Preparing To Conduct Business
In recent news, Bank of America publically announced its plan to make changes to debit card customer accounts in 2012 (Chang, 2011, NBC San Diego). To date, Bank of America has a “fee-free” policy on these types of accounts however; new regulations on debit card accounts are a hindrance to the Bank’s ability to maximize return on investments. As a result the bank is considering implementing a surcharge on checking accounts. However, the bank must determine if this will affect the attitudes and behaviors of customers. To achieve this, Bank of America must conduct business research.
The Research Question
When managers use business research a systematic inquiry to aid in the decision-making process. Because Bank of America has discovered the defined the management dilemma, a refinement of the research question is necessary. The information or data collected through exploratory research helps formulate the research question. In essence, the “research question is the hypothesis that best states the objective of the researcher or the questions that focuses the researcher’s attention” (Cooper & Schnidler, 2011, p 83, paragraph 1).
Hypotheses and Variables
“A hypothesis is a relational statement describing a relationship between two or more variables” (Cooper & Schindler, 2011, p 83, paragraph 1). These variables are designed to show a correlation to each other. The hypotheses are: Bank of America is facing angry loyal customers with the new five dollar charge whenever they use a debit card. Customers may find a new financial institution if the fee is added to their account.
Based on the defined hypotheses, variables, and research question, the bank can prepare a research design strategy.
Research Design Strategy
Before Bank of America finalizes its decision to streamline debit card transaction fees from merchants to customers; it should gauge the attitudes and behaviors of its account holders. Therefore, the research design must be attitudinal research. Attitudinal research uses multiple measurements of attitude across time and environments to improve predictions. The attitudes of consumers must consider as “hypothetical constructs because of their complexity and the fact that they are inferred from the measurement data, not actually observed” (Cooper & Schindler, 2011, p 292, paragraph 6). These attitudes will be assessed on a ranking scale that captures indicators of different dimension of awareness, feelings, or behavioral intentions toward Bank of America. This ranking scale is ideal because it “constrains the study participant to making comparisons and determining order among two or more indicants or objects” (Cooper & Schindler, 2011, p 295, paragraph 2). In the end, Bank managers will need to gauge whether existing customers have a positive attitude toward the bank; whether or not they will develop negative attitudes toward the bank if they implement fee changes, and if the creation of negative attitudes will change customer behavior. Instrument Development
Bank of America can resolve management dilemmas by listening to customers. Therefore, customer feedback can be gathered through surveys. By taking surveys, Bank of America will be able to determine the next course of action. Any other type of research tool is not necessary in this particular situation as the survey will provide the information necessary to make a decision. Figure 1 is a sample of the customer survey data collection design. Bank of America Customer Survey|
How satisfied are they with the existing debit card services at Bank of America| * Very Satisfied| * Satisfied| * Somewhat Satisfied| * Not Satisfied| How likely are they to become dissatisfied with Bank of America if imposed a...