Archive for the ‘East Anglia’ Category

Archive for the ‘East Anglia’ Category

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

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.

Mackman take on Sudbury fun run

On Friday 18th April, Mackman's technical department took on the Sudbury fun run. James and Adam both ran the traditional five mile course around Sudbury in just under 40 minutes, ending in Belle Vue Park.

James Royce, Technical Lead said, “The Sudbury fun run is renowned for being a busy event, so we made sure to get tickets early! As our offices are in the heart of Sudbury, it's important to contribute to these events and support local causes. The weather was good to us and it was a great day".

Adam Chamberlin, our Technical Developer said "I'm definitely more comfortable on a bike! However, it was good fun, great to run with so many people".

Michael Balls, who helps with the operations at Mackman was also involved, part of the The Bridge Project funrun team, helping to raise over £2,000 for the charity.

The Sudbury fun run is a major longstanding sporting event for Sudbury, taking place since the early 1980s. This year, The Bridge Project was one of three beneficiaries of the event, that also included East of England Air Ambulance and the Marian Corner Appeal.

Amanda, our Senior Researcher at Mackman, managed to get some action shots of the event. Running an average of 4.54 per km, James and Adam were just too speedy to get a photo head on and we're still trying to guess exactly what James is saying to Adam.

Michael can be seen proudly speed walking his way through the fun run course. Well done Mackman team!

James and Adam - technical funrun teamFunrun-Michael-Balls

 

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

Leading ‘Help to Buy’ research for Essex based conveyancers

Abi and Amanda NHL researchers

Abi and Amanda NHL researchers

Mackman Research has successfully completed a perception survey on behalf of Essex based conveyancers, New Homes Law. New Homes Law was keen to explore the public’s awareness of the Government’s new Help To Buy Scheme. They needed to engage with their potential purchaser’s in Colchester and Chelmsford to measure the level of awareness of people in these two locations, to help inform and drive a strategic marketing plan for the business.

We designed a survey in order to gather the required information in the form of a street survey. Our researchers carried out the perception survey using face to face interviews in both Colchester and Chelmsford.

Sara Cullis, Client Lead, said, “We are really satisfied with the findings of our face to face research. The findings indicate a high awareness of the Government Help To Buy Scheme. This was most likely due to the Government pre-announcing the new phase of the scheme resulting in a flurry of press and media coverage just before the research was undertaken. The key outcomes will inform a very exciting campaign for our clients.”

To find out what Mackman Research could do for your business, get in touch here or give us a call on 01787 388038

Customer satisfaction survey for flue and chimney specialists

Specflue

Mackman Research is delighted to have worked with Sudbury based Specflue to complete a bench mark customer satisfaction survey. The study took part at the end of the summer and was commissioned by Specflue to understand and improve the overall quality of customer services at the company. Mackman Research designed a questionnaire on behalf of the company, to help assess and measure the level of customer service provision.

To achieve the highest response rate possible, we used a mixed methodology. Primarily a telephone survey combined with the support of an online survey. There was an encouraging response to the survey and in the six week calling period our researchers achieved 25% more than the target number of responses. Specflue project manager, Maria Marston-Fuller said, “In our initial meetings Mackman showed that they understood our business and what we were trying to achieve. As a company we had never outsourced our customer satisfaction surveys before and wanted to ensure we got it right. We felt confident that Mackman would help us achieve this. I also liked the thought of working with a local company; having a company close to hand in case of any issues. I would not hesitate to work with Mackman again.”

If you are thinking about conducting a customer satisfaction survey, please contact us at customerservice@mackmangroup.co.uk or telephone 01787 3788038

Customer Research – Mixed Methodology

Background

Mackman Research was commissioned by Eastern IFCA to conduct a benchmark awareness survey to understand stakeholder awareness and engagement, across Eastern IFCAís three counties (Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk). In particular, assessing the role that Eastern IFCA has in the coastal community and measuring the level of understanding for Eastern IFCAís change of emphasis towards sustainability as well as their requirement to balance social and economic benefits of sea fisheries against exploitation. Eastern IFCA needed the research to inform them about how well they are doing to meet these objectives, and also to identify where they need to target their engagement activities in the future. They also wanted the research to create a set of bench mark measurements against which Eastern IFCA can show progress.

Approach

To achieve the highest response rate possible, Mackman Research used a mixed approach using a combination of an online survey (by email), telephone survey and face to face interviews for the more difficult to reach populations. Within each main stakeholders group we identified sub-user groups which shared the same attributes and characteristics of the key stakeholder group. Because of this, we recommended the project employ a random stratified methodology. All surveys were anonymous and respondents were notified of this.

