Customer Satisfaction Research
The modern marketplace is changing at a rapid pace. Demographics are shifting, technologies are advancing, information is expanding and new goods and services are in demand. Capturing a comprehensive view of customer behavior is now more important than ever.
Thankfully, customer satisfaction and loyalty research methodologies have rapidly matured in recent years. The relationship between service / product quality and customer satisfaction and its importance to the bottom line have been demonstrated; the impact of even small improvements in customer retention rate on revenue has been confirmed; and the reasons underlying repurchasing behavior, switching propensity and customer loyalty have become easier to identify. So the tools and metrics necessary to keep abreast of market transformations are available. What corporate researchers need is help carrying the burden of tracking and measuring these changes.
Today’s managers are very focused on return on investment, so research and quality assurance programs must now be conducted within tighter budgets and with heightened scrutiny about cost reduction and spending. Thus, the economical outsourcing of data collection and analysis for customer satisfaction research is an important concern.
Responsiveness is another big concern for research departments. Compiling internal and external secondary research, choosing an interviewing methodology, designing questionnaires and determining sample takes a lot of time. Corporate inertia and the diffusion of responsibility for business processes also slow the implementation of organizational change. Delays in the completion of data collection projects by outside firms should not add frustration. Ideally, researchers should be able to view results as they are being collected. Tables, computations and other reporting related to these results should be almost immediately available for further analysis, manipulation and development. Researchers can’t research when they are busy collecting, compiling and disseminating findings.
Flexibility, effectiveness, the ability to garner honest feedback that can be translated into action to achieve optimal organizational growth and development, confidentiality and security are also key factors to consider when contemplating whether to utilize a third party vendor’s services for research.