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​Welcome to ZA Research

Research

  • Aviall
  • DuPont (Krytox)
  • Essilor
  • Jeppesen
  • M.D. Anderson
  • Michelin
  • Pacific Biomarkers
  • Tenasca
  • Texas Tech University
  • ViewPoint Bank
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​Welcome to Zachry Associates Research. We invite you to explore these pages for a few minutes, and you’ll discover who we are, what we can do, and, more importantly, why we’re good at what we do. You’ll see that we serve a wide variety of clients from local banks, hospitals and small businesses to global companies.

​You’ll also see that we are experts in measuring customer satisfaction in the B-to-B environment. If you’re using online technology to measure customer satisfaction, it’s likely that the data you’ve collected are seriously flawed and can easily steer you in the wrong direction.

​Our methodologies are different because we measure a representative sample of ALL of a client’s customers – the ones that had great experiences, average experiences, and even lousy experiences. And our clients love it.
- H. Jeff Warr, Jr., Ph.D

​A snap shot of ZA Research

  • A company with 30+ years delivering results
  • Average tenure of our employees: 12 years
  • Work with businesses small and global
  • No “cookie-cutter” research; we custom design the methodology to fit the client
  • Specialize in delivering sophisticated data analysis and robust responses from individual customers
  • We deliver an accurate picture of all your customers – the unhappy ones and the ones who love you
  • We deliver understandable results and make actionable recommendations
  • We track changes to your market over time

To get in touch with the ZA research department, please click here for contact information.

​Zachry Associates’ Research Methodology and Philosophy

​Zachry Associates believes that taking short cuts rarely produces a high-quality study. In research, quality results are the product of demanding work and adherence to a set of basic research principles that insure quality data are collected. Here are the key areas we tightly control in a typical research project:

  • Sampling: What procedures are used to insure the sample is indeed representative?
  • Data gathering: What’s the best data-gathering method?
  • Representative sampling: How do you make sure busy people who are difficult to reach are interviewed?

​No matter what type research we conduct, our studies are designed around the following principles to insure the collected data are accurate and actionable.

​Using Sample Surveys to Measure Knowledge, Awareness and Behaviors.

​The most frequently used research designs for measuring the knowledge, awareness and consumer behaviors are sample surveys. These surveys provide a company or organization with excellent measurements of awareness, perceptions, preferences, loyalty, and data-gathering and behaviors. Live interviews of subjects bring robustness to the research process that simply can’t be duplicated in an online or printed/mailed survey.

​Gathering the Data: The Concept of Interactive Detail.

​Person-to-person interviews, whether conducted in person or by phone, have many merits that can’t be ignored. Research has shown that there is a vast difference in the type of information shared depending on the data-gathering method used. Written or web-based questionnaires are excellent vehicles for some types of data. However, the experience of interacting with a live person produces data that simply could not be gathered any other way.

​Rigorous Calling Insures Representative Sampling. Will people participate in a study? Absolutely. (If the study is done right!)

​The goal in every research project is to interview 100% of the sampled targets. To help reach this goal, a rigorous callback method must be used. Numbers are called back at least six different times over a 7-10-day period before being dropped from the calling sample. When contact is made with the correct (qualified) person, but they are too busy to participate, appointments for interviews are requested. This insures that the data are more representative than if data were collected only from the “most willing” or “easy-to-reach” respondents. Most Zachry studies have a participation rate in the 90% - 50% range. Most online studies have a participation rate of 15% or less.

​Common Goals for B-to-B Customer Satisfaction Research

​High-quality customer service research can be the key that opens the door to sales and service models that spell growth for companies operating in dynamic, competitive marketplaces. Quality customer service research offers benefits beyond measuring customer satisfaction and gathering actionable data tied to specific customers:

  • Trended data linked to promotional activities or sales initiatives may help measure effectiveness.
  • Summary data can help managers set goals for improvement and even serve as a measure of the effectiveness of new policies and procedures and other efforts designed to improve customer satisfaction.
  • Information can impact employee training procedures and topics.

