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Important market research terms and phrases you might hear us talking about.
Commonly used terms by market researchers
We always try to communicate in plain English and give you reports you understand, but there is jargon in every sector. Here's a list of phrases and terms you might hear us talk about.
What is Action Planning?
Definition: A method to drive improvement from research results
A method of creating an action plan to drive improvement from research results.
Aftersales Defection Surveys and Research
What are Aftersales Defection Surveys and Research?
Definition: Surveys and research used to understand customer needs, requirements and the reasons for not returning to an outlet to repurchase
Aftersales defection surveys and research enables troubleshooting and measures set in place to promote retention.
Customer retention and loyalty is essential to all organisations. Creating long-term sustainable relationships that encourage customers to return to an organisation for vehicle or product servicing and further Aftersales purchase will drive revenue streams.
Our research solutions deliver results that enable organisations to identify key actions to improve and manage customer satisfaction and loyalty.
What is an Attribute?
Definition: service attribute
The terminology used to describe a question used in customer, stakeholder or employee research, often depicting an aspect or area of service – "service attribute".
What is a Benchmark?
Definition: data and research benchmarks
In the research environment the term is generally applied to data or research ratings used to mark a point as a reference, for example direct competitors or groups operating in the same sector.
What is Benchmarking Data?
Definition: Benchmarking data comparison
Benchmarking is frequently used across business environments and sectors to compare data and support performance improvement. Our team apply benchmarking solutions in research and have various solutions for ensuring valid comparisons. We recommend benchmarks are collected during research and not purchased externally ensuring reliability and validity.
Best Practice Surveys and Research
What are best practice surveys and research?
Definition: Surveys used to understand what best practice looks like in business or market environments
A research approach used to understand best practice in a service environment or sector, frequently these are related to services process and customer inetractions.
Call Centre Surveys and Research
What are call centre surveys?
Definition: Surveys used to measure customer satisfaction or caller satisfaction when contacting a call centre
Ensuring customers receive the best possible service when contacting a call centre will drive satisfaction, loyalty and willingness to tell others. Satisfaction is often measured in areas about call handling, problem solving, willingness to help, etc.
What is CHAID Analysis?
Definition: A tool based on an adaptation of Chi-squared
Chaid is a highly effective analysis approach used to identify groups of dissatisfied and satisfied customers, applying decision tree analysis. It highlights the key ‘moments of truth’ that can make the difference between the customer being dissatisfied or satisfied.
This technique is frequently used due to the valuable insight it provides into the customer experience.
What is Cluster Analysis?
Definition: Cluster analysis is utilised when key customer segments are required to be analysed and understood from the data
These can be based on either customer attitudes or demographic information.
This analysis can often determine customer segmentation groups applied in subsequent reporting.
Communication Surveys and Research
What are Communication Surveys and Research?
Definition: Testing the effectiveness of communication ensures target audiences receive the correct message and it is interpreted in the right way
This is especially important in employee communities and amongst customers. Our survey approach to this requirement can be online or using telephone interviews to collect data, measuring effectiveness, impact and perception of messaging.
Complaints Management Surveys
What are Complaints Management Surveys?
Definition: Surveys and research that provide understanding of customer expectations, their levels of tolerance and what can be done to develop greater levels of satisfaction
The actions taken when a customer makes a complaint will have an impact on future relationships and customer loyalty. Measuring customer satisfaction with complaints management can change the way a customer feels about an organisation and create higher levels of loyalty through demonstrating a high level of customer care.
Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI)
What is Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI)?
Definition: A process of using a computer managed database and questionnaire functionality, applying automated sample management and routed telephone interviews
Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) is used to collect quantitative data across all types of respondent group.
What are confidence intervals?
Definition: Confidence intervals are constructed at a confidence level, such as 95%, selected by the user.
Confidence intervals are constructed at a confidence level, such as 95%, selected by the user. It means that if the same population is sampled on numerous occasions and interval estimates are made on each occasion, the resulting intervals would bracket the true population parameter in approximately 95% of the cases.
