Archive for the ‘Customer Research’ Category

Archive for the ‘Customer Research’ Category

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.

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

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/

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.”

How much data do I need for my research project?

This is a common question we get asked, and one that needs careful consideration because talking to the right number of people or getting a significant number of people to answer your survey is vital to the statistical reliability of your research.

But how do you know how many respondents are enough? How big does a sample need to be in order to accurately reflect the attitudes / opinions of a population / the group of people who you want to understand?

Firstly, it is vital to establish who your population is: if you were doing an all-inclusive employee survey – this would be the entire workforce. If you wanted to find out how and why people use public parks in a particular city, your population would be the number of residents of that specific city.

Once you have figured out your population size, the next step is to consider how certain you need to be that the answers you collect reflect the views of the population as a whole.

In all of our surveys, we specifically consider statistical reliability of the sample size and use confidence levels and intervals.

‘Confidence interval’ is the plus-or-minus figure usually reported in newspaper or television opinion poll results. For example, if you use a confidence interval of 4 and 47% percent of your sample picks an answer you can be “sure” that if you had asked the question of the entire relevant population between 43% (47% – 4%) and 51% (47% + 4%) would have picked that answer.

The ‘confidence level’ is the likelihood of the sample accurately reflecting your population. A 95% confidence level means that if you were to repeat a sample of the same population you would get the same results 95% of the time – This is the most commonly used confidence level and if used, you can therefore say you are 95% certain (plus or minus the confidence level, as above) that the results are true of your whole population.

So how big does the data sample need to be?

This handy little table shows you a rough guide:

Sample size table

As you can see the calculation is not proportionally linear and there is a point when populations in excess of one million will generate the same sample size. At Mackman, we make certain you have the correct sample size for your research, so if you have a research project you would like to discuss, please get in touch.

New MRS Code of Conduct

The Market Research Society (MRS) has launched and updated a new edition of their Code of Conduct, which will come in to effect on 1st September 2014, and is relevant for market, social and opinion research. The Code is significant to the research industry because it underpins ethical research, best practice guidance, legal instruction and ‘exists to protect the entire research supply chain’. With the fast revolutionising research market facing questions about the collection and use of personal data, the MRS Code of Conduct is crucial in helping to protect and regulate first-rate research practice. This gives everyone concerned greater assurance in research from the research providers who adhere to the Code, through to buyers and research participants.

Jane Frost, the Chief Executive of MRS, has said: “The UK research sector is worth more than £3bn and it’s growing. The emergence of massive datasets and the public’s concern around privacy are just two examples of challenges to the sector that didn’t exist ten years ago, let alone sixty. The updated Code is the bedrock on which this sector will continue to flourish - it ensures that research is legal, ethical and transparent, and that is critical to customer and consumer trust.”

Our research director, Gemma Mackman, is a member of the MRS and thus all research carried out by Mackman Research , whether business to business, social, online, telephone, qualitative or quantitative, is executed in accordance with with the rules and regulations.

Our researchers also conform to the Code and follow strict procedures. We are always direct with our introductions when conducting research on behalf of our clients and offer an explanation as to why we are conducting the research. All responses are collected in a strictly confidential manner and in such instance both clients and participants remain anonymous throughout and breaches of confidence do not occur under any circumstances.

 

Electrical Oil Services Customer Perception Survey

Tom Lowcock and Andy Davies (EOSL) with Amanda (Mackman Researcher)

Tom Lowcock and Andy Davies (EOS) with Amanda (Mackman Researcher)

The Mackman team are working in collaboration with EOS to provide a strategic marketing plan for the company and the customer survey is the beginning of this substantial project.

As part of the EOS contract, Mackman Research designed a questionnaire, carried out telephone interviews, an online survey, analysed the information and prepared a findings report with detailed recommendations.

Mackman researchers contacted EOS customers in managerial, operational and technical roles to take part in the research, which looked at improvements, competitors and customer satisfaction ratings.

EOS, Sales Manager, Andy Bartram praised the work carried out by Mackman researchers and said it was “a great piece of work which confirms feelings we have had about the business and this data is invaluable in substantiating this information. This evidence will help EOS improve and make precise business decisions for the future.”

Sara Cullis, Research Client Lead said, “Our research proved that EOS has a dedicated customer base with a certain amount of control in the market place. It is clear that EOS is considered the market leader for the supply of reclaimed insulating oil, with customers describing them as ‘Professional’, ‘Reliable’ and ‘Efficient’. We are looking forward to building upon the thorough research findings to help EOS develop and implement future advances for their business.”

