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How to Inform Your Business Strategy with Gap Analysis

April 28th 2018

How RDL Corporation Achieved their Strategic Growth Objectives with TTi Gap Analysis Research

RDL Corporation is a group of businesses specialising in recruitment services to brands throughout Europe. It’s also the holding company of SEC Recruitment, one of the leading providers of recruitment in the Life Sciences, Pharma, IT and industries. Having developed a three-year growth business plan envisaging becoming the number one source of recruitment and talent acquisition services in Europe, RDL approached us to develop a full customer research programme to support their business planning activities.  

Customer Research Objectives

To aid management’s decision making on where to allocate resources and identify and entice their target market, RDL needed deeper understanding about their customer’s requirements and perceptions of what they do. They also needed to discover where competitor service providers weren’t meeting their customer’s needs, enabling RDL to set its brand, products and services apart.

How we Helped

We devised a comprehensive three-stage Customer Gap Analysis programme to help RDL understand and prioritise their customer’s needs and extract the points of differentiation between them and their market competitors.  

Stage 1 - Qualitative Interviewing: Professional Computer-assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI) were conducted from our dedicated in-house telephone unit in Langley with a sample of RDL’s existing customers. Based on our unique service quality gap model, CEQA (Customer Experience Quality Analysis)  the aim of the interviews was to identify the gaps between customer’s expectations and customer’s real-life perceptions of the services RDL provided.

As well delivering better understanding of the sample – the different customer segments and the respective issues they encounter - qualitative interviews helped inform and shape the questionnaire used in stage two.  

Stage 2 – Quantitative survey: Trained interviewers conducted a personalised questionnaire with a representative sample of RDL customers, including prospects and lapsed customers, measuring their expectations of RDL’s services and products and their perception of service delivery.

Conventional telephone surveys are by far the best and most effective research method for this type of investigation as they enable access to specific customer groups regardless of location, and produce richer data, as skilled interviewers can elicit insights into respondent’s behaviour that self-completed automated surveys can’t.

Quantitative surveying enables us to capture a broad range of customer feedback and actionable insight, including:

  • Customer’s perception and expectation rating of a company
  • Customer’s perception and expectation rating of a company’s closest competitors
  • Low performance diagnostics, pinpointing where operational or strategic improvements are needed 
  • Sentiment Analysis (also known as Opinion Mining) of customer’s opinions to determine whether overall consumer attitude to a brand and its offerings is positive or negative 
  • Service level measurements, such as frequency of contact, to determine the desired level of service customers want

Stage 3 – Ongoing Customer Satisfaction Index and Management Dashboard

TTi Global’s Customer Gap Analysis CEQA framework unlocks significant amounts of customer data attached to customer motivations and requirements.

So RDL could to continue to harness and capitalise on this data, stage three of the gap analysis was to action a rolling index of RDL’s customer perceptions. This involved re-measuring the customer at least every six months to gauge whether service provision had improved or declined.

To ensure the data flow was easy to access and available where it would have most impact, we designed and implemented a data management dashboard system for RDL’s senior team. As well as giving access to business-critical customer satisfaction trends and real-time reporting tools, the dashboard is an effective way to enhance existing account management processes, allowing managers and team leaders to review progress and relationships with important clients. For example, identifying gaps in service delivery for improvement and opportunities to up sell and cross sell other relevant services and products.    

Incisive Market Research Results

Our customer research and analysis added value to RDL’s business planning process and subsequent successful rollout by uncovering:

  • Views of RDL’s service delivery, relationship and experience from the customer’s perspective, allowing them to isolate and close gaps between customer’s expectation and perception
  • RDL’s different customer segments and the level of importance associated with each recruitment solution, enabling them to refine services and target customers more effectively
  • Qualitative insight into customer’s experiences and how they felt RDL performed compared to competitors across all customer interactions and channels
  • Intelligence on Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction and Customer Service attributes, prioritising customer’s expectation versus their perceptions of actual experience
  • Detailed analysis of all customer groups, highlighting business areas and processes recommended for improvement action planning

By outlining which recruitment services and solutions were more valuable to key account customers, RDL were able to focus on activities which increased customer growth, including creating more profitable relationships through their existing accounts and developing much-wanted innovative solutions for different customer segments.  

Client Feedback

  “TTi delivered a strong set of results back to our team, we were able to really see and feel our customer pain points and address the critical issues quickly.” - RDL Corporation

TTi Global - Leading Customer Research Providers

Ready to grow your business by finding out what your customers really want? TTi Global are one the best market and customer research companies in the UK, bringing over three decades business research experience. To find out more how we can help, call Glyn Luckett today on 01753 214000 or email