It goes without saying that all firms have to know what attitudes their customers have towards them. Very few firms "know" exactly what these attitudes are like. Instead they "believe" one thing or the other regarding their clients or customers. Therefore the firms often do things the customers are not at all interested in or they don´t do things they really want.
In order to make their marketing and service more to the point many firms have used different kinds of surveys. Usually they have been of the kind where a large sample is used and the questions employed are "closed" (multiple-choice questions) that are undoubtedly attractive from the point of view of posterior analysis of the results. However, their methodological drawbacks are so great that large firms in the US are starting to use another kind of survey, where the sample is smaller and the questions are "open", where each question is followed by another that probes deeper into what the customer actually "means" by his or her answer. IMG´s survey method is of the latter kind because we believe that only by employing this method can we really hope to "know" what the firm is interested in finding out.
What is the procedure of this kind of survey:
Which types of firms could benefit from IMG´s attitude surveys:
First, a consultant of IMG meets with the management of the firm in order to
establish what it is that the firm wants to know that it does not already know.
(Usually these are questions in relation to the image of the firm and how it is
different from the competitors, questions regarding its service, price and
fees, or the quality of products and services as well as their advertising and
promotional materials and also questions that are very particular to the firm
in question). In that meeting the customers are also classified in groups
depending on the interest of the firm and their relative importance to it.
IMG then makes a draft questionaire and suggests the composition and size
of the sample to be interviewed. When both the questions and sample
composition have been agreed upon the actual sample is constructed from a
list of customers.
The survey itself is conducted through the phone by IMG´s experienced
A week after the survey has been done the firm receives a full report where
the answers to each question are analysed and suggestions for improvement
are to be found.
In brief, all firms, large and small, because all need to know precisely how to treat their customers as well as how to deliver the kind of service and goods the customer wants.
How firms could profit immediately from this kind of survey:
The precise benefits for each firm depends on what they are actually looking for.
But, very often a survey of this nature results in advertising bringing in more results, service improves, the pricing policy and fee structure either changes or becomes clearer for the customer, different emphasis arises, the morale often becomes better, etc.
What makes IMG´s surveys different:
There are basically three aspects that are chiefly responsible for these surveys to be both popular as well as effective.
- The method is an "invention", combining the best of the qualitative and the quantitative surveys, designed by Mr. Gudjonsson, the chief consultant of IMG who is an expert in methodology, a subject that he taught in many universities in the US.
- The people that actually take the survey have been thoroughly trained in communication and are particularly skilled in getting people to express themselves.
- The methodology used in analysing the data is built on 15 years of IMG´s experience in the field of management consultancy.
The fees vary according to the size of the sample as well as how many questions are asked. But IMG´s policy is to be lower than the competitors who offer the traditional surveys that employ standardized "closed" questions.