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Market Research Technique: Cheddar Caves Essay

Suggestion box- Cheddar caves do not have a suggestion box within the caves, this could be a disadvantage for the caves as that could be an effective way of getting peoples’ responses, because people may feel it’s easier, quick and convenient whereas a survey could be too in depth and long winded, However with cheddar caves it would be hard to find a central place to put the box as the site is so large.

Customer Group discussion- Cheddar caves do not participate in customer group discussions, I think this would be hard to achieve for cheddar caves as their customers come from all around Britain and further. There would also not be a central place for the meetings to take place, However if the meetings did take place it would be useful for the caves because they could find out what people really want within the caves but some people would find it hard to point out bad points to the managers.

Quantitative Questionnaires- Cheddar caves partake in surveys every year. They are carried out on and off site. Cheddar Caves aims to collect 2,000 a year. These are to be randomly selected. The questions asked are mainly the usual questions; why have you come here, will you come here again, what you think about it. These are useful because if there is a reoccurring complaint then the caves can work to fix it. These types are questionnaires are good because you can tell if there is an outlier and simply ignore it.

Qualitative Questionnaires- As well as taking part in the Quantitative questionnaires cheddar caves also participate in qualitative questionnaires. Cheddar caves from time to time take out these more detailed questionnaires as they believe it is important find out what people feel about specific issues, like car parking, admission charges and their proposed cable car. They find it important to important to find out why people who haven’t visited, haven’t, and those who have visited why they visited. This is an effective market research technique as the caves can find out exactly what people think about the caves opposed to closed questionnaires where customers are forced into ticking boxes opposed to writing down what they really think.

Secondary Research- Cheddar caves use some secondary research. They are supplied with official statistics by local authorities, such as south west tourism and visit Britain. This can be useful as it’s a national survey opposed to a regional one, so as the results will be a lot more varied, and in greater number. Cheddar caves also share information with other attractions as a type of secondary research this is useful because results can be compared to see what is going right and wrong for each attraction.

Online Questionnaires- Cheddar caves do not participate in online questionnaires; however there is an email address feedback can be emailed to. If the caves did have an online questionnaire I think the only likely people to give feedback are people who have a complaint.

Postal Survey – Cheddar caves doesn’t participate in postal surveys, this could be useful as they could get detailed responses from previous visitors however it is more likely the people wanting to spend filling in postal surveys are people who want to complain

Telephone Questionnaire – Cheddar caves are planning to start telephone questionnaires sometime in the future this will be good as people can talk to a live person and the ‘interviewer’ can adapt the questions to fit the customer, however people are less likely to be honest and criticise the caves to people over the phone.

In conclusion I think Cheddar caves could benefit from having online questionnaires as they are easy to fill in and they could also benefit from having a mystery shopper, so that the politeness of the staff can be tested.

Bristol zoo

Bristol zoo use an external market research to conduct their market research. They carry out 400 onsite interviews. In 2001 Shoppers in Broadmead, a local shopping centre, were asked their awareness of Bristol zoo gardens before and after advertising campaigns.

Suggestion box- Bristol zoo do not have a suggestion box but they have customer feedback stands around the zoo this is useful because people can give feedback on the zoo while it is fresh in their memory. The disadvantage of this is that the likeliness of people taking time out of their zoo visit to fill in a feedback form is unlikely unless they are unhappy with something.

Customer Group discussion- Bristol zoo do not participate in customer group discussions Bristol zoo could benefit from this as they have the space to hold a group discussion they could benefit because customers could have similar views on what needs to be improved or what is good. The disadvantage is that people are unlikely to come to a discussion unless they are offered something like free admission and even then they are unlikely to be honest and criticise the zoo in front of staff.

Quantitative Questionnaires- Bristol zoo do participate in quantitative research they have a research company come and carry out 400 onsite questionnaires. This is useful because if there is a common mistake Bristol zoo are making they can correct it also if there is a common favourite exhibit they can work around that to extend it or put on shows around it. Quantitative questionnaires can be useful as you can see if there is an outlier and simply ignore it. Within this research it was found that 80% were repeat visitors. And 94% of people were very or fairly satisfied.

Qualitative Questionnaires- Bristol zoo do not participate in qualitative questionnaires they only do quantitative questionnaires. They could benefit from qualitative questionnaires as they could find out in more detail what needs improving what is good and if necessary what needs shutting down.

Secondary Research- Bristol zoo do not participate in secondary research they tend to get all their own research from they’re Market Research Company. They could benefit from secondary research as they could compare to local zoos, zoos that are in London or even local attractions.

Online Questionnaires- Bristol zoo do not participate in online questionnaires however there is an email address they can send feedback to if customers wish to. They could benefit from this as it is quick and easy and the results will be easy to organise. The disadvantage is that people are unlikely to complete the questionnaires and take the time out unless they have a complaint.

Postal Survey – Bristol zoo do not participate in postal survey’s they could benefit from this as they could get detailed responses from people opposed to rushed response to questionnaire in the zoo. The disadvantage is that people are unlikely to return the questionnaires unless there is a complaint.

Telephone Questionnaire – Bristol zoo do not participate in telephone questionnaires they could benefit from this a the ‘interviewer’ could adapt and change the questions to suit the customer however people are less likely to criticise people over the phone.

In addition to these, Bristol zoo also have;

Mystery shoppers; this is beneficial as the shopper can see how normal customers are treated and whether it needs to be improved. The mystery shopper is designed to be a ‘subjective assessment’ they are given a checklist to provide a structured approach to assessing the quality of the experience. Some sections include; car parks, paths & routes, site maintenance etc.

Customer Liaison Forms – If a customer is unhappy with an aspect of their visit it is recorded in a customer liaison form which a member of staff tends to fill in, at the end of each month all the forms are handed in to the department head and then the data is logged and analysed to see where areas need improving.

In conclusion I think Bristol zoo do carry out significant Market research however I think they could

really benefit from having online questionnaires as they are quick and easy for the customer to fill in.

When comparing the two you can clearly see that Bristol zoo take advantage of the different ways in which market research can be carried out. With Bristol zoo they participate in more areas such as mystery shoppers which I feel cheddar caves could benefit greatly from. However both companies have completed satisfactory customer research for the size of their business.

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