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Archive for the ‘Satisfaction Research’ Category

The following blog post was written by Josh Elander, Research Associate at RMS.

Surveys are a premier research method for obtaining honest and effective feedback from consumers, but they’re also a valuable way to gain insights from your employees. We have a long history of conducting employee surveys for companies looking to gauge the satisfaction among employees on several workplace factors. Here’s what you can expect when you make the move to conduct an employee satisfaction survey, and why you should.

Your Employees Will Appreciate the Effort

One of most important aspects of the survey is to keep it anonymous. If you’re wondering why a survey of employees is necessary when you always tout an open-door policy with the management, it’s likely because giving feedback without anonymity may deter employees from speaking out. For this reason, collecting anonymous employee feedback through a third-party research firm gives them a chance to provide thoughts without any fear of repercussion. They’ll appreciate the chance to speak anonymously, and are more likely to give insightful feedback that is invaluable to your organization.

Identifying Areas of Strength

Employees have as much to benefit from offering feedback as the employer. By giving their take on what’s good, they can benefit from management building on it. Perhaps that Cinco de Mayo party was the highlight of the month – why not another fun event to boost morale? That new initiative to streamline meetings and conferences implemented a few months ago – turns out the employees find themselves more productive and appreciate the willingness to change the workplace environment for the better. These are the insights that will gauge what’s working, and what you can expand on.

The Good from the Not-So-Good

A reality of employee satisfaction surveys is that it may include constructive criticism. The fear of negative feedback often causes employers to question whether or not to pursue this type of research. While we realize it’s not easy to hear what employees would like to improve, it provides the organization with an opportunity to let employees know that their voice has been heard, and demonstrate the dedication of the company to improve their workplace environment. These are your employees, the lifeline of your organization. They’re willing to give insights into what frustrates them or makes their job more difficult, which should be interpreted as the prime opportunity for improvement. More often than not, these are minor issues that are simply overlooked. We have found that addressing these minor issues can lead to higher employee satisfaction and retention, ultimately boosting the company’s bottom line.

When your organization is ready to conduct employee satisfaction research, look for a team of experienced researchers who can provide actionable reporting from the results. The data should provide your organization with the recommendations needed to develop the next steps in enhancing your employee satisfaction and morale.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

Background: A school transportation organization recently partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct sales strategy research. The client wanted to better understand customer satisfaction and perception of services provided by the organization. The market research objective was to provide decision-making insights needed to determine how the client may better serve their primary client base in the future.

Approach:  The RMS Analytics team collected data from current, prospective, and former customers via a blinded online survey and in-depth telephone interviews (IDIs). During blinded research, the client’s identity is not disclosed to the participant. To hone in on the customer satisfaction with the services provided by the organization, RMS created an online survey script and interview guide which were reviewed and approved by the client prior to commencing fieldwork. Questions focused on how the respondent rated the satisfaction with particular services, customer service perceptions, satisfaction with the company’s sales strategy, as well as interest level in services that the client considered adding to their suite of offerings. Fieldwork lasted approximately two weeks for the in-depth interviews, and one week for the online survey. Following the data collection and analysis period, a comprehensive report was delivered to the client, which included a visual dashboard of the findings, as well as next steps and recommendations.

Results: Here are some highlights of the study’s findings:

  • The research identified the areas where the organization excels in serving its customers, including excellent customer service, and the dependability of the organization.
  • Top service needs desired by customers were identified, which included education and training, parts delivery, online parts catalog and ordering, and vehicle body repair service.
  • Since the client interacts with three distinct stakeholder groups during the buying process, RMS identified the most desired information by stakeholder group to streamline the sales strategy and improve the customer experience.
  • To further increase the satisfaction of current clients, as well as gain additional market share, RMS identified a niche market offering that the organization may offer to simplify the buying process and entice competitor customers.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

Background: An organization that provides services to K-12 school districts recently partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct a customer satisfaction survey. The client wanted to better understand satisfaction and perception of services provided by the organization. The market research objective was to provide decision-making insights needed to determine whether the organization is meeting the needs of clients, and where they may be able to improve service offerings.