What is Correlation?
Definition: The relationship between two variables
Correlation is the relationship between two variables - For example the relationship between question scores and overall satisfaction or other indicators.
What is Correlation Analysis?
Definition: The use of statistical correlation analysis to evaluate the strength of relationship between variables
Often used to understand "drivers of satisfaction" and validate questionnaire content and design.
Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI)
What is a Customer Satisfaction Index?
Definition: Surveys used to measure customer satisfaction over time, creating an index of different indicators across the services an organisation provides to customers
A methodology used to create an indexation or trend of customer satisfaction ratings. The index is created at question level, question group, customer group and study or wave overall.
Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS)
What is a Customer Satisfaction Survey?
Definition: Surveys used to measure customer satisfaction with services and products
The process applied to measuring customer satisfaction. The survey contains questions measuring for example services, relationship, product satisfaction and loyalty questions.
What is Data Analysis?
Definition: The analytical technique applied to analysing data applying relevant scale conversions to percentages and respondent counts.
Data analysis is a technique used when processing data or breaking it into smaller groups to gain further insight and understanding.
What is Data Collection?
Definition: The process of preparing and collecting data for a research project
Data collection is the process of preparing and collecting data for a research project. Often conducted using telephone, on line, email, postal and PDA solutions.
What is Data Entry?
Definition: The process applied to entering research results into a data file in preparation for analysis
The process applied to entering research results from hard copy questionnaires into a data file in preparation for analysis. Often conducted using automated scanning solutions.
What is Data Mining?
Definition: A bespoke statistical technique used to explore data and go beyond the top line of results into a deep dive process of discovery
This is an effective solution to draw out insights from multiple layers of tracking data. We often use regression analysis or Chaid analysis to provide insight.
Data Tabs / Data Tables
What are Data Tabs / Data Tables?
Definition: A format to present analysed data often segmented into agreed respondent groups
We provide standard full tabulations to ensure all base elements of a survey have been provided for review and offer up the maximum amount of information that can be obtained at this stage of analysis.
The majority of ongoing tracking projects will use this approach as basic data. Additional data is often provided and presented in granular format.
Dealer Satisfaction Surveys
What are Dealer Satisfaction Surveys?
Definition: Surveys that enable measurement of dealer expectations, satisfaction and their loyalty to different brands and products
Ensuring dealers are satisfied and their requirements met often reflects high customer satisfaction scores and repeat business. This in turn drives franchise loyalty and longer term relationships.
What is a Diagnostic Questionnaire?
Definition: A questionnaire designed to enable respondents to provide rating against a lead question
Once a lead question has been answered, if less than a specific score, a secondary set of questions is requested that follows a process respondents have experienced. This enables rating of each secondary question and diagnostically identifies a process causing dissatisfaction.
What are Diagnostic Surveys?
Definition: An approach to identify areas of low satisfaction ratings
An approach to identify areas of low satisfaction ratings through the use of diagnostic questions, integrated with a rating mechanism triggering appropriate questions. This is an effective method for reducing questionnaire length and focussing on problem areas.
What is Discriminant Analysis?
Definition: Analysis that tests the validity of particular model assumptions and the likelihood customers will fall into a particular group or not
Discriminant Analysis is frequently used with customer satisfaction data.
This analysis tends to be used in conjunction with other tools in an ‘exploratory’ look at the analysis, to validate and test assumptions and findings.
Employee Behaviour Measures
What are Employee Behaviour Measures?
Definition: Measuring the extent to which, behaviours, language and responsiveness influence prospective and customer perceptions of an organisation
Customer perceptions of an organisation or service provider are influenced by the professionalism, knowledge and ability of those employed by the business.
In some of our client organisations the results are used to create training initiatives aimed at developing key skills and attributes required by employees to provide satisfactory customer service.
What is Employee Engagement?
