Market Research for Quality in Small Business


Rhey, William L.; Gryna, Frank M.   (2001, ASQ)   ASQ

Quality Progress    Vol. 34    No. 1
QICID: 14050    January 2001    pp. 31-38
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Article Abstract

If they want to survive, small businesses must focus on satisfying customers by providing the products and services of the best quality. Market research allows companies to determine what customers want. There are several benefits for quality to be found via market research, particularly in measuring the satisfaction levels of current customers, determining customer needs for product development, and analyzing customer retention and loyalty. Case studies involving four small companies in Tampa Bay, Florida, provide lessons for other businesses entering the market research arena. Results of market research for quality must be tied to company operations if high customer satisfaction and loyalty levels are to be reached and customer defections are to be minimized. To avoid problems, small firms are advised to communicate research results to line managers, identify areas for further investigation by analyzing results, incorporating research results into strategic planning, tracking and distributing information on customer retention and reasons for customer defection, and viewing complaints as early indicators of potential customer defections. Market research methods can be reduced in scope and complexity to meet the cost and time constraints of small businesses.


Market segmentation,Customer satisfaction (CS),Product quality,Quality tools,Small business,Marketing,Customer and market focus,Case study

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