Jill Leviticus reports:
"Feedback from focus groups plays an important role in determining how your company meets the needs and expectations of customers. Researching issues and writing questions for your focus group session is only the first part of the process. Completion of a comprehensive report based on the results of the session will help your managers develop new strategies and sales techniques to better meet the needs of your customers. Before you begin writing your report, sort and organize the information you obtain to avoid accidentally omitting key facts or details. Begin the report with a cover page. Type the title of the report on the first line. Add the date and name of the employees who conducted the focus group on subsequent lines. Follow the cover page with the executive summary...[which] explains what you hoped to accomplish with the focus group. Your executive summary might explain that the focus group was assembled to determine whether customers like your company’s new coffee flavors. Include a background page. The background page will discuss when the new coffee flavors were introduced, how they were selected, what markets or stores received the new flavors and how the new products were priced. It might also mention any problems with the roll-out of the new flavors that led you to convene the focus group, such as lackluster sales of the new products. Describe the methodology you used to obtain the information. Explain how many focus groups you held, how many people participated, how they were recruited, and the date and location of meetings. Mention the ways that you obtained the input, such as audio or video recording or note taking. List the questions that the facilitators asked the participants. Include a results page. List and summarize the information obtained from the focus groups. Highlight any particularly relevant or insightful comments from group members...Explain what you learned from the focus group. List recommendations that describe how you can use this information to improve your marketing techniques and increase sales...Resist the urge to include every detail you discover in the report...If you feel it would be helpful for management to read quotes and suggestions from participants, include this information as an addendum. The University of Arizona cautions against relying on audio recording as a sole method of recording participants’ responses. If the recorder fails, you won’t be able to access specific comments or points when you write your report. Use two methods to record the session to ensure that you’re covered if one method fails."
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