation for parents was in the form of an online survey. A £50 Tesco gift voucher was offered as an incentive for parents of Year 9/10 students to complete the survey. The school emailed parents, via parentmail, inviting them to take part in the survey.

Results

The data showed that:

  • Higher achieving students are less likely to attend Harlow
  • Lower achieving students see Harlow as inevitable
  • Some parents are suspicious of the No1 results claim
  • The general perception of Harlow College seems to be hampered by a Harlow halo effect

The information gathered was then used to inform the content and tone of the marketing campaign that followed, as well as influencing the decision to use existing students to evolve the branding away from a ‘faceless’ college. The marketing campaign included a microsite and an integrated social media campaign, poster advertising, radio ads, pop-up stands for educational fairs, a t-shirt design competition, a broad sheet-style-style newspaper about Harlow life. The success of the campaign was measured by seeing student enrolment up by 19%, a 16% increase in open day attendance, 24% increase in website traffic and Facebook ‘likes’ up by 387%.

Harlow College campaign

Bench mark customer survey results for Specflue

Specflue

The Mackman Research team is delighted to have delivered the year on year bench mark customer survey results to Specflue, this month.

With offices in Suffolk, Devon and West Yorkshire, Specflue is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of flue, chimney and renewable heat products, supplying the UK market since 1992.

Specflue recognises the evolving relationship it has with its customers and the important implications and outlook this has for the company. By conducting a bench mark survey and listening to what its customers are saying for the second year, Specflue can measure customer expectations across the whole customer experience and recognise shifts in behaviour.

The survey was conducted using a mixed methodology (online and telephone). There was an excellent response from Specflue customers: Mackman researchers achieved a better than forecast participation rate in the six week collection period (27% more responses than predicted). This result achieved a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of 5.38%. With nearly 300 participants contributing to the survey, this high response is again testament to the close relationship Specflue has with its customers.

Gemma Mackman, Mackman Research Director said, “It has been an honour to work with Specflue again this year because they truly understand how they can improve business performance by continually gathering insight from their customers.” Phil Lowe, Head of Sales and Marketing at Specflue was pleased with the in depth report saying, “There is a lot of information here for us to go away and digest, but this insight gives us the assistance we need to inform future business decisions and meet changing customer expectations.”

Making a difference where it counts

We want to share with you, one particular way in which we support a local charity that has had a profound impact on our team.
We've been working with The Bridge Project in Sudbury for years. It's a charity that exists to provide a 'community within a community', that helps vulnerable people living in the area, whether they have learning, physical or 'hidden' disabilities.

We support the marketing and promotion of The Bridge Project's work, and Paul Mackman is on the board of trustees. Theirs is a cause that's always been close to our heart, as they share our values of supporting people and making a positive difference to the lives of individuals in the community.

In 2012, we were part of a group discussion with other organisations in Sudbury who met with The Bridge Project to figure out different ways organisations in the town could get involved with the charity. Joined by businesses like Waitrose, we initiated a work placement programme that would allow students of The Bridge Project to become employees of organisations within the town and develop new skills, while contributing to the businesses they were joining. After a couple of taster day sessions in our offices with around six students from the charity, we were able to offer two people a place on this new eight week programme. They're still with us today as official employees, and that's a big deal for us.

Michael Balls supports the general operations of the business and is solely responsible for all recycling and the shredding of sensitive paperwork. A keen gardener, he also looks after the runner beans and the roses outside and regularly decorates our desks with freshly cut posies. Michael works independently, with very little supervision and makes an invaluable contribution to our business. He's very friendly and loves a chat, updating us on his fishing exploits and what he's been learning at The Bridge Project.

Patrick Parker works across a number of areas of our business, largely because of his incredible aptitude for computer based tasks. He's a fast learner and works closely with the technical team, inputting data. Patrick has been instrumental in the uploading of information to our accounts software. He's also very interested in design and the work undertaken by the creative studio. Patrick is a hard and thorough worker and has integrated seamlessly with the rest of the team. He's got a cracking sense of humour, and doesn't forget a thing even if you tell him once.

It's important for us to share this with you, because there are students at The Bridge Project who could make a real difference to a business like yours, if they're just given the chance. There is a perception that those with additional needs, or a mental health condition, aren't suited to the workplace. But this simply isn't true.

Michael and Patrick are no different to any other member of the Mackman team, and with the wonderful support of the staff at The Bridge Project, we're able to give them access to opportunities and experiences they wouldn't have been available otherwise. If you'd like to learn more about what this means to Bridge Project students like Michael and Patrick, please get in touch by emailing customerservice@mackmangroup.co.uk, or call 01787 388038.