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Customer Satisfaction Research Proposal – Canopy Technical Services Limited Essay

Rapid technological advancements have necessitated the improvement of techniques used in fabrication of components and the general quality of services performed by the organization. The impending state of affairs often necessitates the adoption of technologically sound methods of working and the replacement of some equipment which are deemed to be technologically outdated. Canopy Technical Services Limited is an organization that designs, services and fabricates engineering components.

The incorporation of new equipment and techniques of production into the company’s production line, and radical changes in practices are anticipated to have positive effects in the overall performance of the company. This however comes at a great cost; new equipments in effect are more efficient and cost effective but demand high initial capital input. While Balance sheets are used to measure business success, an alternative and more proactive means of accomplishing this goal is through analyzing what the customer has to say concerning the firm and its products.

The company has also noted that the level of customer satisfaction plays a vital role in relation to the revenue the company generates annually. Canopy Technical Services Limited needs to determine the level of satisfaction its customers assign to the services and products it provides under the current situation so as to make informed decisions as to whether or not it needs to change its operating strategies, production techniques and replace the current production equipments. Customer satisfaction is a practical measure of how an organizations goods and services are perceived by customers or consumers.

It is one of the most reliable key performance indicators and forms one of the dimensions of a balanced business scoreboard. It basically seeks to answer the question: do the organization’s products and services meet or exceed customer expectations? Several methodologies have been designed for the purposes of conducting customer satisfaction research. The Net Promoter score which is used to measure loyalty between a firm and its customers and is often used as an alternative to traditional methodologies will be applied in this case.

During the research, surveys will be conducted across all categories of customers; corporate organizations, institutions and individuals. Questionnaires will be sent to respondents through registered mail to ensure that respondents receive questionnaires with minimum doubt without having to spend any money when forwarding back the results. Mail surveys in this case would be much cheaper compared to telephone surveys one-on-one interview and other methodologies. A random sample of 100 clients will be used for the purpose of the study.

This size is chosen due to the fact that it represents about 30 percent of the total population of the company’s client base. Canopy Technical Services Limited will opt for buying new equipments and making major changes in its operation if the values attained in the overall analysis falls below 70%.

Introduction

Canopy Technical Services Limited is an organization that designs, services and fabricates engineering components. The organization has a relatively wide customer base some of which are corporate bodies.

Canopy Technical services Limited has been in operation for the last ten years and enjoys the benefit of experience compared to its main competitors. The organization is made up of five functions/departments which work together to accomplish its mission. The company functional departments include the Finance and Management, Design, Fabrication, Quality Control and Sales Departments. Rapid technological advancements have necessitated the improvement of techniques used in fabrication of components and the general quality of services performed by the organization.

The impending state of affairs often necessitates the adoption of technologically sound methods of working and the replacement of some equipment which are deemed to be technologically outdated. The incorporation of new equipment and techniques of production into the company’s production line and general practices are generally anticipated to have positive effects in the overall performance of the company. New equipments in effect are more efficient and cost effective but demand high initial capital input. Such expenditures should be delayed as much as practicably possible with.

Statement of the Problem

The company has noted that level of customer satisfaction plays a vital role in relation to the revenue the company generates annually. Canopy Technical Services Limited needs to determine the level of satisfaction its customers assign to the services and products it provides under the current situation so as to make informed decisions as to whether or not it needs to change its operating strategies, production techniques and replace the current production equipments. Literature Review Practically all business organizations are faced with the task of measuring success.

One means of achieving this is through the use of balance sheets. This means of measuring success however gives delayed results which could be detrimental especially when the business is taking a downward trend. An alternative and more proactive means of measuring success is through analyzing what the customer has to say concerning the business and its products (Steiner Marketing 2003). Across the world businesses are both interested in achieving customer loyalty and expanding the customer base which in turn translates into higher profitability for the firm.

Customer satisfaction is a practical measure of how an organizations goods and services are perceived by customers or consumers. In itself, the term “customer satisfaction” may seem to be both ambiguous and abstract with much of its meaning being derived from the individual’s perspective and the product or service that is under study. It basically seeks to answer the question: do the organization’s products and services meet or exceed customer expectations? (Cooper and Schindler, 2006) Customer satisfaction is one of the most reliable key performance indicators and forms one of the dimensions of a balanced business scoreboard.

