Wednesday, June 29, 2016

How to Convert one Rating Scale to Another Measurement Scale

If your organization is committed to staying on top of the latest trends in tracking performance, then you're most likely going to come across an unexpected decision; which rating scale to use.
This isn't usually a problem when you're starting a tracking process -- but what about those of us who have chosen a scale and for a variety of reasons are considering changing it!  What then?

What Options Do You Have?
  • Start Fresh. You can always draw a line in the sand and start fresh.  Be sure to communicate to your management teams and everyone involved in the process that you will be starting fresh.  One thing you can expect is your scores or ratings to either go up or down drastically, so you will have to prepare everyone involved in the process that you are setting a NEW BENCHMARK and that your ratings haven't shifted up or down - they are what they are with this new result.
  • Run Parallel. If your organization cannot afford to start fresh, you might consider running parallel surveys and gathering two sets of data as you make the transition from the old rating scale to the new rating scale.  After you've gathered enough data, you can compare the two scales and see what impact this has on your metrics.
  • Interpolate. Yet another option is to run a test survey with your customers asking them to answer the same question using two different rating scales.  This will give you the ability (over time) to predict where the old rating would fall in the new scale.
Why Switch At All?

There are advantages and disadvantages no matter which measurement scale you choose.  Not only that, but there are academic camps at each end of the spectrum and in between.  In other words, you have to choose the scale that matches your objectives.
Say that you started doing the Net Promoter Score in your organization using the "Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor" rating.  And now, you want to go more traditional and use a 10 point scale.  What's more important to your organization?  Is it having the trend data or is it "matching up" to what Reicheld recommended in his book; The Ultimate Question?  If it's more important to you to match up and benchmark your organization, then the pain involved in transitioning might be worth it.  If your organization is large and your customers might be confused, then the transition might do you more harm than good.

Don't Switch Without Doing The Following:
  • Communicate.  This can never be emphasized enough.  Be sure to communicate inside your organization early and often.  Make sure that everyone in the organization understands that there will be changes in the ratings and fluctuations -- simply because you are changing scales.  This is normal and to be expected.
  • Pick a time that is uneventful. Switching your rating scales after you've installed a new computer system isn't a good idea.  You want to pick a span in time when it's about as stable and uneventful as is standard in your organization.  You will already see shifts in scores and ratings - you don't want to mix in REAL shifts due to an actual change in practices.
  • Be Patient.  Measuring customer satisfaction or organizational performance are emotional issues -- especially if you have people whose compensation is based on the results of these surveys.  Please be patient with the transition and focus on performance and service instead of the survey.
Switching from one scale to another isn't as cut and dry as you might think.  As soon as you get into the details and the results, you'll soon realize that it's a bigger decision that requires a little extra thought.  But don't let that deter you from making a change that will ultimately benefit your organization and your customers.
Stay current with what's happening in the world of feedback and measuring satisfaction.  Go ahead and investigate best practices and benchmarking surveys that have been tested by the best organizations in the world; like Net Promoter Score for customer satisfaction and Gallup Q12 for customer satisfaction.  Don't kill yourself reinventing the wheel and don't be afraid of making a change.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Upcoming Mobile Market Research Webinar

On June, 30th, 2016, 11am PST, QuestionPro has an upcoming webinar – How Mobile Innovation is Changing the Face of Data Intelligence,  – Register Here Christina Trampota, Mobile Marketing Professor at San Francisco State University and Mark Salsberry, President of QuestionPro CX, will deep-dive into mobile as the marketing measurement and data collection platform. Whether you are a researcher contemplating or already undertaking mobile data collection, this webinar will provide a holistic view of current and future opportunities as mobile and cross-platform research methods continue to evolve.

Thus, today, I would like to share with you 7 good reasons why you should adapt to New Mobile Reality. Bear these reasons in mind and then join the webinar to learn more.