Definition: A workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being
“Employee Engagement is a workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being”. (MacLeod, July 2009)
Organisations achieving effective levels of employee engagement produce world-class levels of innovation, productivity and performance. This data demonstrates the benefits of ensuring employees are engaged around the organisational vision, values and how the outcome correlates with customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Employee Engagement Index (EEI)
What is Employee Engagement Index (EEI)?
Definition: A methodology used to create an indexation or trend of employee engagement ratings
The index is created at question level, question group, employee group and study or wave overall.
Employee Gap Analysis
What is Employee Gap Analysis?
Definition: A process used to understand the extent of the gap between two attributes or questions
In employee research the process is used to understand the difference between employee expectations and their perceptions of those expectations being present in the working environment. This process enables focussed and prioritised action taking.
Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI)
What is Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI)?
Definition: A methodology used to create an indexation or trend of employee satisfaction ratings
The index is created at question level, question group, employee group and study or wave overall.
What is an Employee Survey?
Definition: An approach taken to surveying a group of employees
Employee Surveys often seek understanding of employees’ perceptions of their workplace, terms, conditions and processes.
What is Ethnography?
Definition: A research technique seeking to understand how people live their lives, use products or experience services in different organisations
Unlike traditional market research, where specific questions are asked, respondents are asked to record in diaries experiences or behaviours.
Expectation Surveys and Research
What are Expectation Surveys and Research?
Definition: A technique used to understand the expectations of different customer, channel partner, employees or stakeholder expectations, often using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research
The process tests the strength of expectation, often used to support action planning and process improvement. This technique can also be mapped with perception measures. This stage can form a questionnaire revalidation process, testing expectation change over time.
Face-to-Face Data Collection
What is Face-to-Face Data Collection?
Definition: A method of collecting research data using hard copy questionnaires or handheld PDA’s/Tablets/Laptops in environments such as on street/train and in situ
Entry and exit interviews are often conducted using this method.
What is Factor Analysis?
Definition: A statistical method used to describe variability among observed, correlated variables
We primarily use orthogonal rotational factor analysis to reveal the customer defined constructs or process of service delivery. Often reports and questionnaires can be centred around this structure if appropriate.
We use this analysis most often with clients as a first stage in designing ongoing tracking studies. The structure of the service experience is explored and used in the ongoing design as a result of this stage.
What is a Factor Group?
Definition: A group of questions sharing the same sentiment
A group of questions sharing the same sentiment about the same service areas or processes. Questions are frequently grouped in this way to enable process owners to focus on the relevant actions and set improvement targets.
What is Fieldwork?
Definition: A terminology used to describe the primary research data collection process
A terminology used to describe the primary research data collection process, for example using telephone, on line, email, face to face or postal questionnaires.
Fleet Management Surveys
What are Fleet Management Surveys?
Definition: A research process providing understanding of fleet manager’s perceptions, their expectations of services and what their real drivers of satisfaction are, beyond price
Understanding this major group of customers’ perception of product and services is core to retaining and winning large sales and service contracts.
What are Focus Groups?
Definition: A small number of people, typically 5 – 16, who attend a moderated discussion on a specific topic
Focus groups seek out discussion instead of individual responses to formal questions. Output is qualitative data (perceptions, preferences and expectations) that may or may not be representative of a sample universe.
What is Gap Analysis?
Definition: A process used to understand the extent of the gap between two attributes or questions
In customer research the process is used to understand the difference between customer expectations and their perceptions of service, product and relationship delivery.
We run bespoke SPSS/PZB programs to generate gap analysis for appropriate surveys. This analysis is designed to highlight and prioritise the extent to which customer or employee expectations are being met. The process also provides diagnostic information regarding management of expectations and service performance.
This survey approach provides an excellent snap shot of customer requirements and how well an organisation and their competitors meet these expectations at a given point in time. Output often provides a baseline or starting point for Customer or Employee Satisfaction Index surveys.
Geographic Map Reporting
What is Geographic Map Reporting?
Definition: A method of reporting that identifies research results by geographic area
For example if a postcode of respondents rate an area of service highly the map might be green over the postcode area. Formats and colours can be used to imply different results. Our clients use these to focus action planning and address specific regional challenges.