​Common Goals

  1. ​To measure overall customer satisfaction
    1. Product selection
    2. Level of service
    3. Expertise of personnel
    4. Ease of purchase/ordering
    5. Interaction with personnel
    6. Accuracy and completeness of paperwork

  2. To measure the importance of various aspects of company performance in determining customer satisfaction
  3. Compare satisfaction levels with past studies
  4. Measure loyalty to the client and to its primary competitors
  5. Identify the image of the client and its primary competitors
  6. Measure relevant consumer perceptions of the client and its primary competitors
  7. Develop a demographic and purchasing/media behavioral profile
  8. Identify key reasons customers use competitors
  9. Identify what customers like best about the client’s products and services

​Option I: One-Shot Customer Satisfaction Model

​This methodology is the most commonly used design in customer satisfaction studies. It provides a simple, one-time snap shot of a company’s performance through the eyes of their customers. With this design, a sample is drawn from a list of past customers. This time-based list could include customers making purchases during the past year, the past six months or the past three months – depending on the number of studies the client conducts each year.

​When the design is repeated, data from any current study can be trended by including data from earlier studies.

​Compared to the Continuous Customer Satisfaction Research Model, this design is not time-sensitive, which is a major limitation. The research may reveal that a change in customer perceptions or satisfaction has taken place, but there is no indication of when the change(s) took place.

​Another feature of this design is continuous feedback with the client as the interviews are conducted. When the interviewer encounters a customer that has a particular problem or issue that needs to be addressed, or a question that should be answered quickly, that person’s name, contact information, and verbatim comments will be forwarded to client immediately after the interview is concluded.

​Notational Design for a Typical One-Shot Study

Month 1 -2 Month 3
200 - 300 Interviews Full Summary Report

​Typical Deliverables

​Full summary report includes:

  1. Names, addresses, email addresses and phones of people who need immediate attention
  2. Verbatim comments of their problems/issues/questions
  3. Summary statistics with graphs, charts and a brief narrative of results
  4. Relevant cross-tabulations
  5. Trend analysis for all variables including past studies
  6. All verbatim comments from interviewees with attributions and contact information for each person interviewed
  7. Reports are submitted electronically and on paper
  8. PowerPoint presentation of the results

​Option II: Continuous Customer Satisfaction Model

​This methodology utilizes continuous interviewing throughout the year. Research is conducted in four 3-month flights. Every three months, one of two types of reports is prepared – either a quarterly mini-report or a full summary report. The quarterly mini-report includes only the data from that quarter’s research. The full summary report is much more comprehensive; it reports data from that quarter’s research plus trended data from all past studies.

​Another feature of this design is continuous feedback to the client as the interviews are conducted each month. When the interviewer encounters a customer that has a particular problem or issue that needs to be addressed, or a question that should be answered quickly, that person’s name, contact information, and verbatim comments will be forwarded to client immediately after the interview is concluded.

​The primary advantage of this research model is that customers are measured throughout the year. The client discovers not only what changes in customer perceptions and satisfactions have taken place, but knows when those changes occurred. An added bonus is that this model makes it possible for the client to discover and address the needs of dissatisfied customers or customers with special needs in a timely manner.

​Notational Design for a Typical Continuous Customer Satisfaction Model Study

Month 1 Month 2 Month 3
100 Interviews 100 Interviews 100 Interviews Mini-Report N = 300
Month 4 Month 5 Month 6
100 Interviews 100 Interviews 100 Interviews Full Summary Report N = 600
Month 7 Month 8 Month 9
100 Interviews 100 Interviews 100 Interviews Mini-Report N = 300
Month 10 Month 11 Month 12
100 Interviews 100 Interviews 100 Interviews Full Summary Report N = 1,200

​Typical Deliverables

​Daily customer alerts

  1. Names, addresses, email addresses and phones of people who need immediate attention
  2. Verbatim comments of their problems/issues/questions

​Mini-reports (months 3 and 9)

  1. Summary statistics with graphs, charts, and a brief narrative of results
  2. Relevant cross-tabulations
  3. All verbatim comments from interviewees with attributions and contact information for each person interviewed
  4. Report would be submitted electronically and on paper

​Full summary reports (months 6 and 12)

  1. Summary statistics with graphs, charts, and a brief narrative of results
  2. Relevant cross-tabulations
  3. Trend analysis for all variables for all reports including the 3Q03 study
  4. All verbatim comments from interviewees with attributions and contact information for each person interviewed for that three-month period
  5. Report would be submitted electronically and on paper

​Yearly summary presentation of results and a complete PowerPoint presentation of the results from all 12 months of research.