BELLBOY CASE MKTG D50 Report Group 6
MKTG D50 – RESEARCH METHODS IN MARKETING
BELLBOY CASE MKTG D50 Report Group 6
Southwestern Bell Telephone Company (SWB)
The survey objective is set to measure the customer’s interest of a new service known as BELLBOY. SWB would like to acquire both existing (customers who have the intention to buy) and potential (customers who have interest but are still reluctant to purchase) demand. SWB believes that existing and potential demands constitute unmet demand. SWB went with the telephone survey, which is a descriptive research method, to gauge the interest of the BELLBOY service. This method was used due since all businesses in the Dallas/Fort Worth area had telephones in their offices, thereby clearly defining their sampling frame. All samples were selected using the probability sampling method. A primary listing was selected by systematic sampling and sub-sample listing was selected by simple random sampling. The calculation of the sample size resulted in 384 samples. After the adjusted sample size was implanted, the new result was 382 samples from a population of 74,789 that needed to be surveyed. (Exhibit A) The survey, however, excluded some market segments, such as personal households and government agencies, who could also be potential customers. By excluding these segments, the survey results would understate the true demand for this service. Also, the samples excluded existing Southwestern Bell telephone numbers, therefore, the survey results excluded potential demand, which implies an understatement of demand. The survey method employed in order to get in contact directly with the key person of the target business is appropriate because this person would be most knowledgeable regarding the communication of the company. For a non-response bias, this would tend to understate the demand since many local business are run by the business owners themselves, who are in charge of the purchasing of equipment and services. These key persons will be busy tending to business matters and meetings, therefore, won’t be available for telephone interviews. This, as a result, will understate the demand of potential customers of the BELLBOY service. Non-respondents who could not be reached by SWB had a high probability of being a potential customer of the BELLBOY service because they fit the target group’s specifications. These non-respondents were, therefore, not included in the study so then the true demand was understated. The survey period was conducted during the summer periods between July to August, which is considered a down time for many businesses in the United States. The survey results might be understated because of this seasonal effect since many business owners may be away on holiday. BELLBOY CASE MKTG D50 Report Group 6
As the questionnaire was conducted in the form of a telephone interview, SWB interviewers who are administering the survey can employ a degree of flexibility and adaptability in the manner of the questions. The survey callers may be able to guide respondents through questions that respondents may not understand. Thus, with clarity in explaining a relatively new concept, respondents would be able to fully understand how the BELLBOY service works and would thus be able to fully make a decision on whether or not they would be interested in the service. The questionnaire’s format allowed SWB to screen out many uninterested respondents early on in the survey. By doing this, SWB were then able to transition into more complex classification questions. Only those customers that continued on in the survey after the initial screening questions could be classified as ‘unmet demand’ and the survey results won’t be overstated due to the questionnaire sequence. However, telephone interviews are generally constricted to a certain time frame, usually about 15 minutes. The longer a phone survey continues, the more people...
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