What are Heat Maps?
Definition: A method of reporting research data in a pictorial format
This is a method of reporting research data in a pictorial format, identifying using colour the extent to which an area of a picture for example is liked or disliked by a group of respondents.
Implied vs. Stated Importance
What is Implied vs. Stated Importance?
Definition: A useful way of investigating survey results to further prioritise questions of importance and understand the interplay between what the customer says is important and what data is revealing as important to the customer
These charts are used with many of our clients when expectation studies are run as they provide good insight into the customer data story.
What are In-Depth Interviews?
Definition: A qualitative research technique that involves conducting comprehensive individual interviews with a small number of respondents to explore their perspectives on a particular subject, service, idea, program, or situation
For example, asking customers about their experiences and expectations related to a product or new service introduced, the thoughts they have concerning the service, operations, processes, and outcomes. This technique can be used as a standalone research method or as part of a process such as questionnaire design or understanding best practice/areas for attention. These can be conducted face-to-face and by telephone.
Internal HR Service Delivery Survey
What is an Internal HR Service Delivery Survey?
Definition: An internal survey measuring satisfaction of internal customers with HR support provided
This style of survey is often applied when service level agreements have been set and measures supporting compliance are required. Also applied when external support, such as external suppliers are engaged. A measure of satisfaction supports supplier management and gauges compliance with service standards.
Internal IT Service Survey
What is an Internal IT Service Survey?
Definition: An internal survey measuring satisfaction of internal customers with IT support provided
This style of survey is often applied when service level agreements have been set and measures supporting service delivery are required. Also applied when external support, such as contractors are engaged. A measure of satisfaction supports supplier management and ensures adherence with service standards.
Key Account Surveys and Research
What are Key Account Surveys and Research?
Definition: Surveys and research used to deliver valuable insight that help organisations maintain important and often strategic business relationships with their key accounts
In large organisations, the majority of revenue is often generated from a small number of clients.
Real value is gained by conducting research amongst these clients; it demonstrates commitment and enhances long-term relationships.
We often see value for example in identifying core customer service strengths. Issues can be addressed quickly on an account by account basis driving more satisfaction. Specific account needs are identified and fed into annual account planning and management processes.
Key Driver Analysis
What is Key Driver Analysis?
Definition: Analysis of a key driver, which is an attribute with a statistically significant relationship to a desired outcome or characteristic
The independent variable is considered to be linear if it has a direct relationship with the dependent variable. An example would be satisfaction drivers, if specific drivers are identified and enhanced through action taking, an improvement in both individual and overall satisfaction scores would be seen.
Another example, is price elasticity – as the price of a product changes, a linear pattern of sales volume occurs in response to these changes.
Lost Sales Analysis Surveys and Research
What are Lost Sales Analysis Surveys and Research?
Definition: Surveys and research used to understand why sales are lost and what drives potential customers to choose competitors
Lost sales analysis surveys and research is critical to changing processes, product descriptions, staff behaviours and attitudes that are putting customers off buying from a business.
Our research process identifies best practice and actions supporting changes in approach to attracting customers and driving market share.
Lost Tender Surveys and Research
What are Lost Tender Surveys and Research?
Definition: Surveys and research used to understand the expectations, requirements and factors influencing a successful tender process
Organisations seeking high value contracts or work in the Public sector are often required to provide quotations and proposals via a formal tendering process. Lost tender surveys and research add significant value to an organisation’s approach. Uncovering critical decision making areas ensures the development of high quality tender responses and effective relationship building from an early stage.
Our process of qualitative research supports this understanding and adds value. Our ability to elicit critical decision making factors creates insightful output enabling organisations to win more bids and drive stronger prospect relationships.
What is Loyalty Benchmarking?
Definition: The optimum score that a particular element of service has to obtain in order to deliver customer loyalty
This analysis is useful for target setting.
The correlation between satisfaction and loyalty is strong, satisfied customers are often loyal customers. These are also used as standalone indicators for clients running tracking studies.