Each sub-group were contacted by an email address (if supplied) and by telephone if a number was available. The online survey was ëliveí over the course of two and a half weeks. During this time, three reminder emails were sent. Telephone contacts were sent a letter from Eastern IFCA informing them of the awareness survey and that a researcher from Mackman would be calling. The telephone survey lasted approximately six minutes with a Mackman researcher. Several respondents asked for the survey to be emailed and were sent a ëliveí link to the online version of the questionnaire. The face to face interviews took place over two days. The fieldwork crucially needed to consider the weather and the tides. Fieldwork took place in Southwold / Aldeburgh and the North Norfolk stretch of coastline between Cley next the Sea and Cromer, respectively. A paper version of the survey was used to question members of the public at all of these locations. Participation was monitored and when one group was found to have a low response rate, more contacts from this grouping where sought.

219 respondents completed the online and telephone survey, achieving a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of +/-6.6%, from a population of 528. In addition to this, 64 face to face qualitative interviews were conducted during the fieldwork stage

Results

The awareness research has been valuable to Eastern IFCA and assisted the government organisation in targeting their future engagement activities. To help Eastern IFCA accomplish this, Mackman Research considered the coastal users' level of understanding and ratings for Eastern IFCA priorities. The research identified areas for improved communication and the importance of reaching out to hard to reach populations. The investigation has also helped Eastern IFCA think about their broader marketing and how how they can expand their current offering to members of the public and the fishing community.

 

 

 

Eastern IFCA survey screen example

Eastern IFCA survey screen example

 

 

 

 

 

Mackman Research completes awareness campaign for eastern fisheries authority

Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation AuthorityMackman Research is delighted to have worked with the Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (EIFCA) to complete a bench mark awareness study. The study took part at the end of last year and was commissioned by EIFCA to understand stakeholder awareness and engagement across Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. The purpose of the study was to assess the awareness/engagement of key stakeholders since the introduction of IFCA’s by the government in April 2011. The job of an IFCA is to sustainably manage inshore fisheries in their local area.

The survey set out to assess and measure the level of understanding by the coastal community for EIFCA’s change towards sustainability as well as their requirement to balance social and economic benefits of sea fisheries against exploitation. In summary the survey sought to demonstrate how well EIFCA are ‘recognised and heard’ by its stakeholders across commercial, community, conservation and recreational populace.

To achieve the highest response rate possible, Mackman Research used a mixed approach using a combination of an online survey (by email), telephone survey and face to face interviews. Qualitative face to face surveys were used to gain a response from more difficult to reach populations.

Client Lead, Sara Cullis said, “Our research team thoroughly enjoyed collecting the data for this study. Sustainable fishing has become a hot topic in government policy circles following a high profile ‘fish fight’ campaign which raised the case for fairer fishing quotas for fishermen and since the IFCA’s replaced the Sea Fisheries Committees in 2011. The study highlights some of the concerns which lay behind this move. Chiefly, the survey results provide EIFCA with robust data so they can move forward and target key stakeholders with engagement activities this year, strengthening coastal community cohesion on the subject of a sustainable seashore for all.”

Phillip Haslam, CEO of EIFCA, "We were impressed by the final report showing comprehensible results and recommendations. Immediately, we felt Mackman understood the requirements of the research. The team were easy to talk to, enthusiastic and worked hard to bring the project in on time and to a tight timescale and budget. We are looking forward to making the most of the research, to create and deliver a targeted engagement activity programme. We would highly recommend Mackman Research for research projects."

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


Mackman Research support No. 1 campaign for Harlow College

What does No.1 mean to you?

Word Cloud: What does No.1 mean to you?

We’re delighted to announce that we have recently joined forces with Harlow College in Essex. Harlow College has been undergoing a transformation in recent years and has now achieved the prestigious status of 'number one college in England' based on their outstanding results.

The college commissioned Mackman to develop a tactical marketing campaign to help change perceptions of Harlow College and raise awareness of their success. Mackman Research conducted two perception surveys for the initial stages of the campaign with prospective students and parents. In turn, Mackman Marketing and creative teams used the results to inform their creative design; developing new posters, video and a microsite, as well as a PR campaign.

In the first case Mackman Research designed a student survey for Year 10 students who will be completing their GCSE’s next year and starting to make decisions about what step to take next after their exams. Copies of the five page paper survey containing tick box options and boxes for open ended responses were handed out to pupils at a local school which has a high proportion of students attending nearby Harlow College every year. The students completed a paper copy of the survey and the responses were inputted in to a database and collated by Mackman researchers.

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. This allowed for easy comparison between the two populations. The participating school emailed parents inviting them to take part in an online version of the perception survey which was ‘live’ for six days.

The Harlow Colllege number 1 campaign has been an exciting group effort for Mackman, with the team working in collaboration to produce something that students and parents will respond to.

Client Lead, Sara Cullis says ‘It’s great to be working with the number one college in England on a truly integrated campaign. We’ve done the research and created an exciting campaign around its results that will aim not only at students but at parents and stakeholders too’.

The microsite can be viewed at: http://www.harlowcollegeno1.org/


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