Re. Assessing quality and customer satisfaction

Subject: Re. Assessing quality and customer satisfaction
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 1995 14:35:26 LCL

In the ongoing "cost/value of publications" thread, Dick Dimock raised
the issue of assessing customer satisfaction. We're soon going to be
trying our first-ever "survey" of our clients' level of satisfaction
with our reports. (I use "survey" here in the broad sense... including
but not limited to reader-response questionnaires.)

I'm familiar with the basic theory of audience analysis, but I'm a
newbie to this. Since we're at the planning stages now, now's the time
to ask: What experiences have the rest of you had in this form of
audience analysis? (We produce exclusively scientific and technical
reports, so replies in that context are particularly helpful; no user
manuals as yet, but the general principles seem to be the same.)

A few leading questions:
- how can you get good response rates from your mailouts?
- what quality metrics do you use?
- is usability testing more useful than reader response forms and
subjective interviews? (e.g., choose three messages, write the report,
and assess if the readers got the same three messages you intended)
- is stratifying our audience into four main (relatively homogeneous)
groups a manageable task? Too many groups? Too few?

--Geoff Hart #8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of
our reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.

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