Membership Surveys and Research
What are Membership Surveys and Research?
Definition: Surveys and research used to understand what attracts members to be associated with an organisation or group
They are also used to understand why members remain loyal to an association. Our team is experienced in conducting surveys amongst members of clubs and associations, ensuring memberships remain attractive and support their needs whilst offering additional benefits are often topics we research and test.
Mystery Shopping - Product Knowledge Tests
What is Mystery Shopping?
Definition: A research process supporting the understanding of front line employees having service and product knowledge to meet customer needs
This is core to driving sales activity and achieving high levels of customer satisfaction.
Using either real shoppers or an experienced team we support understanding of employees ability to answer questions and provide information about product and services.
Online Focus Groups
What are Online Focus Groups?
Definition: A focus group using online technology bringing together a number of people
Invited to attend a moderated on-line discussion on a specific topic. This approach is often applied to bring together respondents from a dispersed geographic area.
Focus groups seek out discussion and can elicit hidden feeling and thoughts instead of individual responses to formal questions.
Output is qualitative data (perceptions, preferences and expectations) that may or may not be representative of a sample universe.
Outputs are often in the form of annotated heat-maps to support perhaps website design, product evaluation and communication literature.
What is Online Research?
Definition: A technique, used to conduct research via secure and unsecure links to branded questionnaires
Often used in customer and employee research via personal encrypted links. A cost effective, high quality technique for collecting all types of data across all respondent groups. Particularly effective when conducting research of a confidential nature.
What are Packaging Surveys?
Definition: Packaging is a topical subject, with a high influence on environmental impact
Organisations buying large volumes of product want to receive just enough packaging to protect the product and minimise waste after unwrapping.
Understanding what meets customer needs and compliance with sustainability and environmental accreditations is a core outcome of this research process. The results of this research are often used to develop innovative and creative solutions which meet both the needs of the customer and maintain environmental sustainability.
Part Exchange Surveys
What are Part Exchange Surveys?
Definition: Surveys used to understand how customers feel about a part exchange offer
This will influence a future sale or potentially lose a prospect/customer to a competitor organisation. Using research to understand the extent of a customer’s feelings and expectations can change the way this is communicated and how the customer responds.
Results of surveys such as this are less orientated around price and more influenced by behaviour, language, communication and value.
Parts Managers Surveys and Distribution Research
What are Parts Managers Surveys and Distribution Research?
Definition: Understanding of the different influences that impact satisfaction and can create long term challenges if they are not fixed
Receiving components, parts and products on time, in good condition and at the agreed price are all attributes driving satisfaction in parts managers and distribution surveys. This research is also used to measure the performance of external suppliers.
What is Perceptual Mapping?
Definition: Maps used to show the relative ‘distance’ between attributes of service and the image and reputation associated with a particular company and its competitors
Perceptual Mapping is used with many clients due to the ease of interpreting the results.
What is a Presentation?
Definition: A display of results
An event at which a facilitator will present research results to an audience or team of people with relevant interest in the study or results.
What is Primary Research?
Definition: The collection of original primary data
Primary research can be achieved through various methods, including postal, email questionnaires and telephone interviews in the market research environment.
Product Quality Measures
What are Product Quality Measures?
Definition: A method of research that enables organisations to track the frequency a product issue is found and how the issue is managed
Often applied using a diagnostic process of research this survey enables a timely and effective response to issues and development of a customer management solution.
What is a Questionnaire?
Definition: A set of questions devised for the purposes of a survey or statistical study
A questionnaire is a research instrument, comprised of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents.
What is RATER?
Definition: reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy and responsiveness
A condensed list of 5 main components of high quality service, based on the original SERVQUAL model.
What is Regression Analysis?
Definition: A statistical process for estimating the relationships among variables
Primarily ordinal regression models are constructed to model the main influences on customer satisfaction. Correlation analysis and ANOVA techniques are used in conjunction with this approach and to refine models.
They are also used as standalone techniques to add insight to data and the relationships between questions of service and overall satisfaction.