Approach:  The RMS Analytics team collected data from stakeholders via an online survey. To hone in on the customer satisfaction with the services provided by the organization, RMS created an online survey script which was reviewed and approved by the client. Questions focused on how the respondent rated the satisfaction with particular services, customer service perceptions, timeliness of project completion, among other items. Fieldwork lasted approximately three weeks, a longer data collection period than normal, in an effort to obtain a very high completion rate. Through an extended fieldwork period, RMS was able to obtain a 91% response rate. Following the data collection and analysis period, a comprehensive report was delivered to the client, which included a visual dashboard of the findings, as well as next steps and recommendations.

Results: Here are some highlights of the study’s findings:

  • The research identified the areas where the organization excels in serving its customers, including the friendliness and helpfulness of staff.
  • Areas of opportunity where the organization could improve the customer experience included the perceived value for the cost of the service, the ease of receiving an answer to a question, and timeliness of the service.
  • For areas of opportunity, RMS researchers probed deeper beyond what needed to be improved to determine how the organization can best improve the customer experience. This led to action items that the organization can address, in an effort to capture more of the market share.
  • Overall, more than 80% of respondents stated a very high level of satisfaction with the organization.
  • The research identified high-level perceptions by asking what comes to mind when thinking about the organization. Services offered and positive attributes were most commonly mentioned.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

Background: A community-based organization partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct an employee satisfaction study. The client wanted to better understand how happy employees were with the workplace, as well as identify areas of excellence and opportunity. The market research objective was to gather the insights needed to guide organizational improvements in order to increase employee satisfaction.

Approach: The study consisted of a survey that was sent to all employees. An online survey was crafted and sent to employees who had email access, and a paper survey was sent to those who did not. The survey was comprised of 33 questions and included five-point rating questions that measured various aspects of employee satisfaction with their jobs and the organization as a whole.  Additionally, RMS utilized benchmarking data which provided the ability to evaluate the client’s scores against national industry standards. To encourage a high response rate, RMS worked with the client’s human resources department to create digital signage to alert employees of the study. RMS completed fieldwork in approximately four weeks.

Result highlights:

  • Research revealed the highest and lowest rated factors among respondents which identified areas of excellence and opportunity. Respondents indicated the following factors as areas of excellence: willingness to work above and beyond, understanding of the organization’s goals, feeling that work was important, strongly identifying with the organization’s values, and that working at the organization was more than just a job. Areas of opportunities where the workplace could improve were: pay/benefits, availability of the tools/equipment needed, and overall communication.  These rankings are critical and allow the employer to develop initiatives that guide organizational improvement to create a more satisfied workforce.
  • The client was also interested in assessing how overall satisfaction, as well as other factors, varied by department. Results showed that overall satisfaction is higher among employees working in the development (77%) and administration (70%) departments, but lower among employees working in the programs (60%) and social enterprises (52%) departments. Overall, 84% of respondents would recommend the organization as a good place to work, a figure much higher than the industry standard (67%).
  • A correlation analysis revealed that several key factors correlated to overall employee satisfaction. This allowed the end-client to understand what factors have a strong relationship to employees’ overall satisfaction. The highest factors correlated to overall satisfaction were: overall communication, supervisor communication, and quality of work being a top priority among employees. Results demonstrated a need for improved overall communication and supervisor to employee communication. Additionally, the client should promote quality of work as a top priority among the organization as a whole.
  • Respondents were also asked to describe the organization using one word or phrase. RMS summarized this data using a weighted word cloud which enabled the client to compare and contrast employee attitudes. The top six words used to describe the organization were: good, work, rewarding, fulfilling, challenging, and community.
  • Employee satisfaction studies are a great tool to gauge how satisfied a workforce is at a moment in time. RMS recommended the client implement annual studies to track the progress of key metrics, engage employees, and provide a platform for anonymous employee feedback.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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The following post was co-written with Hilary Ranucci, Business Development Coordinator at RMS.

blog-market-research-school-district

Colleges and Universities are no stranger to market research, but we’ve noticed an uptick in K-12 school districts seeking market research services. To make the most informed decisions about your school district, you should have a strong understanding of your community, both past and present. Below are some common market research projects that school districts will benefit from the most.