  1. It’s convenient: Mobile surveys can be answered from literally anywhere. Furthermore, due to the restrictions inherent in its physical size and limited capabilities, mobile marketing, and research is short and succinct.  Clicking yes or no, typing a short sentence, or reading a short tweet on this little machine that resides in your pocket (purse or briefcase) is as simple as it gets. And simple wins, every time.
  2. It’s easy: Survey fatigue is one of the most prevalent concerns in the world of marketing research. The minimal amount of effort that needs to be exerted to participate with a mobile phone that’s already on, in your hand, can convince even the most reluctant survey taker/reader to participate. Being more engaging and fun than traditional surveys pretty much guarantees improved participation rates. In short, easy does it.
  3. It’s straightforward:  The fact that it virtually eliminates the middle man and allows for the collection of in-the-moment data directly from the participant in his or her natural habitat (life and home), is one of the most valuable benefits of mobile market research. The advent of more video capturing and producing technologies will no doubt further that attribute, as well as supplement more qualitative information as an added bonus.
  4. It gets around: As the use of mobile phones continues to rise and landline use notably declines, mobile technology will be the best – if not the only way – to reach participants. Reaching more of the population, particularly demographics typically not well-represented in the online sphere or other traditional methods, that tend to be accessible via mobile, is a significant benefit of mobile market research. Easy integration and dissemination of information is also greatly facilitated by the ease with which mobile technology allows participants to interface with their mobile devices.
  5. It’s fast: Efficiency is key here. The instantaneous nature of a mobile exchange ensures that the wait period between the formulation of a strategy and it reaching its targeted audience is significantly shorter than before. The potential advantage of a faster turnaround time is getting a more immediate consumer reaction to an experience, which makes for a more genuine, in-the-moment, and truer reaction, in other words, enhances the quality of the data by virtually eliminating degradation of memory and inaccurate recollection errors.
  6. It’s personal: Mobiles are agile and “smart”. They allow for the collection of user-generated content (UGC) such as videos and images immediately from the participants’ mobile devices as they go about their daily lives. They gather private user data directly from the device. They capture invaluable geolocation data. Enough said.
  7. It’s accurate: Unmediated insight into people’s lives simply cannot be achieved via traditional research methods as it can with mobile technology. Since most of the information gathered is user-generated, an interesting side effect of the mobile market research is that it actually lends itself to increased accuracy of the collected data. Getting small bits of data in a succession of interactions that incrementally generate better understanding of consumer reactions (establish a better profile), which in turn translates to better prediction of behaviors and tastes, is a commodity akin to gold in the marketing and research field.
Don’t ignore the untapped mobile market research. Reach out to your current and potential customers via their electronic appendage… their cell/smart phones and their tablets. You can’t afford not to! Here some more tips to get you started and how to design surveys for mobile devices.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Conjoint Analysis - Not Only For Brand Equity Measurement

In 2013, Apple faced litigation from over 59 patent holders - claiming infringement. We also have seen an enormous amount of uptake in patent litigation - between corporate technology giants like Apple, Samsung and Microsoft.

One of the fundamental issues around patent litigation is the value of the feature or tool that is being infringed on. Typically patent litigation around a product consists of one company including a feature or a tool that is covered by a patent. For example, in Apple’s case it lost a “Swipe to Unlock” feature - that it had patented, in a German court - however it did win against Motorola in the United States.

In such patent litigations, invariably the question is largely around damages and the model for computations of the damages. Obviously, there are competing theories around how much a feature is valuable to a product. Here is where Conjoint Analysis comes to the rescue.

Conjoint Analysis can assign unique utility values - essentially a measure of importance - to each feature in a product. Fundamentally Conjoint Analysis allows us to break down a product into its constituents elements - its primary attributes. Once a product is broken down into its constituents, we can assign utility values to each of the levels of an attribute. If price is one of the attributes, we can also estimate the physical dollar value of each of the attributes.

Recently patent trial lawyers have been experimenting with Conjoint modeling to determine valuation of the features that are under infringement. This also gives a clear case of coming up with a model to determine how much a feature is valued.
QuestionPro has a built in Brand Equity Measurement Model - whereby brand is just another feature.


In this particular case, we are measuring the brand equity based - but this same use case can be extended to measure product feature valuation.

How is the Feature Valuation (or Brand Equity) computed?
The fundamental thesis here is that - when we do a conjoint study - we determine utility - this is the numeric value / score associated with each attribute of a product. For example, if we think of a mobile phone example: We will typically generate a table like this

  • Apple iPhone
  • Samsung Galaxy
Screen Size:
  • 4 Inch
  • 5.1 Inch
  • $399
  • $599

This gives a simple model to determine the $/Utility. The Cost attribute gives us a model for a $/Utility distribution - and we can leverage that to compute the actual dollar amount, relative to a base for _both_ screen size as well as a brand.

Conjoint Analysis can not only be used for Brand Equity measurement, but also feature valuation - since effectively from a technical standpoint - a brand is simply another feature - that customers are evaluating - when making a purchasing decision. Typically conjoint models have been used for customer preference evaluations - but with the introduction of the cost/pricing element, we can not determine economic demand curve for all the attributes.

If you’d like to find out more about Conjoint Analysis then join our upcoming webinar. On 22 June, QuestionPro is hosting a webinar “A Beginners Guide to Choice-based Conjoint Analysis” with Paul Richard McCullough and me (Ray Poynter). Click here if you would like to attend the webinar or to find out more about the webinar.
Further Reading:
Greg Allenby and his team of researchers have expanded upon this model, not only to include the demand side - but they have proposed, for patent disputes, a model for loss of profit due to infringement. Read it here.