Models can be developed as dynamic predictors where the impact of changing responses to key service elements can be seen in the overall score.
What is Secondary Research?
Definition: desk research
Secondary research (desk research) involves the summary, analysis, collation of existing data.
Service Quality Surveys and Research
What are Service Quality Surveys and Research?
Definition: A robust approach of qualitative research to understand customer expectations of an organisation and how they experience services being delivered
This provides an effective platform to design comprehensive questionnaires capable of exploring and testing all aspects of service experienced by customers.
Gaining a comprehensive understanding of service quality can be difficult. Often there are no physical attributes to measure. Research and survey design must consider what really matters to the customer.
What is SERVQUAL?
Definition: service quality framework
A service quality model developed by American authors, Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry in 1985, highlighting 10 main components of high quality service.
What is Significance Testing?
Definition: A statistical method of analysing the significance of score movement or reliability of data achieved in the research process
Significance levels show you how likely a result is due to chance. The most common level, used to indicate a reliable result is .95. This means that the finding has a 95% chance of being true.
Staff Understanding of Earnings Incentive Surveys
What are Staff Understanding of Earnings Incentive Surveys?
Definition: Identifying the extent employees understand what is expected of them and perceptions of support provided to achieve their earnings incentive and aiding understanding and measuring the extent staff incentives can enhance performance
Many organisations motivate employees through increased earnings opportunities and incentives. If the structure and requirements to achieve these are not understood, the effort and objective of creating enthusiasm and setting goals are wasted. Our research enable understanding and prioritised action plans to enhance future performance.
Standard Deviation Analysis
What is Standard Deviation Analysis?
Definition: Highlighting the consistency of service on items
Standard Deviation Analysis is particularly important for ensuring service consistency.
Supply Chain Satisfaction Surveys and Measures
What are Supply Chain Satisfaction Surveys and Measures?
Definition: A supply chain satisfaction survey enables understanding of relationship strength, effectiveness of procurement management teams and how professional relationships can be achieved to support longevity and leverage relationships
This can be broken down and viewed across different variables such as, length of relationship, spend and product.
What is a Survey?
Definition: A quantitative information collecting method
A method for collecting quantitative information about research subjects for example customers, employees or stakeholders.
What is Target Setting?
Definition: Setting targets through defining the score change that needs to occur to ensure the results show a statistically significant movement or achieve levels of improvement
These are most often used for our clients where there is a management or board requirement for a national target. This is often linked to individual, regional, outlet or dealer bonus targets.
What is Trade-Off Analysis?
Definition: A method of prioritising the importance of service attributes, often used in customer related studies
Service attributes are randomly paired and presented to customers during interviewing. One item out of a pair is selected as being more important than the other. The subsequent analysis then returns a hierarchy of service performance items.
This has been used during the data collection stage for clients who require more discrimination in the selection of items that are important.
Web Assisted Personal Interviewing (WAPI)
What is Web Assisted Personal Interviewing (WAPI)
Definition: An online technique, used to conduct research via secure and unsecure links to branded questionnaires
Often used in customer and employee research via personal encrypted links. A cost effective, high quality technique for collecting all types of data across all respondent groups, particularly effective when conducting research of a confidential nature.
Website Development Surveys and Research
What are Website Development Surveys and Research?
Definition: Using different research approaches to understand website user expectations and perceptions of how well a site functions is readily achieved using our site development research and process
Creating a professional, fresh looking website that is easily navigable and encourages visitors to think highly of your services is the first step to winning customers.
What is a Workshop?
Definition: An event at which a group of stakeholders review research results and contextualise their meaning
Workshops often result in an action plan to support improvement, through sharing challenges and developing ideas across groups of like minded people.
Zones of Tolerance
What are Zones of Tolerance?
Definition: analysis looking at the upper and the lower limits of what customers expect
These have been used by clients who want to collect this data at a telephone interviewing (CATI stage) and those who want to understand which items customers are unwilling to compromise on when paying for a service.