Community Awareness Studies
The best way to gauge the perception of your district is to reach out to the very community that it is serving. Surveys can be conducted via mail, telephone, or online to capture a large volume of quantitative data, while focus groups will add a qualitative component to the research. Information gained from community awareness studies can include indicators of quality within a district (strengths), unique attributes, the school district image, and overall value ratings in curriculum content areas.

Graduate Surveys
Speaking to past students will provide the school district with a wealth of satisfaction information. Graduate surveys are typically conducted online or via phone, and questions are aimed at learning how satisfied graduates were with their education and how well-prepared they were for their post-graduation plans. Data gathered from the surveys will allow the district to determine which programs, content, or classes may need to be improved, and identify those are providing the most value. A knowledgeable market research vendor will help your school district determine how far back in the graduate database you will need to go when surveying to answer your research questions. Our clients have also found that graduate surveys are useful for creating and/or keeping an alumni base engaged for future initiatives.

Parent Surveys or Interviews
Parents are becoming increasingly interested and involved in the education their child(ren) receive. As a key community stakeholder, this demographic can provide valuable insight. Surveys can be conducted online or via phone, and interviews may take place in person or via phone. Survey questions should identify satisfaction with education policy, curriculum/programs, communication from the school district, and overall satisfaction with the services provided by the school district. Trending topics that we are also seeing become more prevalent in parent surveys include learning about perceived school safety, scheduling, and budget. Your market research consultant should work with you to determine the appropriate method to reach your parent audience, and which questions will produce the most valuable insight.

Employee Satisfaction Surveys
Employee satisfaction surveys are not limited to the business world. Like any other business operation, school districts should look internally for areas of opportunity. Staff immersed in the daily operation of school district will provide important insight into the perception and satisfaction with the school district as a workplace. We’ve noticed there is a direct link between strong employee engagement and organizational success. Online employee surveys are a powerful means to measure employee satisfaction and engagement. Perhaps most importantly, employee satisfaction surveys give the employees an anonymous outlet to note the aspects of their job and workplace that are most enjoyable, and identify areas of opportunity that would make them more engaged and loyal. Survey questions should focus on identifying areas where the school district is excelling and where they should improve, as well as finding ways to motivate employees. An important component to the employee satisfaction surveying process is the use of the data by school district. Once employees have voiced their opinion, it is important to let them know how the school district plans to use the feedback to improve their working experience.

RMS has worked with many school districts and conducted the studies outlined above. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development and Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS). 

Background: Onondaga County Water Authority (OCWA) partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct a study regarding its current satisfaction, loyalty, image, and needs among customers. The client wanted to better understand key drivers of customer satisfaction and loyalty, awareness levels of services offered at OCWA, and identify pricing options. The market research objective was to gather the insights needed for OCWA to provide an improved customer experience.

Approach: The study consisted of a telephone survey which resulted in 616 completions with a margin of error of +/- 3.95 at the 95% confidence interval. This means that there was strong statistical reliability in the sampling. The survey took approximately 10 minutes to complete, and was administered using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) software. RMS utilized its onsite call center QualiSight and experienced telesurveyor staff for the telephone survey fieldwork. Survey participants were selected from the client database list provided by OCWA. The project was complete in approximately eight weeks.

Results: Here are some highlights of the study’s findings:

  • Nearly all (99%) of survey respondents felt OCWA water service is reliable.
  • A large majority (93%) of survey respondents highly rated water quality provided by OCWA.
  • Most survey respondents (91%) felt water provided by OCWA is safe.
  • OCWA’s in-house customer service staff and employees in the field were both favorably rated by 97% of survey respondents.
  • Water was considered the most critical utility service by survey respondents (vs. gas, electric, phone, etc.).
  • Very few respondents (4%) did not have a favorable opinion of OCWA, and only 3% thought the cost of water provided by OCWA is not a good deal.

