Supplies, the purchasing and distribution unit of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, appointed Enventure Research to conduct market research to better understand the views of its customers within the educational sector, specifically establishing an understanding of priorities in terms of the services it offers.
Previous research had been undertaken internally, but the Council sought to focus this research primarily on the views of the educational sector, including primary schools, secondary schools, academies and universities within the Humber local authority areas of East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull City, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.
The Council’s primary aim was to understand what the priorities of its customers within the educational sector were in order to change or adapt Supplies’ services accordingly. Its secondary aim was to understand levels of satisfaction with the service offered by Supplies.
A questionnaire was designed by Enventure Research and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, which took between five and ten minutes to complete. Questions were asked to gauge how important customers felt various aspects of the Supplies service were in relation to delivery, products, customer service, methods of ordering and price and value, in addition to how satisfied they were with these service elements. Respondents were also required to rank all the services which they considered to be very important in order to establish a ranked list of customer priorities.
An email invitation, which included a unique link to take part in the online survey, was sent to all Supplies customers within the educational sector with a valid contact email address (n=447). This was followed by three staged reminder emails sent to those who had not yet responded to the survey.
After the second reminder email was sent, 225 follow-up telephone calls were made to those yet to take part to encourage their participation, either by reminding them to complete the survey or to send it to a more appropriate contact within the educational institution. These calls were made between 14th and 22nd March 2016. The online survey was live from 23rd February until 24th March 2016.
Results and Benefits to the Client
During the five-week period, a total of 184 educational sector customers took part in the survey. Based on a total of 473 educational institutions covered by Supplies, this equates to a 39% response rate.
Upon closing of the survey, Enventure Research analysed the findings and provided feedback to the Council in the form of a detailed report, which will be used to facilitate the ongoing development and growth of Supplies.