Posts Tagged ‘East Anglia’

Posts Tagged ‘East Anglia’

Customer Service and Access Survey – Telephone Interviews

Greenfields Community Housing


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.


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.


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 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, 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


CIM National Excellence Award Winners

CIM National Excellence Award Winners

It’s been a good week at Mackman. Not only are we celebrating our 10th Anniversary this month, but we were awarded the Marketing Excellence Award in the Education Category at the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) national awards ceremony.We were one of just 23 winners, selected from hundreds of entries, and accepted our award from comedian, Jimmy Carr.

We won the award after submitting the work we undertook on behalf of Harlow College. The integrated campaign was designed to raise awareness around the number one status at the College and began with two perception surveys with prospective students and parents of students. The results were used to inform some creative designs; developing new posters, video and a microsite, as well as a PR campaign.

Paul Mackman, director, said, “This has been the perfect start to our tenth year in business. We’re delighted as this project encapsulates the spirit of how our specialists work closely with clients to produce integrated campaigns that provide return on investment. Considering the scale and intense level of competition associated with the CIM awards, we’re glad to have done Sudbury proud.”

A targeted and strategic approach enabled our research, planning, communications, design and web development teams to create compelling campaign that achieved significant return on investment.

Simon Boyce, head of marketing at Harlow College, said, “Mackman’s comprehensive campaign delivered huge results for us. Winning the award verifies the standard of their work and passion for what they do. They worked closely with our in-house team and delivered a thoughtful campaign that produced a very positive response.”

Learn more about the project that won us the award, by taking a look at the Harlow College Case Study.

Customer Satisfaction Survey – Mixed Methodology


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.


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.


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.


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 Research – Mixed Methodology


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.


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


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






Client Satisfaction Survey – Telephone Interviews


Baker Tilly is a leading independent firm of accountants and business advisers that specialises in providing an integrated range of services. The firm has national coverage through its network of offices and is represented internationally through its independent membership of Baker Tilly International. Mackman Research was commissioned to survey clients across the East Anglian region on behalf of Baker Tilly. The survey measured the overall satisfaction levels of Baker Tilly selected clients and their experience of dealing with Baker Tilly.


Mackman Research designed a client satisfaction questionnaire in accordance with Baker Tilly’s requirements. Mackman Research was supplied with a sample of Baker Tilly’s contact database. The sample was pre-selected by Baker Tilly. Clients were asked to participate in a telephone interview lasting six minutes with a Mackman researcher. Mackman Research made numerous attempts to reach as many potential respondents as possible over a four week period. The survey consisted of 15 closed questions and 3 open questions.


The client satisfaction survey achieved a 62% response rate. Because the supplied contact data was pre-selected, we were unable to comment on how representative the findings were to the entire client database. The findings presented an exhaustive insight into clients’ opinions of Baker Tilly services and overall satisfaction levels, identifying areas of strength and where improvements were needed. The findings contained a large amount of verbatim, which was varied and valuable in identifying and assessing priority action points arising from the results.

Mackman has undertaken research for a number of regional Baker Tilly offices as well as the National Head Office located in London.