National Accountancy Firm – Telephone Interviews Customer Research

Type of Research

Customer Research – Telephone Interviews


Mackman Research was commissioned to survey owner managed business directors by a leading national accountancy firm. Company directors were invited by letter to take part in the owner managed business research, to measure UK business activity over a 12 month period.

The survey questions focused on the outlook of business owners, including their opinions on key opportunities and threats likely to face their industries. Questions were also designed to gain insight into the way business owners are managing their businesses for the future.


Mackman Research was supplied with an initial questionnaire similar to a previous survey. The results were represented in a comparative report, covering the two year period. Survey participation was in the form of  telephone interviews, lasting approximately ten minutes with a Mackman researcher.

Several respondents asked for the survey to be emailed. A live connection was set up, so company directors could answer the survey questions in their own time. Contacts who were unobtainable by telephone interviews and had an email address supplied, were invited to take part through additional email invitation.

The survey calls commenced on the 5th November 2009 and ended on the 5th February 2010.

Sample Size and Confidence Interval.

The accountancy firm provided 9949 contact details and a total of 201 respondents took part.  This achieved a 95% confidence level with a confidence interval of +/- 6.84%. The survey consisted of 17 closed questions and 5 open-ended questions.


Question Example

Actual figures have been altered to keep client confidentiality.

In the next 12 months, do you think your company’s sales, gross margin, operating profit, head count, will increase, decrease or stay the same, for your company? In all cases, we are referring to your UK operations, not global operations.

201 respondents (2009), 300 respondents (2008)

2009 survey results showed an increase in general positivity for the next 12 months trading (2010) when compared with predictions for 2008.  Representatives of Owner Managed Businesses predicted increased sales, gross margin, operating profit, and head count.

This positivity exists across industries and sectors with the exception of the Property, Construction and Development sector who forecasted decreased sales, gross margins, operating profit and head count.



The research proved to be very important during an unsteady economic climate. The accountancy firm were pleased with the results which achieved essential PR coverage in the national press, promoting their services.

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  • We have been so impressed with the standard of work delivered by Mackman. They are lovely people who are committed to offering a quality service, and we have found them to be responsive, informed, thorough and personable. The final presentation of results was incredibly well put together, delivered with clarity, and gave us more insight than we had hoped for. We have immediately instructed them to carry out further work for us as it is not often that services exceed your expectations.
    Recruitment Agency
  • 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.
    Electrical Oil Services Ltd (EOS)
  • We try very hard to communicate well with our customers and the information we have gathered from the survey will be invaluable in helping us to refine the way we work. In particular we have really key information to enable us to promote and assist with digital inclusion. We also now have information that will help us to communicate differently according to customer preferences.
    Greenfields Community Housing
  • Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority contacted Mackman with a brief to carry out an awareness campaign. Immediately, we felt that they understood the requirements of the research and they took reasonable time to consider a sound and practical methodology to meet the demands of the project. The research 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 were impressed by the final report showing comprehensible results and recommendations. An additional presentation which we requested covered everything we defined in a concise and practical solution. This report is a valuable study: The results have given our organisation a benchmark for future engagement with our key stakeholders, helping Eastern IFCA continue to make an impact on the work we do to sustainably manage inshore fisheries in Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. We are looking forward to making the most of the research, to create and deliver a targeted engagement activity programme. I have no hesitation in recommending Mackman; their work is of an extremely high standard and they are a pleasure to work with.
    Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority
  • After meetings with various companies regarding a customer and an employee satisfaction survey, Mackman were chosen. In our initial meetings they showed that they understood our business and what we were trying to achieve. As a company we had never outsourced our customer and employee satisfaction surveys before, or linked the two 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. I felt it would be more cost effective and liked the idea of having a company close to hand in case of any issues. I would not hesitate to work with Mackman again. The staff are friendly and approachable and took the time to understand what we are trying to achieve. They always kept me updated on progress; they are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, have a ‘can-do’ approach and never missed any deadlines set.
  • I found the entire team at Mackman to be driven to achieving the best result for Baker Tilly. I valued their persistence to get the job done. They communicated regularly with me and kept me informed about milestones and possible delays to the project well in advance so I could take appropriate action and ensure the project was kept to schedule. The final report of the results was presented in a clear and easy to understand report. The report is invaluable to us as we use it to determine our marketing approach and plan our business development campaigns for this audience. From the report, we have been successful in gaining many PR opportunities (including front page coverage with the Financial Times). I'd be more than happy to recommend the Mackman Group.
    Baker Tilly London