Friday, June 10, 2016

7 Customer Feedback Articles You Must Read

There has been a lot going on in terms of customer feedback lately.  Today, I thought I would share a little link love and give you a quick overview of what other experts have been writing about when it comes to "customer feedback".

Customer Feedback Listening Posts: In my previous post about customer research trends, I mentioned that collecting feedback has gone far beyond the traditional phone, paper and even online surveys.  In this article, Jeff Henning does a terrific job of drilling down into several different customer feedback channels that you can use.

Expand Customer Feedback Ahead of Product Launch: Why is it that so many of us product development people feel like it's easier to think about what the customer wants instead of just asking?  Morey Stettner has the right idea in this article.  Ask the customer these three simple questions: What is the problem?  What kind of product or service would you like to have?  What else?  The point here isn't to be sophisticated, but to stop and take advantage of an opportunity to involve your customer in designing their next product or service.

Capitalizing on Customer Feedback - Creating Measurable Value from Voice of the Customer:  The Allegiance Blog has a newly issued white paper that covers new ways to think about customer feedback, top customer feedback strategies, four principles to realizing value from your voice of the customer research.  Download that one.

7 Tips for Getting Customer Feedback: You think you've got them all covered, but this is a great little checklist that you can use to see if you're forgetting any of these handy customer feedback collection methods.

For Genuine Customer Insights, Go Beyond the Research:  More terrific ideas on ways and methods to gather insightful research without breaking the bank.

Recall Woes Prompt Toyota to Improve Customer Feedback Loop: Toyota has spent years building its reputation for quality and the last few months of quality issues and recalls leave them in a delicate position.  How will they use customer research and feedback to come back?

Well, I hope that you enjoyed this list of customer feedback articles.  Do you have articles you'd like to recommend, send them over and we'll compile them to share with everyone.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Deliver Great Customer Experience Through Your Mobile App

Who would have imagined that this day would come? Certainly Steve Jobs and many others saw this coming years ago. We’ve moved from apps (ex/ Microsoft Outlook and Word) to the cloud (ex/ Gmail and Google Docs), to a rich app ecosystem on mobile devices. Regardless of how we’ve ended up here, it’s now obvious that app usage is widespread and growing. The big question is:
Are your users having a great experience in your app?

Customer Experience in Your Mobile App
On the customer journey, the in-app experience is crucially important to how your customers and users view your brand. Unlike a computer, the mobile device is always on and used throughout the day for a variety of tasks. Your users want an app experience that is easy, fast, and unobtrusive. Ultimately, they want your app to deliver. Does your app deliver?
You have great quantitative analytics around the usage of your app. You can tell the number of installs, uninstalls, session time, pages visited, etc. That is the ‘what’ of the app experience. Smart mobile app makers are also gathering the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ so that they can lower their uninstalls, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately beat their competition.
At QuestionPro, we’re pioneers in getting mobile feedback, both in the cloud and within mobile apps. Here are 3 surefire ways to understand your mobile app experience and, ultimately, lower your uninstall rate:

Choose Your Mobile App Triggers

User experience happens over time and many different use cases. From buying to playing to checking information and entering data, your users are relying on you to deliver a great experience. That said, they don’t need to fill out a survey every time they use your mobile app. So, consider some of the following triggers to intelligently capture in-the-moment feedback:
  • Number of times the mobile app has been opened
  • Number of days/weeks since the mobile app was installed
  • Specific activities, like an in-app purchase
  • Geolocation – when the user comes within the proximity of a specific place
These are just a few examples, but the trigger can be almost anything, or combination of things, that the user does.

Respect Their Time

Most people are willing to share their opinion for the sake of helping you. Often, in fact, it’s not that they expect anything for their time, but they are simply being helpful. If you make it easy for them, they’ll provide some helpful feedback. There are a couple components to consider here. First, don’t ask for feedback too often. For a mobile app, we typically recommend requesting feedback no more often than quarterly. There are some exceptions, but this is a general rule. You don’t want to wear out users by requesting feedback often. Also, consider these question types to use for mobile surveys.
The other consideration point is the time it takes to complete the survey. Frankly, it should typically take 60-90 seconds for a survey on a mobile phone. The limited screen size and less-than-ideal options for data entry can make longer surveys feel even more cumbersome on a mobile device. Keep it short and sweet and your users will reward you with meaningful feedback. At QuestionPro, we can guide you to get the best results, based on your unique needs.