The announcement from OCWA regarding survey results can be found here.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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Beautiful business woman stands on the front of business partners.

The following blog post was written by Mark Dengler, President & Owner of RMS.

This past spring RMS celebrated its “lucky” thirteenth anniversary. A lot has changed over the years. The market research industry is full of transition. Phone surveys that were once a staple in the industry are moving to online, internet-based tools. Detailed, multi-paged reports are being replaced with top level infographics. Two-month-long field studies are being shorted to one-week panel studies. All of this change is being driven by the dynamic, competitive environment that we are now living in. The one constant continues to be the need to have talented and committed people on staff that are flexible, smart and eager to deliver quality results for clients.

Passionate employees are sometimes hard to describe, but we know them when we see them. Though they certainly do not all look and act alike, there are common characteristics which include:

  1. Bringing their best self to work each day
  2. Possessing a desire to continuously improve
  3. Focusing on the opportunities, not obstacles
  4. Not being easily discouraged
  5. Sharing an optimistic view
  6. Being driven to do their best at whatever they do

We’ve noticed there is a direct link between strong employee engagement and organizational success. Fundamental to employee engagement is “passion.” One needs to find individuals who are passionate about what they do; individuals who get excited about their work and value to an organization. An organization cannot teach employees to have passion, they need to “discover” an employee’s passion and then cultivate a work environment that capitalizes on this passion to generate and celebrate employee value. In this way, you will build a team of “passionate employees” who will help perpetuate the company’s mission and vision.

Creating passion at work is everyone’s responsibility, but the leadership sets the tone for the entire team. We all do not know what tomorrow will bring to our companies. However, we can choose to set an example, to lead and inspire. Make being passionate a habit and it’s likely that you’ll soon reap the benefits of increasing employee engagement.

Use these five tips to improve employee engagement today:

  1. Appreciation: Give credit where credit is due. Recognition and praise is motivating, and your employees will be more engaged if they feel appreciated. Be specific and prompt about your gratitude and your employees will be motivated to keep verifying that they’re doing a great job.
  2. Motivation: Positivity radiates and stimulates others. If you lead with empathy and integrity, you’re prone to get better results from your employees. Employees who feel threatened or generally out-of-touch with their leaders are more apt to withdraw their efforts. Be a persuasive and inspirational leader to motivate your team to work toward a common goal.
  3. Encouragement: It is gratifying to feel the work you do is appreciated and important. People enjoy the feeling of helping with the success of the organization, and if that genuine feeling is missing, people tend to disconnect. Show your employees how their role fits the organization’s objectives. Encourage others to see the “big picture” and how their performance can affect the company and coworkers.
  4. Be Supportive: Feeling stuck at a job that promises no growth or advancement suppresses motivation and drive. Discuss with your employees the path they’d like to see their personal and professional lives take. By discussing and genuinely caring about their aspirations, you’re more likely to have a productive and loyal team member.
  5. Develop Trust: Employees need to be able to trust their leaders and open, concise communication is how that confidence is built. Avoid the negative impacts of being vague or indirect, which can ignite assumptions and rumors. Be as open as you possibly can, as often as you can, and you’ll find that managing expectations will be easier, whether it’s a stressful time within the organization or not.

Online employee surveys are a powerful means to measure employee satisfaction and engagement. If you’re interested in learning more about employee engagement and satisfaction research, please contact our Sr. Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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student satisfaction research

Attrition is a growing concern among higher education institutions. Students are no longer starting and completing their college education at one institution, and competition is on the rise to keep them engaged.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 33% of first-time college freshmen will not return to the same institution for the following academic year.1  Even fewer complete a program after six years at private for-profit schools, where 68% drop out. The outlook is not as grim at nonprofit private schools and public colleges, where 33% and 43% fail to graduate after six years, respectively. Interestingly, institutions that are more selective in their admissions process (those with the lowest admissions rates) experience higher graduation rates (33%), on average, than those who have open admissions policies (86%).2 So what influences these high attrition rates? Many factors, including customer service, finances, scheduling options, personal reasons, and perceived value of education may be playing a role. The cost to retain a student is much lower than the cost to recruit a replacement, so it’s important for an institution to pinpoint the issues affecting their campus, and create strategies to increase retention rates.

