In today’s increasingly competitive environment, it is important to measure the service firm’s performance in the areas which contribute most significantly to the client’s overall satisfaction. Previous research indicates that marketing research clients are concerned with a research provider’s performance in four areas; product quality, service quality, cost management, and timeliness. A survey of 155 marketing research clients indicated that these clients perceive product quality as being most important in accomplishing their research objectives, followed in order by service quality, cost, and timeliness. The results of the study indicate that less than half of the clients were completely satisfied with the ability of their primary research supplier to save them money or to provide them with a useful analysis. A research provider that is capable of improving performance in these two areas may be able to create a competitive advantage that could lead to increased client satisfaction and improved customer loyalty. These research findings provide insights for other business services in assessing client needs and tracking client satisfaction.
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