Auto manufactures gain deeper insight from survey data

Recently Maritz Research conducted a cross industry survey of customer satisfaction. Industries surveyed ranged from banks and credit cards to insurance claims; restaurants, wireless and Internet to Television services. In the auto industry, contrary to popular belief, the report showed that customer service is above average as related to their experience when purchasing a vehicle and/or having their vehicle serviced by the dealer. According to the report, 3 out of 4 customers reported their experience as satisfied to extremely satisfied.

Why does this matter?

The automotive industry has used mTab for the past fifteen years to improve their customer service experience by receiving feedback and data related to customer transactions.  Over the years the data analyzed through mTab was used to identify problems and provide a business justification for change.

The Automotive Sales Experience

When purchasing an automobile, the report showed, 75.6% of respondents were satisfied to extremely satisfied with the vehicle delivery process and with the experience that the auto dealer kept its promises.  The lowest rating, 65.4%, came from customer experiences with the financing and paperwork.  Because automotive dealers, continued the report, are not satisfied with simply being above average, the information gathered from the report can be used to improve the weakest areas of the customer purchase experience.

The Automotive Service Experience

Shattering preconceived notions about auto dealer repair services this area accomplished an even higher rating than the sales experience.  With an average rating of 75.48%, with an impressive 77.5% indicating they were satisfied with the quality of the repair and that the vehicle was fixed the first time.  Basically, 3 out 4 customers were satisfied that the dealer was honest in its dealings with the customer.  The lowest rating, 70.3% had to do with the time to complete the repair or service.

Why is the automotive dealership industry above average?

In part because they decided 15 years ago to pay attention.  The tool they chose to do that with is mTab.  Because of its sophisticated engine and ability to analyze and present viable research data in easy to read and fully customizable formats, mTab was an essential element to their success.

What to take away from the survey?  Dealerships appear to keep their word and remain honest.  For the past fifteen years these qualities were tracked and reinforced throughout the industry in large part by the data analyzed and presented by mTab suite of software analysis and presentation products.

Extend Market Research with Technology

For your business to flourish, it should have the right amount of customers to purchase the product or service offered. Analyzing your customer base, then defining your marketing research technology efforts to those specific customers is essential, in addition to having a transparent view of how your expected customer base will enhance your business possibilities for success. By delineating your target consumer, you will:

  • identify the potential customer base for your business
  • refine your business strategy and products to meet your customer needs
  • aim your marketing ideas to touch your more hopeful prospects
  • establish your marketing messages suitably

With its capacity to extend to consumers at various touch points and acquire nearly instantaneous results, there is no secret to why market research has taken to the Internet so well. Even though market researchers have a broad range of options for gathering data, acquiring reliable research and efficient analysis instruments has become even more crucial than before. It is no revelation that market research technology will resume its evolution. Current and potential trends are directed towards social media and user engendered feedback where you can evaluate what consumers are saying compared to only watching them.

Your ability to acclimatize to the new market research technology trends will be a vital component in remaining competitive and providing the products and services that consumers are looking for. Resources of technology interrelated with telepresence, neuroscience, eye tracking, and inherent association analysis will as well influence marketing research moving ahead. For instance, companies have utilized telepresence to locate isolated and hard to reach respondents. In addition, voice-activated video with audio, concurrently share laptop screens, and organization to consult with multiple locations at once with a technology that produces a distant participation milieu.

A dilemma with the various types of market research technology is that it cannot solve the question of why one brand has a stronger presence than another one. This type of innate question must still be answered. Neuroscience has of late been utilized to answer market research questions in ways that social media and traditional methods have been limited. However, prognostic analytics, eye tracking, association dimensions, and neuroscience technology motivated systems will on no account substitute for speaking to customers to comprehend what they truly feel and consider when presented with brands and various other manufactured rudiments.

The Business Impact of Data Visualization

What is Data Visualization?

Data visualization is the study of data being communicated visually through graphical means. Bar charts, graphs and maps are illustrations of basic data visualizations that have been utilized for quite a few years. Over time, visualizations have become more intricate to the extent of having animations that illustrate changing data over a period of time. There is virtually no limit to the translation of information into an image.

