Customer Surveying: A Guide for Service Managers by Fred C. Van Bennekom, softcover, 256 pages, 2002, $44.95

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Overview

Customer Surveying: A Guidebook for Service Managers is designed to guide service managers to effectively plan and manage their own customer survey projects. It is not an encyclopedia on the subject of surveying customers or a textbook on survey theory. Rather, its aim is to provide the tools the survey novice needs to collect real and useful information about customers. The Survey Guidebook introduces theories and concepts, but always with a focus on practical application.

The Survey Guidebook plots a path for the surveyor from planning the project, designing the questionnaire, administering the survey, to reporting the results. A trail map is used as a metaphor for the typical trail or path a surveyor would follow in the life of a survey project. At each stop on the trail, the tasks are described and the pros and cons of various options are outlined. Much of the book uses an "FAQ" format, anticipating the questions a novice surveyor might have and answering them concisely in a bulleted format.

The Survey Guidebook pays particular attention to options for questionnaire design and potential pitfalls. Chapter 4 describes how the attributes for survey questions can be identified, then covers all the various types of survey questions from nominal to ordinal to interval scalar questions. Scale constructions are also covered in some depth. The next chapter turns to survey administration, covering the advantages and disadvantages of each of the major survey administration methods. A latter chapter explores web and email surveying techniques in even more depth. Sample size requirements and statistical accuracy are also covered, along with ideas on how to increase response rates.

The sixth chapter of this new version of the Survey Guidebook contains far more information on analyzing a set of survey data, illustrating how to use Excel to do the analysis. Screenshots will help you learn how to apply the spreadsheet formulas to your own survey data analysis.

Throughout the book, many figures and charts have been added, totaling 67 in the book. Four exercises are also now included to help readers practice their new-found skills.

Table of Contents

  1. Basics of Customer Surveying
    • What is a Survey?
    • What is Sampling?
    • Why Conduct a Customer Survey?
    • Customer Loyalty Research Portfolio: Surveys and Beyond
    • The ROI of Customer Loyalty Programs
    • The Marketing Aspects of Customer Surveying
    • Types of Surveys
      • Specific Purpose
      • Periodic Surveys
      • Transaction-Driven Surveys
  2. Pitfalls on the Survey Trail
    • Instrument Design & Survey Quality
    • Survey Administration & Survey Quality
  3. Survey Project Management
    • Key Stages of a Survey Project
    • Planning a Project:
      • Resources
      • Budget
      • Schedule
  4. Designing the Questionnaire
    • Identifying Questions to Ask - Basic Research
      • Personal Interviews
      • Focus Groups
      • Documentary Data
      • Analyzing the Data
    • Drafting the Questionnaire
    • Elements of a Questionnaire
      • Introduction
      • Instructions
      • Initial Questions
      • Section Headings
      • Summary and Thank You
    • Sequencing Questions
    • Question Formats
      • Data Types
      • Unstructured Question Format
      • Structured Question Formats:
        • Multiple Choice or Categorical
        • Ordinal Rating
        • Interval Rating
        • Ratio Scales
    • Guidelines for Questionnaire Design
    • Pilot Testing
  5. Administering the Survey
    • Choosing an Administration Method
      • Criteria for Evaluating Methods
        • Postal Mail Surveys
        • Telephone Surveys
        • Electronic Mail Surveys
        • Web Form Surveys
        • Surveying "by Disk"
        • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
    • Targeting the Population & Selecting the Sample
      • Taking a Census
      • Random Samples
      • Stratified Samples
    • Determining the Sample Size & Sample Distribution Size
      • Determining the confidence of the results
    • Pre-administration Notes
    • Sending the Survey
    • Increasing Response Rates
      • Follow-Up Reminder Notes
      • Thank You Gifts
      • Use of Third-Party Vendors
    • Collecting the Results
  6. Analyzing & Presenting Results
    • Plan of Analysis
    • Statistical Analysis
      • Determining the Typical Response
      • Describing the Range of Responses
      • Descriptive Statistics - The Easy Way
      • Bivariate & Multivariate Statistics
      • Other Statistical Tests
      • Pivot Tables
      • Analyzing Textual Data
    • The Written Report & Management Presentation
      • The Emperor's Clothes Dilemma
      • Management Presentation
      • Data Tables
    • Charting and Graphing the Data
      • Pie Charts
      • Bar Charts & Column Charts
      • Stacked Bar & Stacked Column Charts
      • Scatter Plots
  7. Taking Action
    • Follow-up Research
    • Service Recovery Actions
    • Operational Quality Control: Statistical Process Control Charts
  8. Survey Automation Tools & Survey Outsourcing
    • Survey Automation Tools
    • Benefits of Using Survey Automation Tools
    • The Role of Automation Tools in a Survey Project
    • Selecting Survey Automation Tools
    • Pricing of Survey Automation Tools
    • Hidden Dangers with Automation Tools
    • Outsourcing
    • Sources of Survey Automation Tools & Outsourcing Organizations

Appendix: Discussion of Exercises

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Last modified January 17, 2012