The Råtorp Tire Company is a Scandinavian distributor of tires in an effort to improve its customer orientation, the Råtorp Tire Company is undertaking a systematic approach to gain market insights. The first study is researching the drivers of customer satisfaction and loyalty for replacement tires in its home market. Its initial research uses a set of structured interviews to determine the distributors’ requirements in the form of product and service attributes and benefits that drive their satisfaction and subsequent loyalty. These retailers were each administered a formal CIT (Critical Incident Technique) interview. Each retailer was asked to describe specific “likes” and “dislikes” about the products and services provided by Råtorp. Based on this first study, a customer satisfaction survey is developed. The survey asks two hundred dealers to rate Råtorp and its two major competitors. A statistical analysis determines the impact of each benefit category on satisfaction. The analysis also provides levels of performance for each of these categories.
The case shows two common methods to gain customer insights through customer satisfaction studies. It is evident that the quantitative and qualitative approach complement each other, and that the qualitative study should precede the quantitative survey. The case also illustrates that qualitative methods, like the Critical Incident Technique, can provide rich data. In turn, the quantitative results help put the findings in perspective and help managers to determine priorities for improvement.
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