Client feedback considerations
The sample size is often based on the number of clients an organisation has, but more importantly takes into account segments (and the 80 / 20 rule). Whilst theoretically there are minimum statistical sample numbers of significance Market-Eye has found that levels below the theoretical sample size can be used because of the unique profit orientated nature of a business (as opposed to social science research).
We work on the basis that NOT ALL CUSTOMERS ARE EQUAL To limit the sample size, yet gain an accurate picture of client perceptions, client segments can be identified based on predefined criteria (reps, geographics, A B C's etc) and segments are reviewed as opposed to random samples (random sampling is one of the most inefficient and inaccurate forms of business research).
The research emphasis can reflect the importance of the customers - for example a high number of A's & B's are selected who make up 80% of the income stream, and perhaps a small number of C's to give an indication of perceptions. There may be multiple contact points within organisation to reflect the levels of interaction.
Frequency of client reviews is dependent on a trade off between costs and the need to regularly monitor. Market-Eye suggests initially an all encompassing review, then follow-up reviews at least every 12 -18 months after that.
Customers engagement of the Market-Eye surveys
In the market we operate the majority of respondents do want to engage with us because of the dependency on the engaging organisation. In other words the respondents need the company to assist in income generation - a good reason to answer a survey. The important factors are who conducts the survey (independent and unbiased), the frequency and how they go about it - this is where we have the expertise.
The strike rate for participating in web or email business-to-business surveys is very low. The main disadvantage (other than low response rates) of these types of surveys is the inability to ask why, a primary focus of Market-Eye. We use phone surveys (generally a minimum of 80% engage with us) because of the ability to probe, the ease of the respondent to participate and the lack of a participant to have highly developed written skills to explain perceptions - but we limit the survey time, interviewers are fluent English speakers and appointments are made so that the respondent isn't inconvenienced.
Note: On-line preprogrammed surveys can result in erroneous information. They may have a place in consumer feedback but not in the business-to-business relationship environment. It takes skill and expertise to write a survey and interpret the results.