Keeping research respectful – MRS clamp down on sugging

MRS

CEO of the MRS, Jane Frost has made it clear that there must be a division between what ethical research is and what direct marketing is. Research gets an unfortunate name from a few baddies in the industry who disguise the work they do as customer research. They are often a product marketer falsely pretending to be a market researcher conducting a survey, when in truth they are merely attempting to sell a product. Jane clearly states that we must protect the public from whom research draws its business from, or the whole of the industry gets tarred with the same brush. “Sugging has a direct impact on trust in the handling of data and thus response rates, fundamental to the health of the research sector”.

*Sugging denotes “selling under the guise of research” 

As a result of this activity, MRS has set up a new sugging hotline. This has been established for people to report on questionable use of research as a cover for other activities. You can read more about the MRS challenging the companies who carry out this bad practice, by clicking here.

You can be reassured that at Mackman, our researchers adhere to appropriate research working methods. We specialise in non-prescriptive, quality, and ethical research. Our research director, Gemma Mackman, is a member of the MRS and we abide by a strict set of rules and guidelines outlined by the organisation. We are always direct with our introductions when conducting research on behalf of our clients and offer an explanation as to why we are conducting the research. All responses are collected in a strictly confidential manner and in such instance both clients and participants remain anonymous throughout and breaches of confidence do not occur under any circumstances. Our methods also conform to the legal requirements as stated in the Data Protection Act 1998.

Find out more about our customer research here…

Customer Satisfaction Survey – Mixed Methodology

Background

Specflue is the UK’s number one supplier of flue, chimney and renewable energy solutions, based in Sudbury Suffolk and Honiton, Devon. The business was founded in 1992 as an independent company, with the guiding principles of innovation, the provision of top class products and outstanding service. These elements allowed Specflue to grow into a leader in its sector.

Mackman Research was commissioned to conduct a benchmark customer satisfaction survey on behalf of Specflue. The study was carried out to help Specflue improve the overall quality of customer service. The aim was to gain more insight into current service levels, identifying strengths and weaknesses to help Specflue implement changes to foster competitive advantage and ascertain future development requirements to enable them to further grow their business.

Approach

In collaboration with Specflue managers, Mackman Research designed a questionnaire based on the objectives, to help assess and measure the level of customer service provision across different commercial sectors and all areas of their day-to-day business. Clients were invited by a letter from the National Sales Manager of Specflue to take part in the survey. Specflue provided a large contacts database containing information which was subsequently used to subdivide data by business area and location.

Specflue provided individual contact details. Survey participation was in the form of a telephone interview, lasting approximately six minutes with a Mackman researcher. In addition, customers who were unobtainable by telephone and had a valid email address supplied, were invited to take part through an online version of the survey. The survey consisted of closed questions and open questions. Numerous attempts were made to book a convenient time to conduct the survey with as many contacts as possible in the six week time scale.

Results

From Specflue’s customer population, the research achieved a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of +/- 5.49%.

There was a positive response to Specflue’s customer satisfaction survey with a higher number of contributors than estimated in the set timescale. Mackman Research achieved 25% above the target response rate. It is very clear that Specflue have a loyal customer base who trade with them because of the quality of service they receive. The overall results for Specflue demonstrate excellent levels of service for their industry sector and highlighted areas where further improvement can be made. Mackman Research identified a number of key areas for development and recommended activities to influence customer satisfaction going forward. The study also informed Specflue about potential future developments for the business and provided competitor information.

Specflue

Mackman are finalists in national awards

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has announced the finalists of its annual awards and we have cause to celebrate! From numerous entries across the country, we’ve made it into the final of the Education category.

We put forward an Awareness Campaign for Harlow College as an entry. The project involved our research, strategy, design, development and communications teams, aiming to increase awareness of the College’s number one status. Mackman Research conducted two perception surveys for the initial stages of the campaign with prospective students and parents. The campaign increased student enrollment by 19% (against a 10% target) and resulted in a ROMI of 1:20.9 over a year.

Paul Mackman, Director at Mackman, said: “These awards are the ultimate for our industry and as this piece of work involved every team, we very pleased with the achievement.”

The awards ceremony takes place at Grosvenor House Hotel in London, on the 12th February 2014.