With continuously rising levels of competition in the market, customer satisfaction plays a key role in setting the difference between customers’ loyalty to one organization as opposed to another (Cooper and Schindler, 2006). Customer satisfaction largely depends on several physical and psychological variables which are correlated with satisfaction behaviors. It is also noted that employee satisfaction is correlated with customer satisfaction and hence it can be used to gauge employee satisfaction levels. Satisfaction being a psychological state, care needs to be taken when determining its quantitative values.

According to research carried out in the past, satisfaction domains include: environment, value, front line service, quality, timeliness, ease of access, efficiency, inter-departmental teamwork, commitment to the innovation and customer (Nigel, Brierley, MacDougall, 2003). Benefits of Customer Satisfaction It is notable that satisfied customers bring new business through personal advertising on top of repeat business. Satisfied customers also prove to be much more immune to actions of competitors and assure a stable environment to the business.

Maintaining satisfied customers require low maintenance unlike their dissatisfied counterparts who can easily destroy the organization’s reputation (Chris and James 2007).

Importance of Customer Satisfaction

Research Research about customer satisfaction may help the organization in several ways as listed below (Steiner Marketing, 2003). Information yielded from the research helps to: i. Make better plans for marketing and sales among others ii. Safeguard and increase the organization’s revenue streams iii. Maintain and possibly increase company customer base iv.

Optimize costs related to sales

v. Increase value of brand

vi. Amend competitive strategies vii. Speed adoption of new products

viii. Safeguards the organization from actions by competitors Common Research Methodologies Commonly applied methods of market research include: surveys, personal interviews, focus groups, observation, and field trials. Each of the methods above has its pros and cons much of which depend on the sample size, applicability and nature of the research (Kothari, 2005). Several methodologies have been designed for the purposes of conducting customer satisfaction research.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) which takes a scientific approach can be used to accurately predict Gross Domestic Product growth and Personal Consumption Expenditure. Increasing ACSI points predict loyalty, purchase behavior and word of mouth recommendations (Rowman, 2005). The Net Promoter score is used to measure loyalty between a firm and its customers and is often used as an alternative to traditional methodologies (Joseph, 2004). In its application, customers are asked whether they would recommend an organization’s products to a college or friend.

Customers, based on responses, are categorized into three groups: detractors, passives and promoters. Promoters are valuable assets to the organization as they profitably contribute by their increased purchases, referrals and longevity. On the other hand, detractors are liabilities that can destroy the firm’s profitable achievements as a result of their complaints, negative advertisements, and reduced purchases. Another common model used in measuring customer satisfaction is the Kano model, developed by Professor Noriaki K. in the 1980s.

In it, customer preferences are classified into five categories: Reverse, Indifferent, Must-Be, One-Dimensional and Attractive. The model offers insight into attributes which the customer perceives to be important (Arthur, 2000). While several other models exist, the JD Power and Associates and the RATER models are worth mentioning. RATER is commonly integrated into satisfaction surveys and has a service-quality framework (John, Creswell). Research Design The research to be conducted should be simplistic in its approach and giving unbiased results.

The design should also ensure high response rates from respondents which will accurately reflect the customer base. During the research, surveys will be conducted across all categories of customers; corporate organizations, institutions and individuals. For purposes of collecting data, questionnaires will be sent to respondents via registered post. This will ensure that respondents receive questionnaires with minimum doubt without having to spend any money when forwarding back the results. Mail surveys would be cheaper compared to telephone surveys and one-on-one interview considering the sample choice taken.

Methodology

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The Net Promoter score will be used to measure loyalty between the organization and its customers. In its application, customers will basically answer whether they would recommend the organization’s products to a college or friend. Customers, based on their responses, will be categorized into three groups: detractors, passives and promoters. This research will measure satisfaction domains such as value, front line service, quality, timeliness, ease of access, efficiency, commitment to the innovation and commitment to customer. A random sample of 100 clients will be used for the purpose of the study.

This size is chosen due to the fact that it represents about 30 percent of the total population of the company’s client base. While administering surveys through post is cost effective and reliable, there is a probability of some respondents not attending to the questionnaire or giving misinformation due to varied reasons. In case of corporate bodies, there is a possibility in conflict as to who should answer the questionnaire. It will be suggested that one senior member (in liaison with others) of the quality control or engineering departments of the responding organization take the role of respondent.

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