Don’t Drain Your Developers

One of the common friction points anytime people ask for a change to a digital property, be it a website or a mobile app, is the use of technical development resources. This is a fair concern. Companies are doing more and more business digitally, engaging consumers where it’s most convenient for both parties. As such, the list of development priorities can be quite long.
So, how do you keep from sapping development resources each time you need to change surveys? We recommend great software to accomplish this. Your survey solution should have a way to change the survey without asking for more development resources. This way, you can keep up with your business needs without draining resources. Both your customers and your colleagues will love you.
Getting feedback from within your mobile app is no longer an optional exercise, but a critical component of a successful customer experience strategy. We’d love to help you.
If you’d like to learn more about how QuestionPro can help you create a world-class Customer Experience, visit us here:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Opinion Polling Bias and How to Avoid Them

Voters will determine the next US president coming months, and polling bias will likely soon become a topic of heated discussion. If the Iowa Caucus taught us anything, polling is still unreliable at predicting the actual results of elections. In my previous posts, I went into detail about polling bias. I followed that up with how pollsters can get create bias in the form of response, researcher, coverage, or non-response. In this post, I’m going to give you some tips and tricks to help you make sure that your polls fall within the margin of error.
Collecting accurate information from polls can be a challenging task, but understanding your audience and writing great content will go a long way. If you have ever read our previous posts, you’ll know that writing an effective poll is an art form. It requires getting the correct information from your respondents in a limited period of time. Here some practical tips to create effective polls.
1.) Find the Right Sample Size 
Generally speaking, most national and state polls have a 500 – 1,000-person sample size. This results in a margin of error of 5% – 3.2%. As the sample size increases, the sample size decreases. However, as the sample size decreases, the returns diminish. So for example, the margin of error decreases significantly more moving from a survey of 50 – 100 than from a survey from 500 – 1,000. Unless tenths of a percent matter to you, your survey sample does not need to be in the ten’s of thousands.
2.) Find the Right Medium to Ask Your Questions
Do you have a landline phone? Would you pick up when you get a call from an unfamiliar or unlisted number? Do you live in a rural area? These questions can lead to survey bias. For example, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to use a landline phone. With the accessibility of the Internet, web scraping or data mining should help pollsters get accurate analytics on national or statewide elections. While it can almost be impossible to get a perfect representative sample, the Internet is almost universally used. If you think that candidates are not already using big data, read this article.
3.) Be Direct and Ask Multiple-Choice Questions 
Multiple-choice questions give the respondent a chance to see all the options, making their task easy. Be bold and make sure that you are communicating your purpose. A good multiple choice question should be mutually exclusive, avoiding ambiguity at all costs. A poor question example is “Describe your political affiliation? A – Democrat B – Republican.” This is a poor question because it assumes that the audience can only affiliate with one of two parties. This will  affect your accuracy because it doesn’t account for Independents, the Green Party, etc., etc.
4.) Speak Your Respondent’s Language
Use simple, direct and specific language in your questions. Start with basic questions and then make it more specific. An excellent poll reads in a way that the reader can understand. And unless your polls are industry-specific, you should avoid jargon at all costs. This can create confusion, which leads to response bias.
5.) No Double Barrel Questions
We know that you are trying to get the most out of your polling. But do not use it as an excuse to ask an informal fallacy such as a double-barrel question. These occur when a question involves multiple subjects, yet has only one answer. For example, “Should the Government spend less on Military and more on Healthcare?” The problem with the question is it’s impossible to see what the respondent is answering. Is the respondent opinionated about one subject and not the other?  Instead, ask two separate questions to get most accurate answers. The best way to answer the above question: “Should the Government spend less on Military?” Followed up by “Should the Government spend more on Healthcare?”
6.) Remove All Bias
Creating leading questions will not represent an honest opinion of the respondent. In politics, loaded questions will especially suppress rational thought and result in knee-jerk reactions from your respondent. What is the difference in response to the questions “Do you support Obamacare” and “Do you support the Affordable Care Act?” Both represent the same law and the majority of Americans are familiar with the terms. Yet, a CNBC reportrevealed that having the word “Obama” both raises the approval rate and disapproval rate.
7.) Great Polls Have a Flow. Rank Questions Accordingly 
Ordering your questions is important to give a sense of flow to the survey. Always rank your questions from simple concepts to complex ones.
What Do You Think?
Why does bias in polling occur, and how can we eliminate this bias? Oops made that mistake. Here’s a better way to ask the question: Do you believe bias occurs in political polling? If you answered yes, what is the best way to eliminate polling bias? We want to hear from you, share this post in social media and let’s start a conversation. Learn more about how to build and deploy online polls at QuestionPro.