Posts Tagged ‘Telephone Interviews’

Posts Tagged ‘Telephone Interviews’

Members Survey – Mixed Methodology

Background

The East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) is based in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. The not-for-profit trade organisation provides membership to over 300 people in the region and offers new opportunities and knowledge to enable companies to strategically grow their businesses. Mackman Research was commissioned to conduct a survey on behalf of EEEGR. The research was carried out to help EEEGR understand whether they were currently following the correct strategy for their members; to establish any gaps in membership and to determine the future requirements of its associates. The members survey was essential for gaining insight into current perceptions of EEEGR and to make decisions about strategic changes necessary to deliver a better service.

Approach

In collaboration with EEEGR, Mackman Research designed a questionnaire for members to complete. Individuals were invited to participate by the General Manager at EEEGR. Participants were notified that the survey would be anonymous, and respondent details were only needed if they wanted their company to be entered into a prize draw to receive four tickets to the EEEGR Christmas Networking Dinner.

A mixed methodology using invitation by email (online survey) and telephone interview was used to contact all representatives. The telephone interviews lasted between 15 and 35 minutes, depending on how much information the member had to comment. The online version allowed customers to answer the survey questions in their own time.

Results

114 individuals took part in the survey which achieved a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of +/-7%. After evaluating the findings data from the mixed method survey, Mackman Research created a detailed report summing up the key findings and making suggestions based upon the results. The comprehensive report has supplied the client with insights as to how to improve on their membership benefits to ensure that they meet their mission of providing opportunities and knowledge, to enable member companies to strategically grow their businesses.

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 client telephone interviews.

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 client telephone interviews, 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

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.

 

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.

 

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 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