How Survey Companies Help Suppliers to Improve Products and Services
Whether it is a small general store or a massive, international conglomerate, knowing exactly how to please the customer has always been, and still remains, the most effective way to ensure the success of a business. For the small general store, however, the task is much simpler. There is no need to retain the services of survey companies among those who have the opportunity to meet and talk face-to-face with their own customers on a daily basis. That simple on-the-spot feedback can enable an owner to make any changes needed to engender long-term customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals.
For the giant corporations, however, the story is very different. CEOs and marketing directors are unlikely to set foot on the premises of those appointed to retail their products. Consequently, they cannot hope to enjoy the benefits of meaningful consumer feedback without the professional services undertaken by market researchers from the world’s survey companies.
To obtain that feedback, these specialist researchers rely on the use of carefully compiled questionnaires. Despite the worldwide success of billion-dollar food-and-beverage companies, a slight alteration to the design of their packaging, a new flavour, or a price adjustment could have a huge impact on sales. However, although that effect might be a positive one, it could also prove to be negative. Before initiating such changes, a manufacturer will often approach one of the major survey companies in an effort to gauge the likely reaction of the consumer in advance.
Similar exercises can be performed to determine the type of consumer that tends to favour a given product and why, or to explain why the demand for that product appears to vary between locations. In order for a marketing questionnaire to elicit responses that are meaningful, the content of its questions and the manner in which they are structured can be crucial, as can the subsequent analysis of the consumers’ responses. Consequently, those responsible for compiling those questions will need to have a thorough understanding of each client’s specific aims and objectives when deciding to engage the services of survey companies.
There are two other major challenges faced by the market researcher. The first is that of identifying those consumers within the demographic market segments relevant to the client’s products and services. The second is to encourage them to participate in sufficient numbers to ensure that the data obtained will have statistical significance. The best solution, and one that is adopted by the industry leaders, is to recruit a large, permanent panel of consumers who have agreed to participate. To encourage that participation, many survey companies now offer incentives in the form of some desirable reward for each questionnaire completed.
MobiWorkX is an online panel consisting of consumers from Nigeria, Kenya, and 27 other African and Middle Eastern countries. Members receive regular notifications of new surveys, either by SMS or email, and are given access to all of those that are directly relevant to their country and their demographic profile. Rewards include airtime top-ups and recharge vouchers and virtual gifts codes that can be redeemed against a wide variety of desirable items – each a powerful incentive to assist one of the world’s most innovative survey companies.