Here are some options for gauging student satisfaction with an institution.

  • Quick Pulse Telephone Surveying

A quick pulse telephone survey is a short (10-15 question) survey that offers the fastest turnaround time from start to finish. This type of study is often completed in about a week, and results in a report that can include: results that are representative of the student population, overall student satisfaction with your institution to create a benchmark for ongoing research, opportunities for your institution to effectively meet the needs of students, an estimated return rate of students (overall, and by class), and an assessment of the effectiveness of seminar and acclimation programs. More information on the quick pulse telephone survey process can be found here.

  • Student Satisfaction Online Survey

Conducting an online survey is a cost-effective option for examining student satisfaction. This method is frequently used to ascertain the factors affecting the retention rate among current students. Prospective students (including those who made an inquiry but failed to enroll) and alumni can be included in the research to provide a holistic review of the student experience. Online surveys often include approximate 20 questions and last less than 10 minutes. This methodology provides administration with a detailed report of the findings which can be disseminated to faculty and staff as the institution sees fit.

  • Mystery Shopping

Through mystery shopping, researchers can gain a full-circle look at the student’s experience at an institution. From the initial campus inquiry to the application and enrollment process and beyond, researchers can utilize in-person visits, phone, and online touch points to evaluate all aspects of a student’s academic experience. This “boots on the ground” approach can provide an institution with an inside view that would be hard to obtain through other methods. Research can be customized to include an evaluation of as many, or as few, touch points that the institution would like to investigate.

Are your students happy? RMS has all the tools and resources to conduct your student satisfaction research. Studies conducted by a third-party yield more honest and accurate responses from students when compared with those administered by the institution. If you’re interested in learning more about student satisfaction research, please contact our Sr. Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

  1. http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?measure=92
  2. https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40

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This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

GBCC

Background: In 2014, the Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) partnered with Research and Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct an online member satisfaction survey. GBCC wanted to better understand the satisfaction with events and services, key drivers for why members join or choose not to join, interest and appeal in the GBCC initiatives, and generate ideas for the future of the GBCC.

Approach:  RMS developed an online survey that contained approximately 25 questions and took 5 minutes to complete. GBCC provided RMS with a contact list of potential survey participants. The survey invitation was sent via email to GBCC members in the winter of 2014, with subsequent reminder emails. The survey was also promoted via the GBCC and RMS social media accounts. A total of 77 complete surveys were received and of those respondents, 66 were current GBCC members. Field work lasted approximately three weeks.

Results: Below are some highlights of the study’s findings. A full summary can be found here.

  • Nearly half of respondents (47%) belong to other local chambers of commerce.
  • GBCC members are active–nearly half (49%) attend five or more chamber events per year. A slightly higher number (58%) consider themselves to be active members.
  • The most valuable chamber related events for respondents are the member business showcase, lunch and learns, and the monthly member luncheons.
  • Two-thirds of respondents (76%) are somewhat or very interested in educational workshops or training sessions offered by GBCC, and 73% will pay to attend these opportunities.
  • Nearly three-quarters (71%) of respondents stated they were likely to recommend GBCC to a colleague or business contact.
  • Two-thirds of respondents (69%) stated that GBCC meets or exceeds their expectations. Conversely, 20% said that GBCC falls below expectations, indicating an opportunity for growth.
  • Over three-quarters (79%) indicated they would retain their membership if GBCC were to increase dues by 5-10%.
  • GBCC members prefer to have frequent news and updates-67% of respondents wish to communicate with the GBCC once a week or more. Nearly all respondents (97%) prefer hearing from GBCC via email.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in conducting a market research project, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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