Baseline Research

Baseline Research Sets the Stage for Customer Satisfaction Tracking Programs

Baseline Research Sets the Stage for Customer Satisfaction Tracking Programs

Customer satisfaction research can be effective only if it measures what customers themselves say is important to them — not what managers, no matter how experienced or well informed, think is important to their customers.

Qualitative Phase:

We typically begin the program development process with a qualitative, exploratory phase aimed at uncovering the factors by which a customer might evaluate a company and its products and services. Typically consisting of focus groups or in-depth interviews (IDIs), this phase might include interviews with the client’s customers as well as customers from several competitive companies.

Quantitative Phase

Focus groups will provide all the company image and service dimensions customers use to derive their overall opinion about a company (or their loyalty behavior). The baseline quantitative phase in turn, is designed to determine which service dimensions have the greatest impact on overall satisfaction. Specifically, this phase will determine::

  • specific expectation and impact levels for all identified service dimensions,
  • perceptions of the company’s performance for all of these service dimensions, and
  • the relative perception gaps between performance and importance, pinpointing specific improvement areas.

Key Drivers of Satisfaction (and Loyalty):

We use a regression-based analysis to determine the impact of the individual service dimensions on overall performance opinions (overall satisfaction, would you recommend, likelihood to repurchase). These “key driver” dimensions become the basis for what should be measured in an ongoing tracking program.

Customer Segments:

Prior to conducting any research, it is important to identify the specific customer segments to be measured.

Are end-users the primary customer segment of interest or are distributors/retailers/agents?
Should only the small percentage of the customer base that contributes the greatest percentage of revenue be measured?
Do heavy users have different needs and perspectives than the “average” customer?
Are customers in the various regions/districts different?
Do various demographic segments use the company’s products and services?

Ideally, anyone who uses a company’s products or services or who influences the decision to purchase them should be a candidate for a measurement survey.

Contact us to learn more about baseline and tracking research