Downtown Development Corp. 3rd Annual State of Downtown

Date: March 15, 2013 | iqsresearch | News | Comments Off on Downtown Development Corp. 3rd Annual State of Downtown


The Third Annual State of the Downtown

April 9th, 2013 marks the annual meeting. Join the discussion and hear our very own Shawn Herbig. Shawn along with  three other presenters will be talking about the future of Louisville. Below you will find links to more information, how to get tickets and a list of presenters.

Event information: The Third Annual State of the Downtown

Reservations: Single Reservation or Corporate Tables Available

 

Presenters:

Economic and Demographics of Downtown

Janet Kelly, Executive Director, Urban Studies Institute, University of Louisville

Michael Price, State Demographer, Kentucky State Data Center

 

Public Perceptions: 2013 Metro Survey on Downtown

Survey of Downtown Executives- New Feature

Shawn Herbig, President, IQS Research

 

Policies and Initiatives Going Forward

Alan DeLisle, Executive Director, LDDC

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You May Not Be Measuring Customer Satisfaction the Right Way

Date: June 21, 2012 | Shawn Herbig | News | Comments Off on You May Not Be Measuring Customer Satisfaction the Right Way

Measuring customer satisfaction is a valid exercise, but if you take on the task, it absolutely must be done the right way. There’s a lot of junk science out there that promises to give you an insight into what your customers are thinking, but the reality is, if you or your research company is not using the right survey and research methods, the results you get back can, at best, be ineffective, and, at worst, will send you in the wrong direction causing you to waste a lot of time and money fixing issues that are not important.

One can argue that fixing any problem is a good step in the right direction but in business successful companies learn quickly how to focus their priorities on the issues that matter most. The role of research is to identify the real issues that – when fixed – will help move a company forward.

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Why Companies Shouldn’t Do Their Own Research

Date: May 10, 2012 | Shawn Herbig | News | Comments Off on Why Companies Shouldn’t Do Their Own Research

Mathematical Analysis

Companies are notoriously bad at doing their own research. Even if they truly understand how to design a survey instrument, conduct the data collections, perform the mathematical analysis and compile the findings, they still have to account for numerous pitfalls along the way that will make the data inaccurate and the conclusions misleading.

Let’s say your company president decides the company is going to have a town hall-style meeting, because he wants to know why sales numbers have been dropping over the last three quarters. You know exactly why the sales team hasn’t been performing, and it has directly to do with the president’s decision to put a certain consultant in a pivotal position who really doesn’t understand the business process and has been causing no end of trouble. But the president is putting all his eggs in this consultant’s basket and believes she is going to revolutionize the company.

So what do you do? Should you be honest and tell him just what the problem is? Or are you more concerned with keeping the peace so you can keep your job? Just how difficult is it to be honest?

This difficulty is part of why companies shouldn’t do their own market research. There’s the intimidation factor at being honest with people you know. It’s one thing if a complete stranger is asking for your employees’ critiques. Then they get to be anonymous and protect themselves. But it’s quite another when their boss, or boss’ boss, or even a colleague is asking directly.

The emotional factor rises high here…employees can be scared away from brutal but vital honesty because of the fear of stepping on the wrong toes or being pegged a troublemaker. This is where a neutral third-party anonymous questioner is beneficial. They can protect and account for that emotional, fearful reaction, and you can be sure that you are getting unadulterated input.

The other side of that situation is the “friendship factor.” If clients and vendors are the sources of information, especially when they’re being asked by members of the company, there’s really no motivation to say anything that might rock the boat. If there is a problem that’s somewhat manageable, maybe they don’t want to get anyone in trouble or hurt a contact’s feelings because of their personal/professional relationships.

Again, in this case, a professional market research team can help the company get the whole truth and work around the fear factors that exist. This lets management get the crucial information they really need to make the best decisions.

Including getting rid of the incompetent consultant.

