What distinguishes the Qmetrics methodology for measuring customer or employee satisfaction and loyalty from that adopted by companies that restrict themselves to carrying out a market study and an analysis of its results?

Qmetrics’ methodology incorporates a market study in its first phase. Accordingly, Qmetrics is able to supply its customers with all the information provided by those companies whose methodologies are termed traditional or descriptive.

But the Qmetrics methodology, which is termed structural or explanatory, also includes the specification of a model with explanatory capacity for customer or employee satisfaction and loyalty in the organisation under analysis. In this way, the results produced allow the organisations that are Qmetrics’ customers to identify and quantify the causal relationships between customer and employee satisfaction or preference and their decisive or explanatory factors. Thus, instruments are provided that allow action plans to be drafted to improve these intangible assets.


What distinguishes Qmetrics’ methodology from that adopted by other companies which also use explanatory methodologies?

There are various differences between the methodology adopted by Qmetrics, termed the SEM (structural equation modelling) methodology and other explanatory methodologies (e.g. principal component regression, multiple regression and joint analysis. The main difference lies in the number of equations or variables explained in the model: whereas the Qmetrics methodology uses a model with various equations, the other methodologies adopt a single-equation model.

Customer satisfaction and loyalty studies often require the use of a model with various equations in order that the rather complex relationships between a set of interdependent variables may be taken into account. For example, it is usual for these studies to seek to find out the importance (impact) of certain components of a product or service, not only on customer satisfaction but also loyalty. This shows up the action areas deserving priority in order to promote satisfaction and those that are more important from the loyalty point of view.

The Qmetrics methodology, therefore, presents various advantages. Researchers in the field of quality, marketing and consumer behaviour consider it to be the state-of-the-art methodology for customer satisfaction and loyalty evaluation.


What is the difference between the Qmetrics methodology and that adopted by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) project and European Customer Satisfaction Index (ECSI) project?

The Qmetrics methodology is compatible with that adopted by the ACSI (1) and ECSI (2) projects. In fact, both projects use an explanatory methodology based on a structural equation model and so the results obtained in the ACSI and ECSI projects are comparable to and integrable in those produced by Qmetrics.

However, the objectives and the type of information supplied by Qmetrics is different from that of the two projects. Both ACSI and ECSI provide overall and comparable indicators on customer satisfaction in the different sectors of economic activity. The models adopted in the two cases are simplified and practically the same in the different sectors of activity. The results from both the projects, though not particularly operational, constitute real standards and benchmarks for studies that intend to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In contrast, Qmetrics tries to supply management information aimed at improving customer satisfaction and loyalty for the company under analysis. Thus it develops a model that seeks to explain the behaviour of each company’s customers. The conclusions should allow precise indications to be derived on the measures to be taken.


How are the customer selected for interview when there are no databases for those customers?

Where there is no customer database, we can use a customer sample selected from the whole population, through random digit dialling or random selection from telephone directories, door-to-door interviews with set criteria to qualify, and intercept surveys at consumer locations


What code of professional practice does Qmetrics follow?

Qmetrics follows the code drawn up by Esomar (European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research), of which it is a member.


With regard to data protection, what methods does the company use to guarantee security and confidentiality?

A confidentiality agreement is signed with the customer.


Who processes and analyses the data? Is the data collection carried out by the organization itself or is the service outsourced?

Data processing and analysis are carried out by Qmetrics and are its exclusive responsibility. In the case of data collection, for certain studies Qmetrics outsources it to a specialist organisation, depending on the collection method adopted. However, outsourcing in no way releases Qmetrics from any of its responsibilities or obligations towards its customer.


How is the quality of Qmetrics’ work guaranteed?

Qmetrics establishes a set of quality-control rules covering the various phases of the study. Furthermore, Qmetrics has a rigorous selection and training policy for its personnel.


To measure the importance of the various factors determining satisfaction, why not ask the interviewees directly which ones they consider most important?

This methodology, known as that of ‘declared importance’, presents clear disadvantages in relation to the methodology of ‘derived importance’, in which the importance of each attribute is derived from the estimation of a model’s parameters. At the present moment, very few advisers, if any at all, support the methodology of declared importance. The reasons to opt for derived importance are explained in Vilares and Coelho (2005, p.284-285) and are related to the interpretation assigned to the concept itself of importance and the size of the questionnaire adopted in each of the cases.