Blog - (Archived)

Relationship vs. Transactional Customer Satisfaction Surveys

December 15, 2006

Keeping your customers coming back for more requires knowing both the good and the bad about their interactions with and perceptions of your company. The nature of those interactions dictates whether your customer satisfaction strategy is supported by transactional surveys, relationship surveys, or a combination of both. Evaluating the Ongoing Customer Relationship Relationship customer satisfaction surveys, typically conducted once or twice a year, are appropriate when interactions with the customer are ongoing or very frequent, making this type of study common among many business-to-government and business-to-business companies. They measure satisfaction and performance levels in areas such as price, value, quality, service, innovativeness, ... Read more

Reading Between the Lines of Government RFPs

December 12, 2006

Federal contractors invest a great deal of time and money developing what they hope will be winning proposals, striving to effectively discriminate themselves in each area of government agencies’ RFPs. But, unfortunately, those RFPs don’t always accurately reveal and/or prioritize the agency stakeholders’ true pain points and decision-making factors. As a result,? even with the help of expensive proposal consultants and thorough Red Team review processes,? many contractors are not maximizing their win rates on lucrative government contracts. Utilizing third-party professional researchers to conduct interviews with decision makers at targeted agencies can help contractors develop a more effective “playbook” or sales ... Read more

Hybrid Research Approach Can Deliver Extra Value

November 15, 2006

When it’s time to pursue your next research project, you don’t have to choose between a purely quantitative or qualitative approach. You may be able to reap the benefits of both. To refresh your memories, quantitative research entails a statistically valid size of the target audience and gleans objective, structured, numeric data that provides insights into the “what.” Conversely, qualitative research is subjective in nature and reveals the “why” by capturing insights about feelings, attitudes, opinions, behavior drivers, and so forth. A good research firm can often combine techniques from both types of research into one study. For example, a customer satisfaction ... Read more

End-User Collaboration Maximizes Research Value

October 12, 2006

When organizations engage a research firm for a project, it’s common that multiple departments or work groups,? perhaps marketing, sales, customer service, and product development,? are counting on the resulting data to drive their individual performance improvements. And indeed, though one research project typically can’t meet too many conflicting objectives, it often can benefit multiple internal end-users to varying degrees. But, the key to delivering that value across the organization is to give your research firm access to those diverse end-user groups during the upfront planning of the study. However, it sometimes works in just the opposite fashion. The client’s project ... Read more

Getting More Results from your Research Results

October 6, 2006

When properly planned, a research project can often meet multiple objectives in disparate departments within an organization. But here’s even more good news: research can also enhance other areas of the business for which it’s not even planned or intended. Market Connections has a client that frequently conducts focus groups and surveys with customers and prospects to gain intelligence on how to improve the functionality and relevancy of its web-based products. But, this client doesn’t stop there when it comes to getting value from their research results. They carefully study the focus group video clips and read the survey transcripts for ... Read more

Incidence Rate Drives Research Cost and Schedule

September 5, 2006

Common sense tells us that the harder it is to reach and complete surveys with qualified respondents, the more costly and time consuming the research project will be. But, how do professional research firms assess the required level of effort in advance so that they can determine the most appropriate methodologies and provide reasonably accurate project estimates and schedules? They establish an estimated incidence rate. Simply put, an incidence rate is the frequency of something occurring in a given population. Specifically in market research, prior to a project we estimate the number of people who, once we get them on the ... Read more

‘Tis the Season for Research Budgeting

September 4, 2006

Many organizations neglect to effectively budget for research, which sometimes limits or even prohibits their ability to drive marketing and operations decisions based on real market data. If this dilemma sounds all too familiar, now is the time — as the 2007 budgeting season approaches — to give careful consideration to your research needs. To that end, here is some food for thought for ensuring your organization’s research budgets are realistic: Identify the knowledge gaps relevant to the business objectives. Is your organization introducing new products or services? Entering new markets or segments? Repositioning itself after a merger? Launching a big ... Read more

Remember,? Criticism Can Make It Better

August 20, 2006

We at Market Connections encourage our clients to attend their own focus groups so they can witness participants’ reactions first-hand behind the two-way mirror. Some may want the moderator to spontaneously introduce a new question or discussion point based on what they’re hearing right then and there. Additionally, many clients like to contemplate or even take action on some of the feedback rather than waiting on us to deliver the full research report a few weeks later. In fact, we have clients who utilize just about every tidbit of feedback they hear in the back room for opportunities to improve ... Read more

Engaged Employees Make It Happen

August 8, 2006

Research has proven time and again that creating an energized environment in which employees want to go above and beyond the call of duty, where they feel connected to the big picture, will directly and significantly impact organizational performance. Management consultants call it employee engagement, and it’s increasingly becoming a top priority in executive suites across the country. In fact, a recent study by Towers Perrin, a leading human resource consultancy, found that companies with higher employee engagement outperform those with lower employee engagement, relative to industry benchmarks. Yet, of the 86,000 employees worldwide who participated in the study, only 14% ... Read more

Online Surveys Require Sound Research Practices

July 17, 2006

In this internet-centric business environment, where online survey software packages are a dime a dozen, some organizations are opting to plan, design, execute, and analyze e-mail-based research initiatives in-house. However, unless those organizations have experienced research professionals on staff, many become frustrated during the process and, in the end, are highly disappointed with the results. Certainly, when your target audience is likely to be online and e-mail addresses are available, an online survey may be a viable alternative to the telephone methodology. In addition to accommodating longer questionnaires, online research enables faster data collection and is less expensive to execute. It ... Read more


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