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When Is It Alright to Do Your Own Market Research

Date: May 8, 2012 | Shawn Herbig | News | Comments Off on When Is It Alright to Do Your Own Market Research

When should companies do their own research, and when should they leave it to the pros?

This is a common question and fortunately, there is a pretty simple three-step litmus test that can answer this for you. Basically, you can do some simple market research yourself if you truly know what it is you need to know, if the information you’re trying to gather is marginally or unimportant, and if there’s very low risk if you get your decision wrong.

picture of a spreadsheet - market research company - iqs research

Let’s say you’re considering opening a new branch office. You have three cities you’re considering in the region, and you need to pick the one that will bring in the most business. The expansion is going to cost the company $2,000,000, so you can’t afford to make the wrong choice.

There is certainly information about the different cities you are not aware of, and there’s quite a risk if you choose poorly — job loss, financial liability, and even a possible fatal blow to the company. This is definitely something you need the help of a professional research company to decide. The cost of the research and analysis will be substantially less than the cost if the project fails.

On the other hand, there are many internal decisions unique to your organization and office that could easily be decided by doing your own market research. For example, if you’re planning to remodel or add a break room, you don’t need to invest in professional research to determine whether you need two microwaves or three, if you need a bigger refrigerator, or what kind of chairs to use. This is the kind of thing that a brief employee survey or basic discussions could easily answer for you because the importance level is so low. If you make the wrong choice, there’s little to no consequence. If you needed three microwaves but only got two, then get another one later, or if you bought one too many, there’s $70 lost, which is minimal.

So very simply, if what you need to know will have a major impact on your business then you need to hire a research company that has the skills, experience, and expertise to perform major business research that can connect the dots between several different data points and help you get the insights you need to make the right decision.

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What is the Value of a Third Party in Research?

Date: April 5, 2012 | Shawn Herbig | News | Comments Off on What is the Value of a Third Party in Research?

In a previous post, we talked about why companies should not do their own company research. It’s very difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing.

But what if you do know how to do it? Can you do it then?

Still no.

The axiom about not mixing business and friendship actually can play a bit of a role when discussing customer surveys and detailed satisfaction questions. For the most part, no one likes to deliver critical news or less than a glowing report when confronted by a person or company providing a product or service…with one caveat: if a customer has a terrible interaction with a company or service, often they are chomping at the bit to tell the tragic tale and get compensation.

But when we’re talking about general surveys and customer satisfaction, it’s hard to get a customer to be completely honest either because he is kind of apathetic about it all or because of the relationship between that customer and the contact at the company. We don’t want to burn bridges or hurt feelings. Then there’s the potential for negative consequences if the feedback we give causes anger or anxiety for those we’re giving it to.

Here’s a scenario…let’s say you’re at your doctor’s office, and the doctor asks you how you think the staff is doing and if there are any issues you have. In your head you’re thinking…that phlebotomist is horrible, she’s sloppy and has a majorly bad attitude.

If you tell the doctor these things, you know at some point you’re going to need to get some blood drawn. If she finds out it’s you who initiated her “performance improvement plan,” then it’s pretty safe to say you won’t be looking very forward to having her stick a needle in your arm. She might, but for entirely different reasons than before.

So whether based on friendship or fear, when a company wants to improve or make changes based on customer feedback, the best thing they can do is use the services of a third-party research company.

The “once-removed” position of a third-party can really help customers be honest about their experience and interactions with a company. It can be that buffer that allows customers to be more honest in giving their feedback and not feel like they have to gloss over or sugarcoat their answers so as not to injure.

And a third-party can protect customers’ or employees’ anonymity and make them comfortable in being completely honest, enabling a company to benefit from no holds barred, open, effectual feedback. And a third-party doesn’t have a dog in the fight. The company has asked them for feedback, and whether it is positive or negative, that intermediary foothold reduces negative emotional backlash and leaves the company with full control, with opened eyes, to get on their path to improvement and increased sales.

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