As the visualization designer, you can ascertain which visual components, such as color and shape, symbolize and communicate particular data points.  For example, images could be 2D or 3D, dynamic or fixed, or more importantly they could allow user interaction.

Visualizations provide a unique way to communicate trends and correlations that can ultimately lead to important marketing breakthroughs. Visualizations that represent a large amount of information allow you to see patterns that may normally be hidden in unconnected data sets.

Using Data Visualization to Immediately Observe Key Points

Data visualization does not occur in isolation. Therefore it is important that you understand the context that you are communicating. When planning your communication, make sure it meets these key points:

  1. Precision. Could it be accurate with regard to proper quantitative assessment?
  2. Versatility. Can the creation conform to assist numerous wants?
  3. Aesthetically Pleasing. The data visualization must not insult the reader’s senses; a great example of this is moire patterns.
  4. Efficient.  Is your visualization simple to understand?  Will the viewer “get it” with ease?
  5. Effective. You need to be sure you display the information; evaluate regardless of whether you need to increase or even reduce data-ink percentage; additionally think about brase non-data-ink as well as brase repetitive data-ink.

The Importance of Making Data More Usable

In recent years, a variety of methods have been proposed for analyzing the consequences of data effectiveness.  During a study conducted by the University of Texas, researchers found that if a company increased the accessibility of data for the user, by only 10%, the result could increase revenue drastically and create new jobs. The researchers analyzed accessibility, mobility, quality, and usability to come up with these findings. Overall, improving your company’s data usability will likely benefit business and should not be overlooked.

Closing the Information Loop with Actionable Data

Analyzing survey data and turning it into actionable data is the key to maintaining your current customers and adding to that customer base. But what is actionable data? Basically, actionable data is your survey results input into an improvement program to modify your business and make it better.

In order to effectively transform your piles of information into actionable data and make analyzing survey data work, you need to look at the actual questions you ask on your survey. If you don’t ask the right type of questions your data could be misleading and as a result, you will misuse it with no benefit to your company.

Close Ended Questions

These are simple clear questions that ask a survey taker to rate specific aspects of the products, services and experiences they engaged with. They respond on a numbered scale or check boxes of different graduated measurement to reply to the questions. This type of questioning has two useful advantages.

  • Easy Analyzing: Analyzing the survey results is very simple, since all the data is coming to you as a check mark, number or yes/ no answers. The guess work is taken out of the analysis and ambiguity is kept to a minimum. The simple responses make calculating the results and transposing them into percentile information or mathematical equations very easy.
  • Easy to Take: The actual survey itself is easier for your subject to navigate through. Clicking on responses they identify with is much easier than writing down specific detailed narratives. If it’s easy more people will take it and that will give you more data to use in your growth process.

Open Ended Questions

Open ended questions ask your survey takers to describe something in detail. While analyzing survey data, the more detail oriented the survey answers are, the more focused and exact our improvement efforts can be. The problem is that open ended questions rarely get answered and if they do it’s with one or two words. Not really the detail you were looking for and very misleading if you use it. Open ended questions should be used sparingly and only as an addendum or supplement to the closed question parts.

Filtering and Branching

Two survey construction techniques that, when used correctly, will make analyzing survey data easier by pre-sorting and categorizing certain elements of the survey as determined by you.

  • Filtering: In the survey, it serves the useful purpose of weeding out the subjects that you don’t need results from and lets you focus on subjects whose opinions you want. When it comes to analyzing, you can implement filters like location, age, or whatever to help with the process. This allows you not waste peoples time (including yours) and will increase the amount of useful data.
  • Branching: Similar to filtering, branching just divides up your subjects and sends them down different survey roads, if you will. This allows you to view specific results easily and categorize your raw data. Branching serves as a pre-sorter that will streamline you process for analyzing survey data.

Conduct Interviews: Yes, more surveys. I know it sounds weird but if you think about it, it makes sense. Interviews effectively expand the scope of your resulting data. The pre- and post-survey interview helps to make sure the subjects understand the topic or field the survey is concerned with and they add dimension to the scope of the main survey.

Analyzing survey data and turning it into usable, actionable data will positively effect your business. Invest the resources into well thought out data gathering and analysis programs and reap the rewards.