The paper “ Telstra - Finding the Reason for the Loss of Clientele of Telecom Communications" is a telling example of a research paper on marketing. It came to Telstra’ s notice that there was a sudden and significant decrease in the number of residential clients. These clients had terminated all- or some of the service contracts like mobile, landline or internet connections. We were surprised because as opposed to this sudden termination of contracts by individual clients, who mostly used our services for personal use, we did not notice any complaints or termination of contracts from our business clients.
This anomaly was of particular interest to us from our business point of view, for servicing large corporate clients is more complex than servicing individual clients. We decided to commission a through market research with regards to the termination of individual telecom connections in order to pin the reason for this loss of clientele and to find a solution for the same. We were hopeful that the outcome of the research will also lend us a clear direction about improving our existing system, in order to create a better client servicing model for the future because market research, if carried out appropriately, keeping in mind the problem / research question in mind, can generate data which can uncover the reasons for inexplicable market swings- for example, sudden decrease in sale of products, reasons for attrition, inputs about brand image, the choice of customers (which in turn can help an organization to cater them according to their demands), etc.
Market research throws light on the consumer awareness and acceptance of the product, the current share, competitive brands and pricing levels, retail penetration, etc.
It also gives information on how would product reformulation would influence consumer perceptions. Thus, a well-carried out market research minimizes business risks. For research to yield the desired results, it is very important that the issue on which data is sought is outlined properly. As a Marketing Manager of a large telecom provider, I had committed the market research with two main objectives: 1) To find out why we were losing only individual customers while our corporate clientele base remained satisfied with our services and 2) What should Telstra do in order to recapture the lost clientele, and increase the individual client base.
This essay aims to describe in detail the reasons, results, and methodology of the market research commissioned for our organization. The research design included a mix of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, in order to ensure a well-covered range of data, optimized data collection by resorting to a mix of research technologies. Since dissatisfaction is largely a subjective reaction, researchers felt that the study would be incomplete without getting first-hand, detailed inputs from the clients themselves.
The use of a mix of research methodologies helps in reaching a balanced, thorough view of the situation. Methods included survey questionnaires (close-ended) administered by research associates /volunteers in the Telstra store, telephonic surveys, email surveys, in-depth interviews. Survey questionnaires were filled up by Simple Random Sampling method where every 10th visitor entering Telstra shop was requested to participate in an interview about their past experiences with Telstra. The sample size will be determined according to the average foot-fall in the store.
For example, if the foot-fall is 500 customers per day, according to this sampling, fifty customers will be requested in a day. Out of these fifty, the researchers have to take into account the response rates, given the possibility that many customers may decline to cooperate. In order to increase the credibility of the data collected, the sample size, which is representative of the entire population, must be adequate. In our case, we hope to make up for an adequate sample by keeping a sufficiently long time-line during the period of which data will be collected.
We intend to continue with simple-random sampling (i. e. requesting every tenth customer to give his inputs) by continuing the exercise for a period of one month (30 days, including Sundays).